Interview with Tony T.(Neil Antone Dyer)
The meeting with Tony T. took place Monday Oct.23rd 2006. I would like to say a big thank you to Tony T. for the great interview.
More infos about Tony T. www.myspace.com/nealantone
WebDjs: Where were you born?
Neil: I was born in London and grew up in New York. I came to Germany in 1986.
WebDjs: Were you musically influenced by your parents?
Neil: My mom used to sing. More Reagge though. She’s from Jamaika.
WebDjs: What kind of music where you influenced by during your youth/what did you listen to?
Neil: Actually everything. I always liked music. When I was 5 years old, I received a guitar as a gift and I started to play Elvis songs on it. But I would say, that every style of music has somehow influenced me.
WebDjs: What kind of education did you receive?
Neil: I studied to be a painter and varnisher
WebDjs: How did you get to Dance Master Records?
Neil: I was a DJ in a disco in Duisburg and that’s where I met Kowatsch. He was a guest. Kowatsch came up to me and showed me his music samples that he had done. He asked me if I would like to join in. I turned down the offer because I thought that the samples sounded too boring and therefore wouldn’t interest anyone. He then asked me if I had any knowledge in producing. Kowatsch then invited me to his studio and so we recorded some songs together.
WebDjs: How much input were you allowed to give during the production?
Neil: Usually just for the lyrics and the things that I wrote myself. We also got some pieces of music that I had to revise and I’m very good at that. I immediately hear it if something doesn’t sound right.
WebDjs: Did you write most of the rap parts yourself?
Neil: Yes, all of them.
WebDjs: How many different singers did you have for DMR?
Neil: I can’t really say. Everytime I went to the studio, the titel was already finished, including the female vocal part. I just needed to write the rap and sing.
WebDjs: How did Jay Babe join DMR?
Neil: Through me. I met her while I was working for DMR. One day, I just took her with me. I wrote “What’s going on” for Jay Babe. Unfortunately that was never mentioned in the inlay. If things like that woudn’t of happened, I would of earned money.
WebDjs: How did you get in contact with Fulvio Zafret?
Neil: We met through Carsten Kowatsch. We were constantly driving down to Italy and I sang a few songs. The first couple times I didn’t get payed. The third time I approached Zafret about the money and he told me, that he had given the money to Kowatsch and he should of payed me. He then said, I should be there when we receive the money. And I got payed. After that, I told Carsten off.
WebDjs: How was it working with Zafret?
Neil: He’s great. What he can bring out of music is pure magic. He’s a very kind and honest person.
WebDjs: Can you describe a day at Zafrets’ studio?
Neil: With him you’re in good hands and his studio is awesome. I really like his music, so it was no problem writing the lyrics. This is how it works for me; if the music’s good the lyrics just come flowing naturally. That’s my talent.
WebDjs: How did you get the idea for a new version of “Bruce&Bongo – Geil”?
Neil: Mark Oh gave me a call and wanted to know, if I would do the rap part to the song. So I went to the studio and recorded the rap. That was a classic commission. ;)
WebDjs: How many live performances did you already do with different acts/projects?
Neil: 1994 we started performing live with Beat System and Night People. During the year we had about 100 performances. We also shot some videos for Night People but believe me, the idea and the whole concept of it was really bad.
WebDjs: Which one, would you say, was the most successful project that you where involved in?
Neil: That would be “Fresh” from Beat System. The single would have had even more success, if the producers wouldn’t of distributed the song onto thousands of samplers. Unfortunately they just wanted to make fast money. As I noticed that, I resigned at Dance Master Records.
WebDjs: In which countries did you perform (maybe even in Switzerland)?
Neil: Yes, we had performances in Switzerland, France, Germany and Austria.
WebDjs: Did you enjoy shooting the videos for Beat System?
Neil: Oh yes, shooting the videos was great fun.
WebDjs: Are you still in contact with some people (producers, acts) from that time?
Neil: It’s funny – no I’m not. The reason for it may be, that I enjoy working on my own. I really don’t need anyone by my side from that time period.
WebDjs: Do you have positive or negative mermories from that time period?
Neil: Actually I took some very good memories with me looking back at it. Especially the live performances. It just gave me some peace of mind performing infront of an audience. That’s what I need. The people were always very satisfied with our gigs. I remember singing at an oper air concert in Germany infront of 104’000 people. That was awesome. The concerts in France were great too. I remember one concert, were the people even wanted a piece of my hair as a souvenir.
WebDjs: How long did you work for Dance Master Records?
Neil: From 1994 till 1996.
WebDjs: What did you do after that?
Neil: II went back to work. I had to survive somehow. I did lots of office jobs and I also worked as a singing/–and dance teacher. I still do some of it.
WebDjs: What do you do today?
Neil: I sing at the Diamonds Club in Collogne and in small cafès and bistros with different bands. But my biggest wish would be to have a own band, that supports me. I would love to compose my own music.
WebDjs: What does your future look like?
Neil: If God will let me live long enough, my future should look very bright. If you have worked towards a goal for a long time and you can finally see the light, but you know that your goal isn’t achieved yet, you have to consider what you still need to do, to get there. And then you have to take the steps and move on. The most important thing is, that one stays motivated to work on yourself. No matter if it’s in singing, rap or acting. My advantage is, that I have a lot of talent in all these areas and I don’t want to keep it just for me. I would like to share it . It’s important to me to be productive in all of these fields. It’s means a lot to me that I can work in all of these areas and be able to present them. You only live once. The world can be expecting a lot from me.
WebDjs: Thank you very much for the interview.
Neil: You’re welcome.