Vine star, turned D1 basketball player, turned R&B songstress, 23-year-old Toni Romiti can master anything. I spoke with the Chicago raised star, as she spilled about her career evolution, her take on being a tomboy, and how she hopes to give you all the feels listening to her boss-like music.
Romiti began gaining followers from making 6 second comedy and singing videos on Vine. As she headed off to college to play D1 basketball, Romiti was racking millions of views on her first single “Nothin On Me”. The success and popularity of her online presence seemed more appealing than dribbling up and down a court every day. As a student athlete, with high expectations and a tight schedule, Romiti’s coach gave her an ultimatum: basketball or music. The choice was obvious, and Romiti hasn’t looked back since.
Fast forward five years, and Romiti has made a name for herself. She is about to venture out on tour in August to debut her EP Tomboy. Curious about the title and her style that she is currently rocking, I asked her what life is like as a “tomboy”. I can hear her laugh through the phone and crack a smile. “Well people question your sexuality, that’s the first thing. Also, people constantly questioning the kinds of things a woman is supposed to say or do.” She expresses to me that being a tomboy isn’t just about aesthetics. “I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m saying women who are tomboys gotta look a certain way. It’s the attitude that comes with it. Like how you carry yourself really.” Her interpretation on the often looked down upon word is something I can definitely get behind.
So how does this tomboy attitude translate into the type of music she writes, you may ask. “I always write songs that make women feel like they’re the dominate ones.” Romiti tells me that she hopes to convey a sense of arrogance through her music. She touches on the double standards in society, specifically in the music industry, and what is considered acceptable for women to talk about. “Like why is it ok for men to write songs that talk about a girl who came over and all he wants from her is head and that’s it. Like why can’t women talk about that, why can’t women say the same thing. Some girls don’t want to be in a relationship. Some girls just want the pleasure that a man can give, ya know?” Romiti hopes to continue to make every woman feel like a badass and not feel ashamed for it.
If you were wondering if Romiti is on the market, sorry boys, but she’s found her man. “I like a guy who’s relaxed, calm, collected, athletic, funny, like my boyfriend right now.” She disclosed that the biggest deal breaker in a relationship is dishonesty. “If you don’t like me anymore, just tell me you don’t like me. Don’t go fuck with somebody else.” Like herself, Romiti just wants people to be real with her. She shared that her song “Unimpressed” is about the façade people put on to impress others. “When you go to LA, no one asks how are you, people ask what you do.”
Romiti exudes confidence in every sense of the word. As we chatted more about her life outside music she told me about her love for cooking, especially the feeling of cooking for someone else, but doesn’t like using measurements. I still measure out how much water to boil to make Top Ramen, but I’m clearly not as confident in the kitchen as Toni. It’s safe to say, Romiti is a woman of many talents. One who knows herself, is keeping it real, and has no one standing in her way.
Photographed by: Hailey Ruffner
Written by: Abby Siegel
Location: Delicious Pizza