Often times in life hear we the famous quote “When life gives you lemon’s make lemonade“, but what if you took those same lemons and planted seeds instead?
Time and time again we hear about the talent erupts for the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana such as Boosie Badazz, Webbie, NBA Youngboy, Fredo Bang and many more, but emerging from the shadows of the next-door neighborhood of Gonzales, Louisiana is quite the promising star by the soon to be familiar name, Team Toon.
Born Tion-Shai Domio in the small city of Gonzales, Louisiana, Toon’s story is unique within its own way and empowers those who may feel stagnant or lost for hope within their dreams and lives. Toon began building her musical career while in high-school and growing a fan base on the once popular social media giant, Myspace and her connection within her hometown, community and surrounding cities.
After being submitted into charity contest hosted by Cinematic Music Group CEO Jonnyshipes where artist could submit donations to have their music heard and reviewed by the major music mogul live via Instagram. Out of all artist that were played, Team Toon was the artist to win over Shipes and also struck a singles deal with Cinematic.
“Toon’s songwriting stood out to me. Out of all the artists I listened to that night, I could tell Toon took her craft as serious as any of them from the level of songwriting” – Jonnyshipes
Readying to leave mark and chase after her dreams, we spoke with Toon on exactly how she plans to turn her lemon’s into an orchard, her thirst is much larger to quench just simply a glass of lemonade. Our conversation, lightly edited for context and clarity, follows below.
For those who don’t know what is it like growing up in Gonzales, Louisiana?
Growing up in Gonzales is like 15 minutes from Baton Rouge, so we really don’t have a Boosie or Webbie from around our way. Of course We have influencers and people we look up to and influences us but to have somebody from our hometown to look up and have a dream we don’t have allot of superstars out our city, we probably have one NFL star out our city, but we don’t have much to look upon out here. I just want to be that reason bro. i just want to get through the door and be that reason and show them we can be that.
Where did your inspiration from music come from?
I was really 5 years old. My momma and my daddy do music too, she sings and he plays the guitar so growing up music has always been in my house. I was adopted at 21 days old so I would say my vocals would come from just being around my adopted mother other than that I would say I don’t know where my vocals come from. I was 5 years old and dad had a drinking problem and we sat at the table and my mom would tell him “I don’t like you coming inside drunk at the table, you trippin'”, so I would just start rapping “Mama don’t like no drinking around the table” and they stopped fussin’. I took as a power like i make people chill out, i can make people calm down and as i grew up more people can relate to me so if you feel me, you feel me.
When did you know you wanted to pressure music as a full time career?
I want to say around 15.
What was it like building a fan base on Myspace, YouTube and performing at your school talent show’s at an early age?
Its crazy because at school they would know me for being funny and I would sit at the table and start singing or I would freestyle but to have a crowd I would say I’m not doing that and everyone would always say “You need to do a talent show, you need to do a talent show” so I was like cool and I did my first talent show in 7th grade and I won. It gave me a another feeling like they can vibe with with , and I sung one of my own songs so I was like if I can make the school vibe with me I know I can make the world vibe with me.
How did you start gaining momentum in Baton Rouge?
I would really stay out in the studio out there. and at the time I stayed by TBG studio’s where Fredo Bang and Gee Money would be. I just be rapping and singing and allot of people from BR would come by and be like “Let me get something” or “Let me get on a track” and from that I got to work with Gee Money, Fredo Bang, Boosie. I worked with allot of people from Baton Rouge and that’s also gave me a little edge cause they they think I’m from Baton Rouge but I’m from Gonzales its just so right there. Its a good feeling to step outside your city and get love from other cities
You threw your hat in the ring and jumped onto Jonny Shipes Instagram Live where he was hosting a charity contest to get your music heard and reviewed by the music veteran himself. how would you describe that feeling?
That’s crazy now I have a music partner who hit me up and said “I made a $20 donation for you and Shipes has your name pulled” and I was like alright and stared seeing all the talent on the roster and who all I was up against and id be damn she could sing or damn he can rap so we decided to to take it and tell all my supporters and they started spamming my name and Shipes was really on Simon Cowell because sh*t as he was making cuts, so by the time he got to me he was like “This is different”. To some its just a singles deal and means nothing probably but to me its everything because I done sold every type of dream so to really get this recognition from shipes is crazy because I done spammed him in my videos trying to get him to hear me out so him to finally catch an eye on me that’s dope, that sh*t different, it really made my city see too like its not no play play.
So how focused are you on this opportunity?
Man I’m so focused I’m grinding like I don’t even have the deal. I’m trying to do everything to the point where I gotta tell myself that I have to slow down like I’m doing to much but i feel like I’m not doing enough. so I’m moving as if I haven’t even talked to Jonny. Real talk.
So now that you’ve crossed this milestone in your career what’s next for Team Toon?
I have my biggest single of them all about to drop and from that I’m working on a project working after Emotions. my name is Tion I’m a person like I cant talk allot with words but with music i can ball it up and send it to you so I’m gonna give you all my emoTIONs. its way up. i want the world to hear me , this is beyond my city.
How do you want to expand and grow now that your dreams are unfolding right in front of you?
I want to one day pursue acting, I want to come back home a see a real recreational center with basket ball goals, tutoring, a recording studio and a gymnasium inside, I want a restaurant because I like to cook and show off my little razzle dazzle, I can see myself striking pose hear and there with a little modeling too.
Any last words or shout outs?
To anybody Chasing their dreams, you’re going to get tired of running
To anybody Chasing their dreams, you’re going to get tired of running but you got look back and think if you stop running right now then what are running for in the first place, You could be so close to the fish line so keep running. I Really feel like this situation with Shipes made me feel like anything is really possible because I’m one of those people that don’t really believe in wishing on a star. You got a dream chase it. Shout out Cinematic, shout out to DGB shout to my team Boss Clique and its only up from here.