Singer-songwriter Tony Momrelle, currently one of the hottest artists in the R&B / soul scene, is going mto perform wuth his band at Nisville 2017 – at august 10th.
Momrelle started studying music from the age of just 8 and would embrace gospel through regular church attendance. At 13, he’d switch to “part-time” rapping with a local hip-hop group and then five years’ later, in 1991, would kick-start his career as a backing vocalist for Gloria Estefan.
Momrelle picks the story up. “I was looking at a career in marketing” he explains. “I had been messing around in a hip-hop band, and a few people knew I could sing, but I wasn’t convinced about travelling across London for a random job I knew nothing about. Of course I did go down to Barnes and there was Gloria Estefan in the studio waiting for me.”
They call that a baptism of fire. As a professional singer Momrelle was straight in at the deep end, but Estefan liked what she heard and soon there were other lucrative offers of session work. “I got the pay cheque for my work with Gloria and I was blown away; I realised that maybe I could make a serious go of singing. I was still aware of the risk but, for me, it was worth taking; I’ve never looked back.”
Since then he’s been touring with the biggest and best. His association with Estefan has been rather impressively followed by work for Whitney Houston, Sir Elton John, Take That and most recently Sade. He’s also recorded with urban gospel group Seven, and released two artist albums – the first, Freetime, appeared on Art & Soul in 1999; the second, Message In The Music, arrived 10 years later.
All of this, however, is to forget Momrelle’s long and fruitful association with those bastions of live soulful groove, Incognito. His consistently tip-top vocals on the road impressed Incognito main man Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick to the extent of offering him a spot on both the band’s 2002 album Life Stranger Than Fiction and their relentless international tour dates.
“I was very fortunate to land with Incognito. It was all word of mouth” Momrelle reveals. “I would have started touring with them even earlier than I did but there were issues with my visa. Bluey remembered me though and brought me in; it was amazing to be recognised in that way.”
But now Tony is ready to focus fully on himself. His 2015 album Keep Pushing (Reel People Music) launched him firmly into the realm of solo star, with the title track hitting number one on the UK Soul Charts. He also received a nomination for Best Male Vocalist from SoulTracks.