Published on August 1st, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Tony Touch: Preserving The Culture


Let’s start off by talking this new documentary, ‘Mixtape,’ on Paramount+ — How did you even become involved?

Stretch Armstrong set up a meeting with me and the guys who produced the Stretch and Bobbito film (‘Radio That Changed Lives’). The original idea was to highlight me recreating a 50 MCs project. I then began to incorporate other DJs in the scene, like Doo Wop, Kid Capri, Ron G…it snowballed from there.

When it came to curating its companion piece soundtrack, what all exactly went into the process of selecting not only the artists but the song choices as well?

I had access to use anything from the Def Jam catalog; beats and artists (past and present). It was a no brainer, and I used my past formula from The Piece Maker albums and 50 MCs project.

Why do you feel that the “mixtape” was such an integral piece of the overall Hip Hop puzzle?

At a time when there was no internet and hardly any Hip Hop on the radio globally, this movement helped catapult Hip Hop into the mainstream.

50 MCs was one of the best in the mixtape genre — What prompted your decision to make this a part of your own collection of entries?

After Doo Wop dropped 95 Live…with about 20 emcees on the intro…I knew I had to step up and add onto the movement.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Joseph Hernandez?

Born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. It was a melting pot of race, color and culture. I quickly fell in love with Hip Hop through dancing (breaking). As a young B-Boy, I quickly became fascinated with all the elements of the culture; Deejaying, Emceeing, Breaking, etcetera.

Now you’re a native of Brooklyn, New York, correct? So growing up in the “Breukelen,” who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

My musical influences range from Grandmaster Flash, Red Alert, Jellybean Benitez, Louie Vega, etcetera. Also on the Latin side, anything that came out of the Fania All-Stars movement.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

My style is a super mash up of Hip Hop, Soul, Dance and Latin music vibes.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

I want people to remember me for not switching up and sticking to my guns with the orignal formulas that worked. Never compromised my art. If it ain’t broke…why fix?

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Héctor Lavoe. An amazing vocalist, who’s life was cut short. Also, I have yet to collaborate with Rakim. That will happen!

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Madison Square Garden…New York City!

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

Hip Hop is fine…Rap is out of control! Not enough substance being pushed to the masses. A lot of ignorant rap in the forefront, and not enough conscious, thought provoking music. We need balance.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

I have always felt a need to re-invent myself without compromising my art. Same formulas that still work for me just get updated. Also, I have managed to bob and weave throughout different genres over the years.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

More film projects. This ‘Mixtape’ film opened my mind and I learned a lot about the film industry. Also, more scoring projects are in the works.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

I think producing this film is one of my main highlights. Traveling the world to DJ in over 30 countries is another.

What’s an average day like for you?

Being a dad first…then multi-task between producing a weekly radio show on SiriusXM Shade 45, booking shows, researching music…making beats, and eating good! I love dining at restaurants.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I manage all my social media, so I do respond to fans. I also continue to produce mixtapes and post them online to stay connected with fans and the music.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

I love music! And it reflects in my work. Whether playing out or producing…you can feel my passion.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t be scared to be Original, and think out the box. Be a leader, not a follower.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

More film projects, More albums, More tours!

As for the immediate, what’s next for TONY TOUCH?

Whatever it takes to push the culture forward.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

Check out for my full mixtape collection on one USB, along with other merchandise.

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