Tonik Slam a.k.a., Got Loonch? or Scrawny Tony, was born August 9th, 1989 in Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains. At the age of 9, Tonik was introduced to the world of Hip-Hop when he first heard 2PAC's, "All Eyes On Me." Inspired by the passion and energy, a young Tonik began his journey to learn more about this music.
Growing up in Yekaterinburg or better known as "YBC," Tony started to grow into the Hip-Hop lifestyle. Furthermore, he excelled in school, especially in English and Literature. Tonik Slam, as known in the streets of YBC, fell in love with break-dancing and basketball. It was at this time in his life that he began to write lyrics and began feelin' the vibes of his city.
Tonik's natural ability to rhyme and song create, combined with his knowledge of English created an emcee like none other. In high school, Tonik began to perform at house parties and disco's to perfect his talents, all while immersing himself in the Hip-Hop culture. Like many young rappers, Tonik faced some tragedies during his young life and with the loss of both parents, music became his only love.
During the 1990's, there were not too many studios in Yekaterinburg, so there was no other way for Tonik but to utilize what he had; a LG Karaoke Mic, a pop filter, and computer speakers. His close friend and homie, Wizzard hooked him up with beats for his unreleased album, "Dream$ & Sounds", and showed him how to record and edit in the software program, Cool Edit Pro. Tonik Slam was grinding hard in his home lab and soon after, started mixing his own stuff. His cousin Stas was a leader of a local Rock band "B.C.B.", so when he listened to Tonik's demos he gave him a studio mic Rode NT3.
Tonik's musical career began when him and his camp, which included PooakaW (a very talented engineer from a Rap group "The Brotherhood of the Smoke"), performed in their first big show in YBC (December 21st 2006). Their crew had decided to build a label and in the beginning, many label mates brought their equipment and talents to the table. This collaboration formed, "Подстанция Rec"(Substation Records). All of the members were young unsigned artists with unique styles from different parts of the city, ready to take it over. They did commercials for products and venues and even birthday songs(they recorded a birthday song for, Pavel Datsyuk). Nevertheless, they did whatever it took to get by.
While touring with Substation Rec., Tonik Slam began working on his solo project and recording his own songs. In 2007, he went to San Diego, California where his mission was to record in American studios and make connections. That's when he met producer and studio owner, Justin "Jay Wat" Watson. It was during one of Tonik's recording sessions where he met local San Diego rappers, Judah Christ & VandiT. Jay Wat saw a talent in the young rappers and taught them how to record in the studio. All of them collaborated on a track called "International Talk", which was produced and released on Jay Wat's compilation CD "HOOD NATION: Collections of Life & Time Vol. 1"(2007). When Tonik returned to his home town, he continued to work on his music and run his record label with his crew.
Tonik began using the alias, Got Loonch?, and in the streets of YBC, hunger on the Rap scene quickly shadowed him into a beef with a local artist, Supa Step. The two soon squashed their differences and began to work together. They founded a small studio "Royal Music" with the help of Tonik's good friend D.Larin to record local artists and soon began getting money. Supa Step started producing beats for Got Loonch? and soon after they were making demos in the lab.
Staying committed to the underground, Tonik and his crew invented a sound that no one could compete with and released their first CD, "Dolbit Surala," in 2009. Later that year, they dropped the 2nd album, "IRON BEE" and hosted a very successful album release party that included performances and robots on stage. They also began running an urban clothing brand, "PONICA" and opened up big shows for famous Rap artists such as ONYX, Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan, and XZIBIT.
At the same time, Tonik Slam had always been working, producing songs and shooting videos with many artists from his city like Rik, Voice of the Suburbs, and Yes a.k.a. Johnny De Vice who introduced him 2 a young and gifted beatmaker Strain Beatz. They made videos "Mounsta", "Jeffrey" & "Git Home".
