Published Jul 04, 2013Toronto rapper Tona took a breather after putting out 2009's Direct Deposit with producer Lyve, but he is wasting no time following up the newly released Silverspring Crescent. The album is the Scarborough native's first official full-length offering in nearly four years, but as he points out to Exclaim!, his next album is nearly complete and scheduled for an autumn release.
"It'll be different," he promises of the tentatively titled Carpe Diem. "I reached for producers I've been wanting to work with for a while. I got Paperboy Fabe in the U.S.; he's a Grammy Award-winning producer [Ledisi, Game, Jay Rock and Cyhi Da Prynce], and he's real dope."
While both Direct Deposit and Silverspring Crescent employed a one-producer model (Lyve and Rich Kidd, respectively), Carpe Diem will allow fans to hear Tona over a range of producers' styles. However, Kidd will still contribute in the form of Tona's most personal track to date, "My Struggle."
"As vulnerable as rappers don't like to sound, I don't give a fuck," says Tona of the song. "I needed to get everything out on that, and I got everything out. So much shit between family and lifestyle. It was a crazy year for me [in 2012], and I put it all on that song.
"It's not formatted for radio, but it'll be pushed out first. I want to bring people in to how I feel. I don't care how it makes me look. There's a lot of emotion. When people hear it, especially family members, they're not gonna like it. They're not going to understand where it's coming from, but it's coming from a place that was real."
Sprinkled with skits and more varied in terms of beats, Carpe Diem will be longer and project a grander conceptual swing than the 37-minute Silverspring.
"This album coming in the fall is going to sound well-rounded, completely different than Silverspring Crescent. Sonically, it's going to take it to another level," says Tona, who recently landed a marketing and distribution deal with Sony U.S.-based label RED through hip-hop vet Billy Danze (M.O.P.).
"My challenge now is bridging the gap between here and there," maintains Tona. "Sony in the U.S. is helping me do that. They asked me where I wanted to target my music, and I said there's so many places, let's not just focus on one. Germany, Amsterdam, anywhere. Once the world tunes in, they'll understand it's universal music."
Carpe Diem is still without an official release date, but Silverspring Crescent is still fresh; watch the video for the album's "Nympho" below.