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How Marvin Record’s Baby Fresh produced my first song without collecting a dime — Toni Tones
Multi talented entertainer, Toni Tones, in an interview has revealed how she’s grateful to those who helped her in the production of her first song as an Artiste.
Toni disclosed that she started her career as a fashion photographer. Because of this, she made friends with a lot of personalities in the music industry. So, when she finally decided to break into the music industry, she was able to talk to certain industry experts such as Banky W, Don Jazzy, among others who were gracious enough to give her advice and render help when necessary.
Thanking her supporters, Toni said;
My first song, I know what you like, was produced by Mavin Records producer, Baby Fresh. They never charged me a single penny for this record and I am grateful to this day.
Read full interview below.
I had a lovely childhood, although I was quite shielded while growing up. I am the last born of five children and my childhood was mostly spent with family, playing with my numerous cousins, going to school, church and other such places.
Ever since I was eight years old, I wanted to be an actor and a musician. I was always the one who would put together elaborate plays and musicals for Christmas, Easter and New Year. I’d automatically declare myself creative director and make my siblings and cousins take part. I would decide who would play what roles. Everyone got used to it and it became part of our family tradition.
For my post-elementary education, I attended Queens College, Lagos. Afterwards, I went to the University of Lancaster, UK, where I studied Marketing.
At first, my parents did not support my entertainment career. In their time, entertainment was not particularly the most lucrative of careers; so, they approached it with this mindset. They also felt since I graduated with a good grade (2:1), I could get any job with any company I wanted. But I was persistent and when they saw that this was truly my passion, they gave me their blessing. They are now my biggest supporters.
I’ve always loved taking pictures, being in front of the camera and behind it. My love for photography grew extensively when I was in the university. I remember spending £500 on my first semi-pro camera. That was a huge amount for a student and I remember my friends looked at me like I was crazy.
One of my highlights as a photographer was working on D’banj’s reality show, Koko Mansion. I was still in London then and they brought me to Nigeria to do their photo shoot. This brought me instant stardom and popularity as a photographer.
My first role was in a series titled Gidi Culture. It was my first audition and I was able to bag the lead role. That really motivated me and gave me the assurance that I had a real shot at becoming an actor.
My big break as an actor came when I was cast to play the lead role in an African Magic production titled, What Lies Untold.
Over the years, I’ve been in numerous movies, including, King of Boys, Lara and the Beat, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, June, It’s her Day, 5th Floor and many more, including a good number of TV shows and web series.
One of the toughest roles I’ve had was playing the younger version of Sola Sobowale in the movie, King of Boys. I made the decision to put on weight for the role and I added roughly 15kg. I also strained and lost my voice on purpose to try to attain the husky tone that Sola has. I spent over two months doing nothing else but studying Sola Sobowale. I refused other work so I wouldn’t have to go out of character and stay focused. The audience and industry’s reaction to my portrayal of that role makes all that work one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done as it has brought me critical acclaim.
I started my career as photographer and because of that, it was quite a challenge getting people to take me seriously as an artiste and as an actor. At some point, I began to wish I had never started with photography at all, because then I wouldn’t have to fight the tough battle of gaining acceptance. Some OAPs simply wouldn’t play my music because they didn’t take me seriously. It took a lot of hard work, persistence and determination before I was finally accepted in the industry. There were times that I wanted to give up but I’m exceedingly happy I didn’t.
Everything changed for me musically when I released the single, Hey Boy. The response to it was phenomenal. It made the music industry take serious notice of me and it won me a dedicated fan base.
I have learnt that persistence and consistency are key in everything you do. If you keep at your purpose diligently whether or not it seems to be going well or not, with time, the universe will align in your favour.
I have new music coming out next year. I have new films and TV shows coming out as well. I’ve shot a project called MMM (Men, Money and Marriage) slated to air in January 2019. I’ve also shot a series titled, Mascara, directed by Walt ‘Banger’ Taylor which commences very soon and I will soon start work on a new film called Foreigner’s God.
To be honest, this is quite difficult because it leaves me with little time for anything else and it’s quite important to me to live a balanced life filled with love and laughter, shared with loved ones, both family and friends.
I don’t want to always be working all the time; but at the same time, this is what I prayed for. And now that it’s here, I can’t complain.
My biggest role model is my mother. She is the kindest, most hard-working and God-fearing person I know, and these are three traits that I try to embody.
For music, it’s Beyoncé; her work ethic and dedication to her craft is undeniable.
In acting, it’s Meryl Streep and Viola Davis; their level of talent inspires me.
I love to watch TV shows. I also love theme parks; I’m like a kid in a candy store in them. If you want to make me happy, take me to a place like Disney World. I love to spend time with my family and friends.
I also love swimming or just relaxing in the water.
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