We had the good fortune of connecting with TonyaJae and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TonyaJae, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
I stopped putting my energy on other people as much; I used to make sure people were on track with their goals so much that I forgot about myself. Then when I realized that, I focused solely on myself. I created a drive within me to get back on track and started the habit of consistently trying to improve who I am.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always say I think what’s special about my music and as an artist is that I’m never going to stick to one thing. Ever. I will constantly want to try different things and people may get confused, but as long as they’re vibing with me, that’s all that matters. I’ll go from Pop, RnB to trying jazz & doo wop. I’m really excited about my upcoming EP, produced by Carlo V. Every song, I feel, brings you into a different space. I got where I am today professionally because of 4 things: my family, my team, my supporters & my drive. It was definitely not an easy journey, and it still isn’t. My biggest, undeviating obstacle is my mental health. My demons tell me all the time that I’m no good and I have to fight every single day to make sure I believe otherwise. It’s rough, but I don’t want to tap out yet. I can’t. I’ve definitely learned to persevere more than I have before, surround myself with people who lighten my soul and inspire me, and give my whole heart into my craft. I want the world to know that I’m about love, inclusivity and the LGBTQIA+ community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would most definitely take them to the heart of San Diego, Gaslamp & my favorite restaurants, The Corvette Diner & the Classics Malt Shop for desert. I love driving down Harbor View Drive and feeling at peace.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s hard to pinpoint when I have my family, friends and team. But, I would love to shoutout my team, New Waves Studios. My executive producer, Raymond John Barcinas and producer, Carlo V. are the reasons why I’m able to put out my art. Not only are they amazing co-workers, but these dudes are 2 of my greatest friends. My creativity thrives with them and I could not be more grateful for the backing of my entire team (Raj, JDot, Spell too… y’all are incredible). Ray opened a new world to me and believed in me from the jump. He introduced me to Carlo V., whom I think is an absolute gem. He’s so talented and I chose him to spearhead production for my upcoming EP. I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve curated these past few months. These guys are everything to me.
Francisco Garrido Carlo V.