This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, 2x Platinum R&B singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Tone Stith shares his top five musical influences as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. Recently signed to RCA Records, Tone Stith’s latest singles – the moody “FWM” and the breathtakingly beautiful “Devotion” – showcase his limitless talent and artistic breadth. In truth, these songs are just the latest in an exciting R&B career underway for years now: Stith released his lauded debut project Can We Talk in 2017 to much acclaim, followed by 2018’s Good EP (which included features from Swae Lee and Quavo, among others) and a tour slot opening for H.E.R. Nevertheless, it’s with his latest material that Tone Stith rises to greater heights as a stunning vocalist and captivating performer.
My Top 5 Influences
by Tone Stith
Michael Jackson: I really modeled the way I sing after him. What was special about MJ was his Tone, it was one of a kind. His dancing, was just on another level. He influenced generations to move like him. That’s what made him special.
Prince: I discovered my falsetto by singing a lot of Prince songs. Also, my love for funk, playing the guitar, and keys. Something about his songs just struck a chord in me. He’d do Rock, Pop, Funk, Soul.. he was just different. A true musical genius.
Marvin Gaye: He was the smoothest guy ever. I mean his voice was like silk. He infused Jazz and Soul. Made a whole lane for himself. That’s where I pull my jazzy riffs from.
Patti LaBelle: My mom was a HUGE fan! She almost made to be one of her background singers. So I grew up on a ton of Patti. I mean her vocal ability is just out of this world! I can’t say that I sound like her lol but her music, and voice definitely plays a part in how I hear and make my music.
Twinkie Clark: She is by FAR the best! From her power house voice to her sweet tone, to her production! She’s on a level of her own! UNMATCHED! She inspires my producer side. She took secular music and made it Gospel! Changed the way everyone plays music. A dream of mine is for her to coach me one day! And to have a conversation with her.
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