*The history of R&B includes a wide-ranging collection of vocalists, songwriters, musicians and everything in between.
Finger through a catalog of classics from the 90’s and you’ll likely discover a theme: if the song playing “feels good” to your ears, it’s probably a signature jam from longtime music super-group Tony! Toni!Tone! (other number one singles include “Whatever You Want,” “The Blues,” and “It Never Rains (in Southern California).
Hailing from Oakland (California), Toni! Tone! Tony! has produced numerous chart-topping hits, building a cult following in 1988 after releasing their first Gold-selling album Who? With their greatly anticipated 25th Anniversary album to be released later this year, the soulful trio continues to deliver their timeless hits to sold-out audiences worldwide.
Set to drop soon, Toni! Tony! Tone!’s new project will feature a plethora of special guest appearances, promises original group member D’Wayne Wiggins.
“We get a kick out of collaborating with new artists and sharing ideas and speaking on our instruments with people,” he told EURweb’s Lee Bailey during a one-on-one interview. “This project has a lot of cameos.”
Wiggins added, “On this album we really have something to say. Lyrically we’re really expressing who we are and what we feel.”
The tone of their new project will channel sounds of yesteryear from a variety of genres, he explained. The group hopes that fans will be pleased with the creativity and expansive instrumentation present in the coming album.
“We’ve always been known to be cats who take chances,” Wiggins went on to say. “A lot of the stuff is reminiscent of 70’s music. We’re still the same guys; it takes us a long time to finish a project. It has to feel right it has to make our fans feel a certain way.”
With the album still unnamed, Wiggins says that he and his bandmates have no intention of force-feeding the process.
“We’re going to let it name itself,” he said laughing. “It’s something that we’ve been building on for a while; there’s no rush in any aspect.”
Longtime fans of Toni! Tony! Tone! will likely never forget the high-pitched crooning of former lead singer Raphael Saadiq, who in the late 90’s embarked on a solo career to explore his own creative aspirations.
Saadiq’s departure rightfully left an uncomfortable taste in the mouths of many devout listeners. But as the old saying goes: one monkey don’t stop no show (unless that monkey is named Michael Jackson). Even without Mr. Saadiq’s contributions, the group continues to thrive as a cohesive, funk-filled unit.
“He went off to do his own thing; that what it is,” Wiggins explained curtly. “A lot of groups when they take breaks they’re on the low end. When we walked away from the industry we weren’t on the down stroke. I like what my brotha [Saadiq] had to say on his own. I think its fly.”
Toni! Tony! Tone!’s new album will feature a string of documentaries, unreleased tracks and behind-the-scenes tour footage. The project is a coronation of the group’s longevity and sustained success in music, Wiggins says.
“I’m still a musician at heart,” he professed. “I still enjoy the music. I still have a great time performing. I’m looking forward to another 25 years.”