TOVI KHALI began her journey at the tender age of nine. it was an english teacher who noticed she had a creative and passionate way of expressing herself that could reach even her peers. tovi began to find her voice after she was caught doing her own rendition, a more soulful version, of "jail house rock" in music class, the teacher put her in the talent show, she won first place that year, and for the next three years, she won talent shows all around town. she rewrote popular songs and performed them with her friends, but they soon quit because she was too obsessed with rehearsals. she also joined the choir at her church and began singing solo, writing songs, and write plays along with the other members.
in 1998 she began writing and singing hooks for then unknown rap artist in new orleans. she then relocated to los angeles the summer of 2000 to be where the music is, and to make a complete transition to full time artist.
in 2001 she not only wrote poetry, but began to perform it as well. attending workshops, open mics, and hosting her own open mic show called "the afta glow" a midnight to 4am after hour poetry spot in inglwood and inheriting another in 2002 "inner verse" at do boy's dozens in south central la.
wanting to take her performance to the next level, tovi began voice and artist development lessons with the one and only stephanie spruill, who helped bring out the voice inside of tovi that had been silenced by a difficult childhood.
in 2002-2003 tovi sang background vocals with titus fatso, an african dance instructor for the debbie allen dance academy where she graced the stage with george clinton and the funkadelic allstars who gave her permission to funk on.
so tovi became the front for a band called scunc (skunk), an original eclectic funk band where she writes the lyrics of a gritty funk singer in a "lee press on" world, sprinkled with a little spoken word.
in 2004 tovi returned to new orleans and began emceeing at the world famous old opera house, on bourbon street where louis armstrong used to jam with other local musicians. she impressed the owner so much until she rented the apartment above the nightclub to ensure she would be able to get to work. in her one year stay on bourbon street, tovi khali changed the way emcees grace the stages and the way women emcees are perceived on bourbon street.
in 2005 tovi left the bourbon street scene, and began emceeing for bigger venues, conferences, and featuring with dwayne doopsie and the zydeco hell-raisers for the 2005 french quarter festival and the 2005 new orleans jazz and heritage festival. tovi also began working at clear channel worldwide, new orleans, as a mobile traffic reporter, occassionally reporting on the air. just as tovi had found her place in radio, hurricane katrina came along and displaced her in chicago.
tovi khali now has two bands, "scunc" in los angeles , and "jen na sais quoi" in chicago.
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