“The hardest thing to me is all the anticipation of ‘will this song be good or bad’ or ‘is this the day a music exec listens to my song and gives me a shot.’ There’s so much built up anticipation that you have because you never know if your hard work in the studio will pay off or not.”

Check out the interview with Tonî exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Tonî: In all honesty it all happened because of my mom and brother, they were always deep into music with both being a part of choirs and very good singers. It took me a minute to find my niche, at one point I figured I wanted to be a producer but after a couple of friends in high school were rapping around the lunch table it kind of just stuck with me. I tried it out a couple times with one of my friends and he said I had enough talent to rhyme. Eventually after a whole lot of practice I was able to sing and rap and now I’m in a better position now because of all the support I got behind it.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
As an artist in my own opinion, I feel like putting your music on every outlet out there could be the best decision you make. Music sites such as YouTube, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, ArtistPr, and others provide more opportunities for your music to be heard. Social media is also a very good outlet. Creating a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page is perfect. It helps friends and family in your life get in tune with your music and spread the word to others.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
I feel as though I have the capability to become a household name worldwide but instead of being known as just a rapper I want be known as one of most influential musicians. I want people to think of me as the musician that came in the game and made it by taking a different approach than what mainstream music is now by talking about what I’ve been through and above all I want to create a positive outlook. I want people to actually want to come to Lake County to see what we’re all about.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The hardest thing to me is all the anticipation of “will this song be good or bad” or “is this the day a music exec listens to my song and gives me a shot.” There’s so much built up anticipation that you have because you never know if your hard work in the studio will pay off or not. Another hard area of the business is the whole being slept on aspect. I feel as though a lot of artists don’t get the recognition they deserve because people are so focused on gossip, what’s hot, and trending music that makes absolutely no sense.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
In my city it’s pretty much a “drive thru” area meaning you don’t come here to see any landmarks or have fun. As for music out here, it’s all very different. Some people prefer poetry, some prefer trap and hardcore hip hop, and some prefer to make syrup music.

As far as how it is living here, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Not to say we’re a very bad place, it’s just not as lit as other places might be.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Never give up on your dream no matter what happens and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. Never settle for mediocre on anything you make, treat every song like that’s the song you’re going to be noticed with, or like it’s your last you’ll ever record. I was told that “mediocrity is a sin when excellence is possible.” Those are words I live by. By putting my heart and soul into every song I write, I want the listener to hear my pain in my voice and know my struggle and what I’ve been through.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
This interview pretty much tops it off, besides hitting 680 views on one of my songs I haven’t really gotten too much exposure but I consider it just enough. Of course I wouldn’t mind more listeners, but I’m not over pushing it either. The people I know and love listen to my music and that’s all I really asked for off the back. But this interview is a really big thing for me because it’s hitting eyes and ears way past Lake County where I live and because of that I really appreciate the opportunity. I hope my music continues to impress the masses around the world and eventually they consider me on XXL so my town can get the look they deserve.

What is your inspiration?
My mom, brother, and friends are my inspiration. My mom is always pushing to keep going with my dream and I love her for that. She teaches me how to manage my money and manage myself as a whole. She really keeps me level-headed also. As for my brother he’s the one that helps me put logic into all of my music. He tells me the do’s and don’ts of the music business and how I should handle all my songs. As for my friends, I’ll always know they have my best interest in hand and I’m not saying their names because my squad knows who they are. Bassville Park will always be in my heart no matter what, they’re the ones that keep me strong and motivated.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Of course, as long as you’re doing it for all the right reasons. I know everyone wants the money that comes with it but you have to know it’s not all about the cash. You have to make sure you’re doing it for you and don’t be afraid to make music with a message. A lot of the music now is mainly meant for party purposes but if you can rock the game with a whole new style all the while giving the people a message and motivating them to be better, more power to you.

Where can we find you on social media?
Facebook: Tonî
Reverbnation: tonythetyga
Soundcloud: Tony Gottem
YouTube: Tony Tyga
Twitter: @tony_gottem
Instagram: @Tonithemusician
Snapchat: tgottem44