Favourite 5

Favourite 5: The Twilite Tone Runs Down His Influences

Portraits: Christine Ciszczon

The Twilite Tone is no stranger to the music industry – a veteran of working with Common and No I.D., Gorrilaz on Humanz, Kanye‘s Mercy, and he earned three Grammy nominations for Love In The Future from John Legend –  and his debut solo album has been a long time coming. Tone is clear that he considers genres and pigeonholing divisive, and that his music should very much be taken at its own face value.

Growing up in a musical household, it was inevitable that when it came to choosing a favourite five tracks for Bonafide that they’d be dripping in legacy.

“[It was] the evolution of the Chicago dance music scene, as well as the evolution of underground hip-hop here, that pushed me to seek, find and ultimately create the perfect beats, rhymes, style and life around who I am authentically.” – The Twilite Tone

The MPC-driven beats of The Clearing (out October 9th) lay Tone’s life out in stages, interspersed with sci-fi motifs and personal meaning. He says of the album, “The Clearing is a space and place of being free. We need to clear the debris from the desk and see the mahogany wood, so we can do the work.  I don’t just want to talk, I want to do the work.”

Kick back and enjoy some history with The Twilite Tone’s favourite five influences.


Pre-order The Cleaning on vinyl and digital on Bandcamp.

Abraham Hicks – Morning Rampage

My number 1 on the list is the Morning Rampage. This is meditation that I practiced for the last four years until finally crafting a meditation of my own. Just add water, apply this to your life, and watch the growth.

Weather Report – River People

This group has always spoken to me from a young age. They really motivated and inspired me to push the envelope and go beyond boundaries set by genre or category. This is one of my favorite songs by Weather Report and always makes me feel like I am taking off into another dimension.

Richard Pryor and Maya Angelou – Beyond The Bar 

This sketch is simply an emotional roller coaster ride and always touches me. From the brave and vulnerable introspective comedy of Sir Richard Pryor to the heartfelt declaration of authentic internal “tug of war” love vs. hate struggle articulated by Lady Maya Angelou. This is sheer genius from beginning to end.

Herbie Hancock – Rockit

This one is from Chicago royalty, living legend and musical enlightenment in the form of the great Herbie Hancock. There are so many songs by Mr. Hancock I could have chosen that represent forward thinking brilliance and paradigm shifts in that said time and space that song or project was released. I chose this one because of the impact it had me in my adolescence, encouraging me as a dancer, a DJ and yes, ultimately a producer.

Herbie chose to work with Grandmixer DXT[DST] resulting in epiphany causing magic in the form of music, performance and culture. Also, It just always makes me smile//snicker when Herbie comes through the crowd sporting his keyboard and red Members Only-like jacket.

Lena Horne, Diana Ross and The Cast Of The Wiz – Home

This clip from the iconic movie The Wiz featuring the lady supreme Lena Horne is the summation of the film and what I believe wholeheartedly. The whole time Dorothy//we//humans go outside of ourselves to find our salvation or our savior[[[The Wiz]]. We often overthink and complicate life by creating this incredible elaborate journey [story] when she//we//humans had everything we needed within the whole time.

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