Prof. Tony Diaz
“Life’s Experience Makes the Difference in the Music”
I remember as a little girl going to choir rehearsal with my mother at Brown’s Chapel A.M.E. church. My mother had a pretty soprano voice but wasn’t a soloist. I remember how I would be right there next to her, the smallest one in rehearsal singing the loudest. It was cute to the adults, to see this little girl singing her heart out. Little did my mother know her baby would one day be a singer? I sang my first solo at Brown’s Chapel at the age of 9, it was Blessed Assurance. One of the elder church mothers said to my mother she had gotten all that she had come for, from my solo. I don’t recall this, but my mother tells me today, that the pastor didn’t preach that Sunday after my solo. At the age of twelve I played my first instrumental solo on my clarinet, which was Little Drummer Boy for the Christmas program. I went on to engage in many functions and competitions here in Houston during my teen years, with the support of my mother. I became pretty busy singing for weddings, and funerals, (dirge singer), and services at local churches even getting an opportunity to sing for a pageant that made the news. I can’t lie I loved feeling like a local celebrity, I craved that feeling of being on stage and performing, because I loved singing.
My singing I always thought was okay, but people made me feel like it was great! After I graduated high school I began selling cars because I didn’t take college seriously, and thought that I would get famous. It was good at first because I had a natural charm with people. I made decent money and was able to live okay, but after a several years of working hard, 60 hours a week, and dealing with people that I sometimes did not feel like dealing with became very displeasing. My daughter who was 2 or 3 years old did not see enough of me because I was always working. I had taken to singing in clubs at night after leaving the car lot. I enjoyed the performing as well as the extra money I was earning. My mother didn’t like it at all, and would always tell me “your voice is to edify God.” I got a call from a high-school friend of mine while working at Mike Calvert Toyota, telling me to go to the break room, or anywhere I could sing over the phone. He had met a Los Angeles connection! Corey, who was also a singer, had moved to Los Angeles with his father, and was always “meeting connections”. Corey had called me more than a few times with “important people” on the phone, but nothing would ever come of it. His connection proved to be legit this time. After singing over the phone for this connection, I landed myself a gig on “Moesha”. Kurt Farquhar a television show music producer had the power to put both of us on, not just as extras, but with singing parts that paid very well for just a few days on the set. The episode I appeared in was “I Love Moesha” which aired January 8, 1999. After coming back to Houston, I decided that I needed to be in L.A. to pursue my dreams. “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side…..” (Hunter S. Thompson)
My friend Corey came back to Houston a few months after I did, and we began using cocaine. We had gotten pretty caught up with it and before I could make it back to L.A. I had tried crack cocaine. I moved to L.A. with my friend, and new found bad habit believing I would become a star. I smoked so much dope, and began stealing from department stores such as Nordstrom’s and Home Depot for sizeable cash returns. I had no fear, and even sold my body to purchase drugs. My mother was not aware of the things that I was doing, and sent my daughter to me after a year. I was happy to have her with me, and took…