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Booking Tony Rich, The Tony Rich Project - R&B Artists - Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary R&B, Urban, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter - © Richard De La Font Agency, Inc. - For serious booking requests only, click here: For More Information
Tony Rich is among the innovative prolific types. Like Prince and Stevie Wonder, his titles are Producer, Writer, Arranger, Artist, and Performer. Possessing the gift to make a record completely by himself, write every song, play every instrument, engineer and mix the records. After the record is complete, he will get on stage with his extraordinary band and lead you into another phase of his genius.
This is what Tony Rich says is a connection to God. "I don't write songs, I receive songs," he says. "Many artists, songwriters and producers have a particular time or format as to how they create. I don't approach my studio until I'm called. I know the feeling and when I touch the keys and the strings, the music begins to flow, the melody and lyrics begin to spew out with great ease."
Tony Rich is also one of the pioneers for the fresh progressive contributions to the evolution of music. Let it not go untold that he was responsible for ushering in Acoustic Soul – in an undeniably, unique way. Tony's sound encompasses Funk, Folk, Country, Rock, R&B, Classical, and Hip Hop. You can hear many different elements all contained on one album, which is a result of the wide range of musical influences that Tony was exposed to as a child. "I listened to Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Madonna, Depeche Mode, to Run-DMC, and different artists."
His goal when making a record, is to give people variety. "There's no law that says one can only create this type of song because one is of that nationality. Creativity is Freedom. There is no Freedom nor creativity in a box." Tony is totally dedicated to the progression of music. He and his music defy category and demand special attention. He is now among the "Free" artists. With a complete understanding of independence and what it means, he is determined to be Tony Rich – freely.
It all began back in Detroit, Michigan – The Motor City. Tony, like many very talented musicians, artists, writers, and producers in Detroit, was on a mission to achieve great things. Paying dues was a constant chore. He experienced many different encounters that would contribute to his knowledge and development of being a songwriter/producer.
"My brother Joe and I used to work with a lot of different people that had equipment or a studio. We would work like horses. We learned about different equipment and technical production techniques by being exposed to the best surroundings. It was like a school n a sense."
Tony Rich then met NBA star John Salley in early 1991 in Detroit. John owned a recording studio and record label called Hoops Sound. "John was the first person to pay me. He gave me a check for $1,000.00. I was about 19 years old. I had never seen a check for that amount before. That check was more than money. It was also a gesture that John believed in my abilities."
Tony became a staff producer at Hoops Sound where he met two young producers named Tim Kelly and Bob Robinson (Tim and Bob) who were passing through Detroit from Chicago looking to get into the music business. Tim and Bob promised Tony that they would "hook him up" when they arrived in Atlanta. They held true to their word and called Tony in March of 1993 to inform him that they were about to "hook him up."
Before he knew it, Tony was speaking to Dallas Austin and then Pebbles. Pebbles then flew Tony to Atlanta the next day and he found himself meeting with LA Reid of LaFace Records, playing music and making plans. That meeting resulted in LA flying Tony's brother Joe to Atlanta and they both were signed as staff writers and producers. "It was our dream since we were kids and now it had finally arrived."
Tony Rich quickly acquired production and writing credits for an array of artists of the highest caliber to his discography including Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, Elton John, Johnny Gill, CeCe Winans, TLC, and Michael Bolton, just to name a few. After contributing to the success of other artists, Tony decided that it was time for his voice to be heard. He then brought you the smash hit single "Nobody Knows," written by his brother Joe Rich and produced by Tony. A priceless collaboration between two brothers, creating a song about their father who died in the summer of 1989, quickly became the second most performed song in Radio and BMI history.
Pop Radio and the world were hypnotized by Tony Rich and "Nobody Knows." Tony was embraced by MTV and VH1, Pop Radio and Europe. He was the only black artist on LaFace Records to go straight Pop, which put a challenge to the label find a way to market Tony Rich to the R&B audience.
The Tony Rich Project: "Words" was released in January 1996. The record reached Gold and then Platinum within four months from its release date. Soon after the release of "Words," Tony performed a Tribute to Stevie Wonder with D'Angelo on the 39th Grammy Awards show, which was the highlight of the evening.
"Nobody Knows" charted No.1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US and sold more than one million copies. He received four Grammy Nominations and took home Best R&B Album of the Year. Billboard awarded Tony the Best New Pop Artist of the Year and Blockbuster named him Best New Male Pop Artist of the Year.
He began recording his second album that would later be entitled "Birdseye." Months before "Words" was released and through the awards season he continued recording. "I didn't want to take a break from my recordings. I didn't want the awards to turn my focus away from my creativity."
"Birdseye," his highly anticipated follow-up to "Words," was released in the Fall of 1998 with very little support from the record label. It featured guitar legend, Eric Clapton playing on about eight songs. "Eric and I simply traded favors. I sang on his Pilgrim record as well." "Birdseye" received great critical acclaim despite its almost "hush-hush" release. Nonetheless, Tony proceeded to do his part. He set-up live performances and showcases to push the momentum of the record. "I truly felt support in some areas and not much in many," he said. "If everyone is not on the same page, the art suffers. It's sad, but true."
He then toured the year of 1999 and later that year Tony and LaFace parted ways. "It was the best for both. He said, "After 'Birdseye' I was busy touring and recording. So LA and I shopped around trying to find a better situation. Then we decided to focus on seeing eye to eye. I turned in music and received no response. LaFace was getting ready to sell to BMG so they terminated the agreement and allowed me to began shopping a new situation."
Tony is an "Artist" in every sense of the word. When new artists ask for his advice, he says with a clear and stern tone, "If all you want to do is sing a song, make a video and ride in a limo, turn around and find something else to do, you can do all of that without a record deal. Make sure you have other things to offer. The standard recording contract is not and has never been designed to allow artists to make money from their art. On the other hand, record labels help make stars. They spend the money to keep your face on the screen and your voice on the airwaves. But it is the job of the artist to know who he or she is and to capitalize on the stardom. Always move forward. It's better to have self-control than none at all."
In addition to actually becoming what he dreamed to be, Tony Rich also came to know his most prominent influences. He speaks of one encounter, "I remember one of the coolest musically spiritual moments. Prince and Maytes' dance company opened their tour at the Detroit City Music Hall. After the show we all went over to a restaurant/bar called Intermezzo, where we had an impromptu performance. Prince says to me, 'You play keys, I'll play drums, Larry (Graham) on bass, 7 Kat (Dyson) on guitar.' Then here comes Stevie Wonder on harmonica. It was priceless."
Tony Rich applies great focus on being true to himself and what he represents. "I have a purpose and a voice. I myself am an instrument that belongs to God and that God plays. In everything I do there has to be truth." Tony has faced great challenges in his career where creativity and commerce have a difficult time existing in the same space.
Even after so much success, so many accomplishments, accolades and awards, Tony Rich is still humble and grateful for all that he's been blessed with. He is a full-circle "Artist."
He has evolved into an extraordinary live performer with an extreme focus to mesmerize his audience with every note, melody and dynamics. "The guys in the band are superb musicians, and more importantly, they are superb people. We all have a common goal, and that is to have fun, set our target, aim and strike with great precision."
Notable songs include -- .
The Tony Rich Project may be available for your next special event.
The Tony Rich Project for your special event,