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TOMI: Serving His Country While Serving Up Soul

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It is said that we must “do what we have to do to do what we want to do”. This is the case with KN Jamz Entertainment artist, Tomi. Tomi, who is an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard, is making his mark as a top Soul/R&B vocalist on the Independent Music scene. He is equally passionate about his service to his country and his music, and he does what is needed to make it work.

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Tomi is no stranger to the music industry. This prolific songwriter and singer’s professional music career started in 1991, when he landed a gig singing background for Jive Records’ platinum selling vocal group, Hi-Five. Eventually, his talent caught the attention of Mark Anthony Morales (better known as Prince Markie Dee) and Corey Rooney, and he was recruited to become a member of Soul Convention in 1994.

During his time with Soul Convention, Tomi wrote and sang background for Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, 3T, Ms. Jones, Joe, Hassan and Craig Mack to name a few. He also received opportunities to do reference traks and writing for Trauma Unit, and with Trauma Unit, he wrote and referenced for Usher Raymond. He remained with Soul Convention until 1998.

In 2000, Tomi married and moved to Maryland. Faced with the need to have a more steady income to support his wife and family, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. His loyalty and service to the Coast Guard may have slowed him down, but it did not totally diminish his pursuit of a career in the music industry. In his free time, he started a clothing line and also managed a new group, Definite.

In 2007, he was presented with an opportunity to co-write material to be presented for an upcoming Carl Tomas project with his cousin, world renowned drummer/composer/producer Kevin Harrington, whose credits include stints as Music Director for Freddie Jackson, Associate Music Director for Queen Esther Marrow’s Harlem Gospel Singers, and drummer for Nona Hendrix (LaBelle), Chico Debarge and Stanley Turrentine. After completing two traks, the opportunity was rescinded. Kevin recognized how powerful Tomi’s vocals were on the references and suggested that they take those traks and begin to produce Tomi’s first solo project. Tomi agreed.

TOMI's debut project ALL FOR YOU was first released in 2010, at the same time that he was deployed to the Middle East on active duty. Harrington promoted the project in the absence of the artist, and it picked up momentum in the United Kingdom. The sleeper hit HUSTLIN’ was ranked #7 on Soulsorts Top 25 Songs of 2010.

When Tomi returned to the U.S., a music video was shot for the single FUSS OR FIGHT and the CD was re-released in 2012. The project experienced resurgence in the UK and gained momentum in the U.S. FUSS OR FIGHT was awarded Song Award Gold by BEAT 100 in the UK. The video by the same name was awarded BEAT100’s Video Award Bronze and Favourite Award Silver. The video also received an Indie Music Channel Award nomination for Best R&B Video, while the trak HUSTLIN’ was nominated for Best R&B Recording and Best R&B Producer. The recent release of his second music video, WHERE DID WE GO WRONG has created major buzz on BEAT100, YouTube & Exposed Vocals.

Tomi’s career continues to soar on the strength of his first project, and he is just getting started. A new CD is in the works, and plans are being made for an appearance in the UK this summer. Balancing service to his country and a music career is a daunting task, but Tomi is doing what he has to do to serve his country while serving up soul! ALL FOR YOU can be purchased online at all major digital distribution platforms including Amazon.com, CD Baby, and Spotify.

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