Writing her own rhymes and poetry since childhood, by the age of 15, Tonya had made her debut as one-half of the amateur rap duo Divine. Tonya and her best friend, Shurhea Mitchell were regulars on the Kansas City talent show circuit, along with fellow KC rapper Tech 9, winning a trip to perform at the BRE Convention in New Orleans, LA., and opening for major recording artists. They were offered a recording contract in 1989 with JDK records in NY and briefly moved to Queens to record. Tonya’s father, who was managing the duo at the time, felt the contract wasn’t the right deal though and passed on it. It would be several more years before Tonya would return to music as Sole’. By 1992 Tonya had become a single mother of 2 daughters, in a dysfunctional relationship, attending college studying political science and psychology, but desiring more for her life. She decided once again to pursue her dream… a career in music and entertainment. In 1997 Tonya moved to Atlanta, where she landed a record deal with Tricky Stewart’s Red Zone Entertainment and Dreamworks Records.
Tonya, now known as Sole’, went on to release her gold selling debut album “Skin Deep” in September of 1999 which included a provocative marketing campaign featuring Sole’ semi nude, dipped in platinum paint. She also had a guest appearance on the song “Who Dat” by JT Money which sold over 1 million copies, was #1 on the Rap Singles Chart for 8 weeks and won “Rap Single of the Year” at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards. That same year, she was also nominated for “Rap Artist of the Year” and went on to win several ASCAP Music awards. Sole’ requested release from her record label and sophomore album, “Fly Away” was never released. During this time, Sole’ met R&B recording artist Ginuwine and was featured in his “None of Your Friends Business” music video. He was then featured on her hit single “It Wasn’t Me”.
In 2011, Sole’ began her entry back into the arena of entertainment by writing and recording new music, including a feature on “Naal Naachna”, an upbeat track on UK based Bhangra artist, Jassi Sidhu’s new album “Singing Between the Lines” and writing and being featured on “I’m a Model”, the opening song for Paul Wharton’s lifestyle show. In April 2012 Solé shot a music video with one of Ginuwine’s artist, PyRo. The song was titled “Make it hot” and the video was released via Youtube on June 30, 2012. She is currently (18 years after the release of her freshman album) working on her sophomore release with the help of Professor Griff from legendary Hip Hop Group Public Enemy and his band 7th Octave. It is her desire to show the evolution of who she is as a woman and leave a musical representation of that evolution and the level of consciousness she is vibrating on.
1999 | “Who Dat” – J.T. Money feat. Sole’
1999 | “It Wasn’t Me” – Sole’ feat. J. Weav and Ginuwine