My interview with international Jazz vocalist, Toni Redd. Hailing from Atlanta Georgia...Toni Redd has shared the stage with Chico DeBarge, Angela Bofill, Najee, Gerald Albright to name a few Greats in her illustrious career. She’s back with her fourth CD release, Her Reddness, available online everywhere music can be purchased.
Terrance - Hello Toni Redd. How are you?
Toni Redd - Hello. I am doing great. Thank you for asking.
Terrance - You’ve been on the independent scene for quite some time. Tell us about your new album, Her Reddness. How does it differ from your previous projects?
Toni Redd - Her Reddness is very special to me because, it is full of some of my favorite musicians and musical compositions. One reason that "Her Reddness" is different from my other projects is, I just had so much FUN in the studio recording it. It was also the easiest project I've ever recorded. The reason for that being, my producer, engineer, drummer and friend Melvin "Melly" Baldwin, is one of the coolest guys on the planet. We had a blast and we ate a lot of Mexican food after our late night sessions. Lol
Terrance - You worked with renowned saxophonist Kirk Whalum on the opening track, “That’s the Way”. How was that experience?
Toni Redd - Working with Kirk Whalum was definitely a major highlight on this project. He is one of my favorite musicians on the planet, as well as a great person to talk to and be around. I love his energy. I actually went to Memphis Tenn to the World Famous Royal Studios to record with him. In my humble opinion, he is a musical genius when it comes to the saxophone and he has a wealth of life's wisdom and knowledge, Love him!!!
Terrance - Your approach to lyric is very reminiscent to the late Great Phyllis Hyman. It’s obvious she was an influence on your sound?
Toni Redd - Even though it is a tremendous compliment and I am HUMBLED by the comparison, I did not really grow up listening to her. I started singing at the age of 15 professionally and it was not until many years into my career that I started hearing people compare me to Phyllis Hyman. I actually grew up listening to Ms. Nancy Wilson a lot mainly because, she was my mom's favorite singer. I also listened to AL Jarreau and Chaka Khan. I did a remake of Chaka's 1984 version of "Stronger Than Before" on my new cd, "Her Reddness". Make sure you check it out:-) The video for Stronger Than Before will be released next month.
Terrance - If you could work with any artist in the world, who would it be with and why?
Toni Redd - If I could work with any artist in the world right now well....hmmm...It would be actually two artists. It would be an honor to work with R&B Crooner Eric Benet who I absolutely Love:-) I Love his voice, music and style. The other artist is Marcus Miller bassist extraordinaire, for all of the obvious reasons.
Terrance - Do you believe songwriting is just as important as singing?
Toni Redd - Yes I do feel that songwriting is just as important as singing. It is another outlet of creative expression. I love to write new music because It's exhilarating!
Terrance - How do you prepare before performing?
Toni Redd - The way I prepare for a performance is I get my musicians first, then I develop my song list, followed by rehearsal and wardrobe which is my favorite, because I love to shop for new clothes.
Terrance - You’ve also done some acting as well in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” as well as the stage play “A Good Man Is Still Hard to Find” and the independent movie “Losing Grace”. What’s it like crossing over from singer to actress?
Toni Redd - Crossing over from singing to acting for me is a natural progression. In my opinion, It takes just as much creativity, emotion and concentration for acting. Hopefully I will do more of it in the near future.
Terrance - Outside of singing and acting, are there any other goals you would like to accomplish?
Toni Redd - Outside of singing and acting, I would like to own a couple of businesses. I think it would help to give me another creative outlet on my life's journey.
Terrance - What has been the most proudest moment in your career so far?
Toni Redd - I don't think I have had my proudest moment yet..but, I am still working on it and I will let you know hopefully sooner than later.
Terrance - Would you ever consider doing a Jazz covers album? What are some of your favorite jazz songs?
Toni Redd - It is funny that you asked me about recording a jazz cover album. You must be reading my mind (smile). Actually my next project will be cd number 5. The number 5 is my favorite number for so many reasons. My mom was born in the 5th month and so was I. I also have 5 sisters. I have decided to go back to my musical roots which is the more traditional jazz. A lot of people don't know this about me but, In college I sang with a big jazz orchestra and I absolutely LOVED IT! Some of my favorite standards are, When I Fall in Love, Wild As The Wind, Unforgettable and Funny Valentine just to name a few, so please stay tuned!!!
Terrance - Is there a musical genre, artist or song people would be surprised you enjoy?
Toni Redd - People are always surprised when I tell them I like Rihanna. Not sure why they are surprised Lol, but they are. I also like Rascal Flatts.
Terrance - What advice would you give an aspiring artist?
Toni Redd - The best advice I can give to an aspiring artist is, Put GOD FIRST! Never ever, ever ever GIVE UP! And, stay true to Yourself!
Terrance - Where can people find you in social media?
Toni Redd - People can find me and find out what is going on with me on my website at www.toniredd.com They can also find me on Twitter@realtoniredd, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, No.One Music and Reverbnation. They can find my music on ITunes, Amazon.com, Cdbaby, Spotify and other online retailers.
Terrance - It was a pleasure Toni Redd and I look forward to what’s next for you.
Toni Redd - Thank you so much and Remember, "A Day Without Music is Unnecessary".