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The message in Tha Tooonz

Band offers music with a higher purpose

Posted: August 21, 2009 11:35 a.m.
Updated: August 21, 2009 11:28 a.m.

Tha Tooonz, left to right, D-Nero Garcia, Martii Garcia and Nazz Travagant, offer a positive message through their music: "Stay in school and say no to drugs."

 
Perhaps it is the choice of dress - complete with colorful tutus, ties and bandanas - that grabs kid's attention. Tha Tooonz, one of the newest and hottest hip-hop bands, uses its members' individualities as a source of entertainment. The band's unique message, "say no to drugs and stay in school" is portrayed through its songs, which draw people of all ages.

The group is comprised of three multi-talented musicians, Martii Garcia, 24, D-Nero Garcia, 23, and Nazz Travagant, 23. Tha Tooonz bring catchy beats and clean lyrics in a fresh hip-hop style. Having performed at many schools in Los Angeles County and schools in Texas and Boston, Tha Tooonz have reached out and touched many young lives with a genuine care for their struggles at home.

"Kids write us MySpace messages thanking us for our concerts. They say it takes them to another place, away from everything they deal with at home," Martii said.

At almost every school where they perform, kids confide in them.

"(It) happens by us just being real... and (kids) just open up because we're not trying to be like demanding adults or parents," Nazz said. "When they hear it from us, they gravitate more toward it because we're younger and they listen more. They look up to us, and we're just giving out our positivity."

The members of Tha Tooonz specifically chose their message because they "gravitated toward the kids, and the kids are always looking up to us," Martii said.

"They always wanted to hear what we had to say. We are a positive group and we were like, why not project this positivity... why don't we let them know what we are really about?"

This is a group that lives out the very things it advocates. "We are a team, too, you know," said D-Nero, when asked how Tha Tooonz has made it so far. "All three Tooonz are high school graduates, so stay in school."

Diversity is important to them, and it shows in the make-up of their group. They wear all the colors of the rainbow to show that every shade is beautiful, and that they don't choose a specific gang color. They just "aren't cool with that" the group members quipped.

Being real, said Nazz, "wasn't something that we had to put together. We talked about different messages, but... we're just a fun, real group. This group is full of real people... we just give off energy that people want to have, because were just trying to change the world. Positivity wins everywhere."

Tha Tooonz name echoes its origin; cartoons. "We are characters in music, each one of us represents a different character, just like a cartoon would. We all have our inner superheroes," Martii chimed in.

Their first performance in the Santa Clarita Valley debuted on the night of the 2009 Summer Meltdown Concert at Golden Valley High School, while opening for the headliner Shwayze. The thunderous noise of screaming and applause filled the air and it was obvious the crowd loved them. The group is already confirmed to be part of next year's Meltdown.

Having worked with Will.i.am. and other stars, Tha Tooonz are climbing their way to the top with hits like "Mirror on the wall," "Maniac," "Adrenaline," "Jock N Me," and "Meant 2 Be."

For more on the Tooonz and to sample their music, visit www.myspace.com/thatooonz.

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