Lexi interviews Tonex about his Gospel music career and sexuality.
A few days ago I got a phone call from a friend insisting that I dropped whatever I was doing to jump on YouTube to see this interview. As a little background to this story, I’ve been a fan of Tonex (pronounced Toe-nay) for about 10 years now. Tonex’s music – both vocally and instrumentally is unique and raw in many ways. He is a Christian, but his creations often ruffled the feathers of ‘traditional’ believers. His music has a strong ‘cross-over’ appeal and often would be found in stores outside of the Christian music section. Tonex often writes songs in first-hand perspective of a person struggling with addiction, sexuality, mourning, or other topics that are part of life, but not often part of ‘church talk’. I was draw to this music because I felt “finally, another believer who is using this struggles of his past to bring glory to God and expose the darkness of these situations”.
Tonex has been a magnet for controversy not just because of his writing, but also his physical appearance. He’s been known to wear hair and clothes in range from a suit and tie, to hip-hop street culture, to goth (including long purple bangs and black painted nails). The latter often has called his sexuality into question. In addition to all this, in recent years he ‘retired’ from the music industry citing the unfairness of how he was financially struggling yet his music was selling well. He also was hit with the difficult transitions of being divorced, his Father and Pastor suddenly dieing, and having to assume his father’s position as Pastor of their church.
Tonex has been out of the spotlight for some months, other than releasing the occasional ‘underground’ music release online. This interview was the first major news about Tonex in a while. If there’s one thing Tonex has always done well it’s address topics that too often go unmentioned in the church. While the theological views expressed in this interview may not be agreeable to everyone – I think it’s important that we all really hear what his thoughts and perspectives are. Check out the interview (3 parts) below. Continue reading Somebody had to talk about it!