If you ask Tonja to recall her earliest vocal performance she would take you back to a little blonde haired, blue eyed girl singing “Jesus on the Mainline.” From the first time that three year old little girl stepped on stage to sing with her Daddy and his gospel quartet, anyone who knew Tonja would tell you that music was her destiny. While growing up Tonja and her dad would travel to every homecoming, family reunion and revival they could get to and share their love of God and music to all who listened.
Hailing from the not so big town of Pinetown, North Carolina, it didn’t take Tonja long to become a local favorite, and by the time she graduated from high school Tonja had traveled all over Eastern North Carolina singing with her dad as well as entering and winning several talent competitions. Tonja has a musical gift that has taken her from the stages of hometown churches to auditoriums, amphitheaters and everything in between.
It was her love of performing and a hope of pursuing a career in music that gave Tonja the courage to move to Nashville and chase her dreams. Fueled by the love and support of her family she packed up and began the journey. Tonja quickly realized the ups and downs that go along with trying to break into the music business. No stranger to hard work she concentrated on developing her skill as a vocalist and though she fought it at first, fell in love with the art of songwriting.
For Tonja writing is not just about the next big hit, it is much more personal than that. “I want my words to touch people’s hearts,” Tonja says, “I want my songs to have a positive effect on people and give them exactly what they need when they need it. It’s that kind of emotional connection with my audience that keeps me loving what I do!" Tonja celebrated an important milestone in her music career in 2008 when she signed her first publishing deal with Identical Entertainment. Though she still has to pinch herself on occasion to see if this is all real, Tonja is very excited about her future with Identical and feels so blessed to have a team that believes in her like they do at Identical Entertainment.
If you ask Tonja what music means to her she would say this, “Music is part of my yesterday, my today, and God willing…my tomorrows”. Thankful for the blessing of this opportunity Tonja reflects on her favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
As she always has, Tonja continues to put her hope and trust in Him and looks forward to a long and successful career in the music business! .....