Los Angeles R&B singer Toni Romiti is ready for her spotlight. Her sexual prowess illustrated in her videos shows that she is not joking around either. Romiti was born to take the center stage to sing about relationships and to share her stories with the world.
Romiti began her career as a basketball player, unbelievably, but decided music was the path for her. The Chicago born budding R&B star relocated to Los Angeles from South Carolina to pursue her dream in music and networked (thanks to the help of the internet) and found herself writing for Chris Brown’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon double album.
When she is not busy writing for others she is prepping her own material, which includes a full-length album due out in 2019.
LADYGUNN’s Robert Frezza spoke to Romiti about how she was signed to RCA records, who her celebrity crush is, and meeting Chris Brown.
What compelled you to become the R&B singer that you are today?
I love to make music. I love to share my experiences and share stories. I want people to know that they are not alone and that they are not the only ones going through shit.
You left a promising career in basketball. What made you decide to choose music over sports?
I love basketball but I love music so much more. The sacrifice I had to make to play basketball as far as your body, dieting, and the time that goes into it doesn’t add up to the reward at the end, especially for women. There is more of a reward for men at the end of the road that plays basketball.
How did RCA notice and sign you to their label?
My DJ, Caleb, was deejaying for another artist, Nebu Kiniza, who was represented by RCA records. The RCA rep was watching his set and mine at South By Southwest. I was deciding between a couple different options but thought that RCA would be the best fit for me.
Your EP Tomboy spawned three hit singles, but does the album title hold up since you display sexuality in your videos?
I feel like a tomboy. I think it’s based on attitude, not what you wear. I don’t think it has anything to do on how you dress—it’s all on how you carry yourself.
Do you think your sexuality ever crosses the line?
I feel sexuality is appropriate when you are creating art. Music videos are a time when you can be a character in your music video and have it come to life. I think people have a hard time associating the person in the music video versus who they really are. I think it looks good on camera. I also feel like a pretty sexual person.
How did you end up writing for Chris Brown?
I went to a studio session and I had a song written for either Chris Brown, Post Malone, or Trey Songz. Trey Songz’ A&R rep said it wouldn’t be a good fit. I met Post Malone shortly after I moved to Los Angeles at a party one night and I asked him what he thought of the song. He went out of town for two weeks, that’s when I met Chris Brown. I played it for Chris Brown and two of my four songs made the cut for Chris Brown’s album.
How important is it for you to write about the topics you write about—sex, relationships, etc.?
I feel my favorite part is writing the melody. I focus on the melody first before I write the lyrics. Usually, I have a conflict of what I want to talk about so I freestyle and I pick out the cadences and melodies that I like. I feel like I have many emotions and I have to express them. My writing is the easiest way to express them. Sometimes my songs come from poems that I have written.
You also said that music is therapeutic for you?
The process of making something and finishing it is satisfying. Finishing something feels really good and I like that I am able to connect with other people while doing it.
You blew up on social media. Would you credit that to your success?
Yes. Without the internet, I would have not been able to create the path that I created and been able to network and met the people that I have met.
Was Rihanna a major influence on you?
I feel like when I was younger I really loved Rihanna, but when I make music I really don’t think of her influence like that. I love her fashion sense. Rihanna is one person I really want to meet, celebrity-wise. As far as music goes, I listened to all different types of music to the Beatles to barbershop quartets growing up. The only time I really listened to R&B music is when I was in the car with my sister.
What’s next for you?
I am putting out a song called “Afraid”. It is a story about a girl who is being treated poorly in the relationship that I think girls could relate to. I am telling it from the third person.
I am also working on my first album called Unladylike that will be released in 2019.
Bra+ panty+ chaps, Chromat . Jacket, CHAE NEW YORK .
Bodysuit, Chromat. Pearl Tulle Dress, Laurence and Chico. Bracelet, Dylanlex.
Orange set, Lucio Castro. Bra, Chromat. Earrings, Iza by Silvia D’Avila.
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