In 2010, Got Loonch? checked his email, and found an invitation to submit a track for a worldwide songwriting contest, "Show Me the Music." Tonik made a song titled, "Show Me the Music" featuring DJ Chinmachine, Kristina K & Papa Layan. Aiming for 1st place, the song only managed to get in the finals. Juxtapose to the decision of the judges, Tonik thought he should have taken the top spot with such a nice song. This didn't let him down, though and so he printed 100 hard copies of his EP "Before Cold," which dropped November 11th, 2011.
The 3rd release off the label, "GRADER" came out in early 2011. It created a buzz in YBC and opened new doors and attracted more fans. The crew performed in all the Hip-Hop clubs in Yekaterinburg and performed shows in many cities across the country. One day, he received a myspace message from SUN (G-Unit/Infamous/Zoo-life) saying that he had liked Tonik's songs. So, after a short negotiation they made 3 tracks, "Need 2 E.A.T.", "It's Been a Long Mission"(2008) and "Streets".
Tonik maintained communication with Jay Wat over the years and Jay was willing to help him with his project. Soon after, Tonik visited the westcoast once again to promote his EP, "Hell-A-Cold." While in San Diego, Tonik was introduced to Chauncey Maynor, an R&B singer and Young Dub, a westcoast rapper out of California. On a quest to feature some of Hip-Hop's best artists, Tonik and Jay Wat flew to Detroit, M.I. in hopes to work with Eminem and Royce da 5'9 but without success.
However, Tonik had incomplete songs with no hooks, and "Loaded" was one of them. Tonik realized that no other artist would be a better feature than westcoast hip hop legend, hook master and Guinness Book of World Records holder for most featured recording artist, the Legendary Kokane. Tonik's next move was to get at the legend for a feature. He searched for Koka's twitter account where he found his booking information. 10 minutes later they were talking on the phone. After sending out the demo, Tonik received the song with Kokane on it the very next day. He couldn't believe it was happening…for real.
They collaborated on 7 joints for "Hell-A-Cold," including features by Kurupt on tracks like, "Swimmin' Wit Sharks" & "Heaven Ain't My Road." It seemed like Tonik Slam had all the missing fragments to finish his debut album. Tonik Slam & Kokane recorded more than 20 songs in less than a year and "Hell-A-Cold" was then mixed(by PooakaW) and put out Oct. 31st 2013 on iTunes, Amazon and many other online stores. This was a perfect opportunity for Tonik Slam to go to California one more time to promote his music and record new songs.
When he touched down in LAX, he hit up Kokane, and westcoast rapper Koka invited Tonik to come out to his video shoot with E-40. Two weeks later, Tonik Slam & Jay Wat were heading to LA to meet Kokane for the first time. The video shoot was interesting and exciting. The production scenes took place in a warehouse and the crew was treated to catered food and alcoholic beverages. Tonik met rap groups like, BUD E. BOY Entertainment and westcoast legends like Cold 187um from "Above the Law," Big2DaBoy Compton, BAD AZZ from DPG, and DJ Battlecat. It was an unforgettable day and everybody had a great time.
In December 2013, Got Loonch? flew to Seattle, Washington to hit the lab with producer, Dr. Kokastien. This was there first time working in the studio together and the chemistry was dope. They recorded 9 songs in 3 days and named the upcoming release, "The Kemistry." Next, they caught a plane to Ontario, C.A. to prepare for Kokane's release-party of his classic new album, "Shut the F Up & Cut da Checc."
Shortly after that, Tonik Slam &YBCG's rocked the stage at the "Serial Killers" show on April 10th, 2014.
Right now, Tonik Slam is working hard on the new and fresh collection, "Grown in YBC" off his clothing line "PONICA," along with a mixtape and a solo LP off his new label "Cakestation." Furthermore, Tonik Slam is putting the last touches on the joint album with Kokane called, "The Kemistry," which is set to be released in the spring of 2015.
To be continued...
Tonik Slam’s tracks