Some of Tone Stanza’s greatest influences include live performances, broadcast a/v recordings and productions, and literature featuring flavors of Hiphop, Rock, Funk, Soul, Folk, R&B, Pop, Metal, Comedy, Politics, Mechanics, Sports and Spirituality. Through exposure to these areas of human expression, much of Stanza’s styles were formed. As a elementary school age child, Tone could be found listening to his music collection, or intently following a radio broadcast, waiting to press record on his boombox to add another hit to his latest mixtape. A natural performer, he was always learning artists’ materials and performing it back in front of family and friends, whether it was singing or rapping a hit song or performing bits from a popular stand-up comedian’s latest set or a scene from a movie.
As an adolescent and young adult, Tone began seriously honing his craft of writing and performing, coinciding with an intentional delving into the world of other music and performance art genres he was not accustomed, including Standards, Classical, Blues, Country, Jazz, and Poetry. In high school he was known as the fine arts guru. At the annual fine arts gala Tone could be seen running between playing drums in the pit for a theatre production, and singing on stage in jazz, show, swing and concert chorus pieces, and standing by his stain glass or other works in the gallery displays. He could also be seen playing drums at ball games and pep rally’s, and rhyming and keeping percussion during impromptu freestyle sessions at the lunch table. Tone was almost always listening to music, he was known as that kid who wears the big headphones.
Right after high school, Tone bought a mini cassette tape recorder from Radio Shack and began recording himself sing and rhyme. It was in part through listening to the playback of these cassettes he was able to improve as a writer and performance artist. Young adulthood marked the beginning of Stanza’s journey as a professional performing artist. Since then, he has lived, worked and studied in dozens of different places such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Milwaukee Wisconsin. From his art, the observer can absorb an enormous amount of life experience channeled through the pen, delivered through song, poem, and performance art. Tone earned his Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2019, and Bachelor of Science in Communication from Carroll University in 2022.