What can I say about Ms. Tonya Boyd-Cannon? This soul star is beautiful inside and out. Her dynamic voice and immense talent is only a compliment to her charming, optimistic personality. In the dimly lit Café Istanbul, Ms. Boyd-Cannon shared her newest creation with an intimate crowd of friends, family and fans. Accompanied on stage by veteran radio host Wild Wayne and Producer Andrew Baham, Tonya was recognized and awarded with compliments on her new album titled Then and Now. In return, Tonya selflessly turned the tables and rewarded the audience with her voice and spirit. With her fan base on the rise, there was an eager curiosity to find out more about what was going on in Tonya’s life and career. After a cocktail or two, Wyat sat down with Tonya to converse about her new album and recent endeavors.
Where Y’at: How did you come up with the title of this album? What’s your personal connection to the title?
Tonya Boyd-Cannon: I titled this album “Then and Now” while driving on I-10, heading to the East of New Orleans. I struggled for weeks, after searching online and through my thesaurus. And on that day, within five minutes of driving, the title appeared. This title spoke to me about my past of successes and failures. I was reminded of what had happened THEN (my past) which has gotten me to what is going on NOW (present and future). If I would have known THEN, what I know NOW about my decision-makings on life, finances, music and relationships; I wouldn’t change a thing!
WYAT: Since this is your Second full-length album, what was the studio dynamic? How did it differ from the first album?
TBC: My first album “Rise My Child” was released in 2006. This album “Then and Now” has been in the making for eight (8) years. My producer Andrew Baham and I decided it was time to finish what we started. This album has taken me to another level musically and aesthetically. There were studio sessions where I would begin to sing and was completely drained by the rhythmic changes or the intonation of harmonic/nonharmonic tones. Trust me, this is an area that I look forward to performing when I’m in the studio!
WYAT: How different is it to record your music as oppose to performing live?
TBC: There is a BIG difference in recording in the studio and performing live when it comes to “Tonya Boyd-Cannon!” (Laughing hysterically) When I’m in the studio, I have a mental and physical idea of what is going to happen. I’ve prepared the verses, chorus and ad-libs. I also have the luxury of re-doing something I may not like, while adding a new idea to the mix. My LIVE sessions are just that; LIVE! I’m able to create and add new ideas on stage, however, once it’s sung and rapped; it’s a done deal! My fans love the impromptu songs and rhymes. (psssst and whisper) And so do I. LOL!
WYAT: Speaking of performing live, your stage presence is awesome. Have you ever considered doing a live album?
TBC: Thank you. I would love to do a LIVE album. Now, let me just say this “What happens LIVE, stays LIVE!” I love to create songs on stage, especially for my tourist/fans. For example, I created a song about “Nebraska” which involved “Beef, Corn and Football” and they LOVED IT! Once my bass player and drummer brought the FUNK in, I was all over the stage! LOL
WYAT: You mentioned being invited to the Grammy’s. Please elaborate on this?
TBC: I wasn’t invited to the Grammy’s YET, but I was given accolade for my original tune “Begging You Not to Go.” Stay tuned for that day when I’m on stage!
WYAT: What would be your ideal venue to perform?
TBC: This is a hard question to answer! I have a ton of venues that I look forward to performing in. Since, I have to give you an answer now, one of my favorite venues is the “Mercedes Benz Superdome” on the 50th yard line.
WYAT: What would be your ideal location? (city, state, country etc.)
TBC: My ultimate location is “Australia.”
WYAT: When you aren’t working on music, where can people find you? What does Tonya like to do?
TBC: I love being at home, lying on my couch and watching some of my favorite primetime television shows. I’m also known to be on Washington/Magazine at STARBUCKS, I love this spot!
WYAT: What does the next 5 years look like for you?
TBC: In the next five years, I will be singing around the world! You will see me on all major television networks and hearing my music on all radio networks.