Our Discover feature highlights artists from multiple genres so that you always have new music to add to your playlists!
Hailing from Ghana Africa, Kwame Nantwi’s name, “Tona”, was given to him because of his distinctive tone of voice and his unique style that transcends the typical boundaries of the hip- hop genre.
In 2005, Tona launched his own licensing company, Da District Entertainment, as a tribute to his home district of Scarborough, Ontario. “Hip hop in Scarborough feels like the foundation of the culture to me” says Tona on his Facebook page, he continues to say, “You couldn’t go no where in our city and not interact with it some how. Even if you didn’t understand it, it was there – the music, the streets, the culture. I love my city for that.” Tona has had five major releases on the label.
The production in Tona’s catalogue encompasses influences from old school hip-hop, as well as a fresh sound similar to new underground electro hip hop. In 2014, Tona’s catalogue included being placed on the Polaris Music Prize Long List for his politically conscious driven album with “The Freedom Writers”. Recently, Tona was the recipient of a Juno award for “Best Rap Recording” in 2015 which happens to be one of Canada’s top honors.
In addition to these credentials, Tona was also a winner of the Sirius XM Radio Indies Award for “Best Rap Group of the Year” as part of the collective “Naturally Born Strangers”. The award is one that recognizes achievements in the urban music scene in Canada. His track “Dial Tone”, off the ‘Don’t Holla’ EP, earned him a Stylus Award nomination as well.
Tona has shared the stage with the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Redman & Method Man, EPMD, The Legendary Roots Crew, Black Milk, Crazy Legs of the monumental Rocky Steady B-boy Crew, Brooklyn’s Masta Ace, Kardinal Offishall, Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, Saukrates, Large Professor, etc.
His entrepreneurial spirit, sharp-witted, and metaphorical rhymes make him one of the best players on the rise. If you’re a fan of Jay-Z and Kardinal Offishall, you’ll enjoy what Tona has to offer.