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Toney Lee interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories® # 006

Lenny Fontana interviews Brooklyn Born Artist Toney Lee. Toney shares his stride to Reach To The Top and his life story in the music industry and how music has changed through social media and what he did to survive the times. A very inspiration video and the message is extraordinary.

Toney Lee YouTube Video

Toney Lee

Biography Toney Lee

an American singer, song writer and producer, was born in Brooklyn, New York to a musically inclined family. His grandfather John English, founded his own jazz orchestra “John English and His Society Orchestra.” His brother Arnie Love recorded for Profile Records. Toney’s artistic roots can be traced back to his home church Mount Lebanon Baptist Church where he sang as a soloist with the church choir. From an early age this gifted artist participated is various musical projects.

In the late 70’s, he began performing professionally with local groups; Penetration, Ebony Phase III and Chocolate Fire. During this time, he also recorded “Sure Thing,” released by Ruval Records. As an upcoming artist Toney Lee sought to develop his gift to sing by pursuing voice studies for two years at the Brooklyn Conservatory for Music. The 80’s quickly became a busy time for him. Utilizing what he acquired at Brooklyn Conservatory, musical artist Toney Lee, recorded and performed the Top 10 Dance Hit, “Reach Up” along with “Love So Deep.”

In addition, Toney Lee and Eric Matthew, went on to write and arrange the Top 20 Dance Single, “You Ain’t Really Down,” recorded by the group Status IV. This legendary dance single became a classic hit in Chicago’s vibrant house music community. As a 90’s artist, his artistic work led him to record vocals with Arthur Baker of BMG Music. He wrote and produced musical works for Status IV, Paula Brion, Special Blend, and his brother Arnie Love with Eugene Bussey.

In 1999 London based producers “Phats & Small,” sampled Lee’s voice and lyrics from “Reach Up” to produce the worldwide dance hit “Turn Around.” This single sold over 3.5 million records in addition to being classified as one of the greatest European Dance Records of 1999 and 2000. The song further succeeded to hit the top 5 charts in France, England, Belgium, and Netherlands. In November of 2019 Jason Phats of Phats & Small along with Jude Evans, presented him with a platinum record for his artistic sound and contribution for the hit record, “Turn Around.”

His gospel roots, together with his writing and producing experience, generated the release of his first contemporary gospel compilation cd entitled, “Heartfelt” in 2001. The LP collection included musical works such as, “A Woman’s Love,” “Grandma (Our Hero),” and “Tell It,” which were released on his own independent record label, Total Success Records International.

Later he would go on to write contemporary gospel hits, “Get Up With Faith Every Day,” “On Point” and the new release “Don’t Stop Keep Rising,” sung by Toney and Status IV produced by Victor Simonelli. As a multifaceted artist, his  goal is to bring peace, love and understanding to those who experience his musical gifts. Through his love for music and inspirational messages he aspires to offer the world love and healing from a musical perspective.