Where are you from?
I am born and raised in New York City! I spent most of my life over in Bayside, Queens.
In 2016 you suffered a pretty serious injury. Can you tell us more about that?
Well, it was only about two, maybe two and a half years into my career as a firefighter when I suffered a big injury. I ended up split tearing my quad falling down a staircase. I was put out of commission for a pretty long time. In total, the recovery process took somewhere around 6-8 months. I think at the time I was attending physical therapy 3 times a week on top of working a light duty position within the department until I was all healed up. It was a blessing in disguise though. Had I not had the injury, I would have never started my DJ career as Tone Troy.
Would you say House music has helped your recovery?
Honestly, there’s a lot that I want to say about this. The short answer is: I became a new person entirely because of it. Up until that point where I was injured; I thought I was so set on what the trajectory of what my life was becoming. Looking back on it, I definitely was letting the natural flow of things take over, and I was just going with it.
Discovering House music and DJing changed every aspect of me. I had this new found drive that took me completely out of any of the negative mental effects of being injured. I was doing anything and everything possible to keep this feeling and drive alive. I remember when I was first starting out, there were a handful of times I ended up playing a closing set on a Thursday, slept in my car for two hours, then hustled straight from there to work. Looking back on those moments might be some of my favourite parts of this adventure. I found a period of time in my life where nothing else mattered. I wasn’t afflicted by my injury. I wasn’t worried about my future. I overcame negativity in a few different aspects to find something that still shapes me every day.
You recently played on the Toolroom, 338 line-up! How did that feel? Who did you play before?
It was nothing short of amazing. I’m really glad I always keep my USB’s on me at all times. I hold Toolroom as a label and a brand, in such high regard that it’s always an honour to be a part of anything! It was great to play a B2B with Pete Griffiths before Maxinne’s killer set.
Why did you want to come to this night in particular?
It actually all came together perfectly. I had some time off from the fire department set aside and I saw the event announcement. I hadn’t been back to the UK in two years up until that point so I figured it would be a perfect little vacation for me. On top of that I get to see one of my best friends, Mikey Whyte. Believe it or not, not too long after I bought my flight, I ended up getting booked to play in Shoreditch the night before so needless to say, I had a phenomenal time over in the UK!
What was the atmosphere like?
Absolutely electric. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll rep New York for life, but there’s something about the scene in the UK that really motivates me. I think what stands out the most is the appreciation the crowd has for the music. The way DJ’s commandeer a dancefloor out in Europe in comparison to America is palpable. Trust me; a lot of what I do is modelled from your footsteps.
What was your favourite part of the night? Any stand out moments? Which DJ’s did you catch?
My favourite part of the night actually wasn’t music related. When the clock hit midnight, it marked my 5 year anniversary in the FDNY. For anyone in the FDNY, the 5 year mark is pretty special because you are essentially promoted to “top grade”. I was able to gather up a few friends, old and new, and had a tequila toast for it. Although I’m pretty sure some of you guys agreed to one and mysteriously disappeared when it was time to celebrate…
Other than that, it was really cool to chop it up with Gene Farris for a bit. He’s probably one of the more down to Earth dudes I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I was able to catch a little bit of everyone’s set. I can’t remember the last time I went to an event where I saw everyone on the lineup, especially a massive line up like that night.
Describe the night in only words?
I’ll be back!
How did Studio 338, London compare to any other Toolroom night you’ve been to?
Seeing as though the last Toolroom event I attended was the one I opened for over at the Knockdown Center in NYC; I felt like I saw a Toolroom event the way it was supposed to be. I was fully immersed in every aspect of the party.
What does the #ToolroomFamily mean to you?
There are definitely a few things that come to mind. Firstly, I can tell you off the bat that I have made some true friends through being involved in Toolroom. From the employees at the label, to the fans, I’ve been able to connect with so many people through what was created here. Come to think of it, I believe I chat with Mikey every week. It’s cool to say that I have a brother across the pond now.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been really fortunate to call Secondcity a friend. Not only has he been instrumental in guidance for my career, but we get to kick it any time he’s in New York. The Toolroom Family is all in all, one of the best parts about the brand, hands down.
What are your top 5 Toolroom records?
I feel like I change the answer to this question every six months or so. My top five in no particular order would have to be…