R&B vocalist Tiona Dee shines from NYC all the way to Atlanta

When it comes to the music industry, only the strong survive—point blank.  This notion is oftentimes true especially when it comes to Indie artists, who have to work and go the extra mile in an industry where look, sound, appeal and talent all matter. Being introduced to artist Tionna Dee is quite refreshing as the Buffalo native has a sound that is reminiscent of Ciara and her musical style and taste is surely a head turner and will have you nodding your head the second the beat drops. With roots in Buffalo, Dee made several geographical moves that have helped shape her musical journey. “I grew up in Buffalo and then moved to Columbus, Ohio and then to New York City and finally Atlanta.  Being in all those different cities molded who I am as an adult. My music comes from the places I’ve been and people I’ve met.” said Dee. Alongside grinding really hard in the music industry, Dee has had the opportunity to display her musical talents by performing for some very powerful individuals in the political world. It was in 2001 where a pivotal moment happened for Dee, when she performed for the swearing in celebration of Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton in the Madison Square Garden Theatre. “It was a really cool experience. My mother used to work for the legislature and they were looking for a choir originally and she was able to help me with that.  Meeting Hillary and Bill was a cool experience.” Dee said. Dee admits that if she could change one thing about her experience during that pivotal moment in her career, it would be to sing background for Billy Joel who also performed on the same stage as her. With her origin being in the East Coast and making the transition to the Southern music scene, one would wonder how Dee made the transition smoothly being the two different dynamics from a music standpoint. “It’s a different dynamic. There’s so much talent in Atlanta and its very different compared to New York City. You are also dealing with more businesses in Atlanta and more people to network with.” Alongside a beautiful personality and appearance, Tionna Dee’s music matches her personality.  Her track “Running Backwards” tells the romantic story of how sometimes it’s truly hard to move forward when it comes to the game of love.  Regardless if you’re male or female, anyone can relate to the song and that’s exactly how she wants it. “This song really spoke to me. You can’t go back to something that isn’t there anymore when you run backwards.” said Dee. She is no stranger to getting inspired by other artists in the industry whether national or Indie recording artists. Ask her what’s currently on her Ipod, Dee will quickly tell you it’s many of the artists she has worked with in the past including Dirty Diana, a New York based rapper, Westside Gun, Mocha Black, Dread Head Boys of Atlanta and plenty more. “I’ve also worked with some great producers. I would like to work with Brian Michael Cox, Rico Love, Rock City and many of the other local producers who are not as well known and does some really dope stuff. I’m always looking to collaborate.” said Dee. To put the icing on the cake for Tiona Dee, she has branded herself as more than just an artist. She is also a budding entrepreneur when she decided to merge her love for photography and community development together with her organization, Tuff Diamonds. “I was in Atlanta and I wanted to do something more than just being an artist. Tuff Diamonds is a way for us women to talk more about being ourselves instead of what we need.” The motive behind Tuff Diamonds is to get more women to learn to love their selves despite of what society says. Dee takes a picture of a young lady who will then tell what she loves about herself and what makes her unique. In turn, Dee will then showcase the photo on Tuff Diamonds blog site. According to Dee, “It’s a way of embracing ourselves as women. Some of the things I’ve done with the organization includes a business card exchange, gone to women’s and homeless shelters and helped women create vision boards of what they’d want their first apartment to look like once they leave the shelter.” As a look back over her career and lifespan it’s unarguable that Dee has made a quite significant impact both in the music industry and the community.  One thing is for certain and that’s Dee is quite humble and has never forgotten her roots of how she got started. With the wealth of knowledge she has gained in the music industry, Dee admits if she could go back in time for when her career first began, advice she would give her younger self would be to not give up. “I would tell my younger self to keep going, not give up and network. It’s hard to stay focused and stay encouraged so I would also say to have an honest team around you and don’t stop.” Tiona Dee’s music journey is steadily rising to the top and she has an ample future ahead of her in the music industry that will certainly go noticed.  She is currently busy working to launch her new website in which fans will be able to interact with her at www.tionadee.com. In addition, you can stay connected with her via Instagram @tionadee. -Samantha Pounds