Toni Norville is ready to tell her story. And it will not be like anything you have ever heard before.
After a roller coaster ride over the last few years, Toni told Bajan Vibes she had overcome the rough, and was now all set and ready to get back to what she loves.
“Life happened. I had to leave Barbados for a little while. I moved to Philadelphia to take care of my special needs daughter. I also got divorced. The whole nine yards. Life is something else, man,” Toni recollected.
But, she added: “Not to worry; I’m happy now. I’ve got a new focus and I’m back to what I love most. I mean, look at me. Don’t I look happy to you?” she asked with her infectious smile.
Toni advised that her upcoming album The Art Of Story-Telling would be one with a difference, and one in which she would be baring her soul.
“In The Art Of Story-Telling I’m talking about everything I went through. The good, the bad, the climaxes, the happy –– even romance. And I don’t ever talk about romance at all. I don’t ever talk about relationships. As far as the world is concerned, I am just a phantom.”
The singer and recording artiste continued: “I don’t deal with my personal life. But I felt like I had to now. Things were hurting me, bothering me; things I got over –– that part of my life. It’s like I’ve always kept that under lock and key. But this album, yea, the whole world will know Toni Norville has sex.
“Everybody will know she’s grown up. She’s not the barefoot princess any more. She’s the queen; she’s demanding; and she’s come out of her shell. She’s taken her throne.”
Speaking to Bajan Vibes exclusively, Toni explained that this new album would be completely different from her last –– Rain, which was a gospel production.
Confessing she had made it through her difficulties with the help of “a very supportive team”, Toni said: “Since you last saw me, I have been hard at work on this album with Janine Scott. Oh, my God! It is very different from my previous album. They’re chalk and cheese.
“Rain was me acknowledging my relationship with God; it was me letting God know that I know I see him; I see where he is taking me. And Rain was and still is a relationship about me and my Daddy [God)].”
While the coming one isn’t a gospel album, Toni says “make no mistake, God still had a hand in it”.
“I’m very happy about the album; everything about it; how it came about . . . . For all of my struggles, for all of the stuff I have been dealing with, for all of the issues that have happened so far, this album is like God just breathed on it. We’ve got some fabulous musicians on it people who just came and poured themselves into it, and some of them who just did it because it’s for me . . . .
“They said, ‘Whatever we can do to get you where you need to go . . . we are here’. And it’s been phenomenal. It’s been amazing so far,” the gospel artist said.
Being the strong believer in God that she is, Toni declared that the Almighty was indeed blessing her right now.
She warned: “Be careful what you ask God for, because when you ask God for something, He may not always send it the way you want it packaged. He sends you more than what you asked Him for, based on what is inside of your heart.”
And, yes, she believes that she had to go through a test to get to her testimony.
“God don’t bless mess! When you find you are going through situations in life, and things don’t happen to work out at that time, it’s because they’re things around you and they are probably people around you you need to get rid of. You need to shake off some folk. You can’t fly with baggage. You are going to crash.
“I have crashed many times. Why did I crash many times? My bags were heavy. The entourage was too big. There was mess going on all around. And God don’t bless mess!
“He is going to clean it up first. Even if it takes you ten years; but he is going to do it. But always remember that what is for you is for you; but you have to know how to get up and go again. So keep watching,” Toni suggested.
And apart from taking care of her daughters, 14 and seven, and dealing with her music career, Toni is also now manager of the new Village Experience outside Kensington Oval.
“When Eric approached me and showed me that this was what he wanted to do, I was really excited for him. I was like, ‘Wow, you’re a big man! You undertaking big things!’. When this was building and coming together and I saw it block by block, I was touched from the get-go. I was like, ‘Boy, you on to something great!’.
“But then when he asked me one day to manage this place . . . ; for me and Janine to spearhead the entertainment. I thought he had actually gone mad,” Toni told Bajan Vibes.
But sitting at the new venue in Fontabelle, taking in the breeze with her two business partners Janine Scott And Eric Springer, the well known songstress said business and life were good, and she was thankful.
“I was at a time in my life when I needed people. I needed friends, and God sent those friends. Friends with words. Friends with hearts, friends with a smile that could take me out of my situation, and bring me into the Toni Norville I am now. He didn’t send one; he sent two. Two that saw me and understood what I was going through,” she revealed. “Ain’t God good?!”
The businessperson/artiste told Bajan Vibes she was now ready for the world to meet the “new” Toni.
“Plan to tour very soon. Bags already packed.
“This isn’t Toni that you knew,” she declared. “She’s gone. Get ready!!!”
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