A Storm Is Coming: Our Conversation with StormmxTony
StormmXTony is a dynamic duo in their early twenties comprised of Sean Stormm and Tony Roz. The group’s sound is a fun mix of reggae and dancehall, mixed in with tinges of afrobeats looming presence. The duo are both west african, with Sean Stormm hailing from Nigeria and Tony Roz being Ghanaian. The group was established in the Washington D.C. area, where they have garnered a fan base through a mix of their music and community outreach to the people in the area.
Were the two of you always musically inclined or was it something you picked up?
STORMM: I’ve always been somewhat musically inclined because of the influence of family and friends that participated in musical festivities. So essentially, I’ve always had an ear for it, from being around it so much. But it wasn’t until recently that I decided to explore my musical abilities.
TONY: Music was a part of my daily life growing up. I remember when my dad first bought his big surround sound speakers. He would play music so loud that the whole house could hear it. Music from Lauryn Hill, Celine Dion, to the late Michael Jackson. I believe this channeled my interest, but over time as I became a student of music my interest became broader. So in a way, I say that I have always been musically inclined because that’s where my gifts are.
Who would you say inspires you musically?
STORMM: A lot of artists inspire me musically it’s a very diverse list of people. A few to mention are Major e, Celine Dion, Mumford and Sons, Elton John, UB40, and many more. I derive my inspiration from these all, but I could not simply list them all.
TONY: Many different artists inspire me including Chris Brown, Maroon 5, Otis Redding, Brian McKnight, Usher, Robin Thicke, Romeo Santos and many more.
The first single, “Up” has been bubbling since its release and has even gotten some play on local radio
stations. How did that record come about?
According to the duo’s manager Lluo, “The song ‘Up’ was an original piece that started with Stormm before Tony came on board. Tony wanted to sing one of the songs Sean had written before, but Sean presented “Up” which was in the preliminary stages at that point. They sat down together until we got the final piece that is here today.”
[StormmXTony takes over on the retelling at this point]
Once the writing process was finished we decided that the next step was to record it at its best quality. So, we got our money together and shopped around for a good studio that gave us the time of day since we were amateurs at this point. We found one right in our own city that was affordable while still being state of the art, and they had the patience and time to work with us. So “Up” was our very first baby and our very first attempt in entering any type of studio, whatsoever. We are just glad that we started doing it right, from the beginning.
Does both of your African backgrounds have an influence on your music?
Yes and no. Yes, because our cultural backgrounds influences our music in a distinctive way. Our outlook and approach changes how we want to see ourselves and how we want to be seen by others who listen. No, it’s not African, only because there is a tendency for African artists to narrow their artistic abilities to the people that surround them. With StormmXTony, our aim is to go above and beyond and create that cultural assimilation which is already a mixture of so many different genres.
Do you plan on developing more songs with an afrobeats sound?
No, we plan on exploring different sounds because there is so much out there to tap into. To have just an afro beats sound that comes naturally, would be living below the expectations of our art.
How was hosting and performing at Tribefecta?
Tribefecta was big for us. It’s the event that kicks off the summer. Without it, summer isn’t done right. That was the perfect platform to launch our song that gives off summer vibes. Performing there was definitely worth the hard work we put in. We had fun performing, and the people there enjoyed the show that we put on for them.
Your performances come equipped with dancers, models, smoke grenades–the whole 9
yards. Why is performance art so important to you guys?
Our performances are what we thrive on because it is not enough, just making the music for you to listen to, visuals are needed to enhance the experience. And that’s why we go the extra mile. Its to give the audience an experience with our music. Not just to listen to.
To learn more about StormmXTony and to hear more of their music visit https://www.stormminthecity.com/