Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I'm a singer-songwriter...
What about being a singer-songwriter? What are your influences?
I was very influenced by classic rock and a lot of those singer-songwriters, but I've taken a venture from classic rock into a more acoustic alternative nostalgic kind of feel to my songs.
You say you're really influenced by classic rock, and that seems to be becoming less common in musicians these days. Is there someone who introduced you to that style of music?
Well my parents, they're gen-xer's and they grew up with that kind of stuff so I would listen to it. Just being in the car with them growing up, listening to their CD's, I didn't really listen to anything else. So for about the first fifteen years of my life I didn't know there was any other type of music.
Tell us about your time at Norco Music.
It has been very busy and very fulfilling. I've had a lot of great opportunities given to me in a very short amount of time. All of the performances and all of the people I've gotten to meet help make college fun for me.
Do you have a favorite memory or experience from being at Norco Music?
My favorite memory so far has been playing the Limelight Session. [It] was really fun to be able to play my music and be able to perform it for the first time in front of an audience.
But that wasn't the first time you performed your music, right?
Like my originals? Technically, no. The first time was at Welcome Day.
You got a lot of compliments at Welcome Day.
Yeah, it was fun because that was the first time. I was very nervous—kind of like right now—and it was cool to be able to play things that nobody had heard before, but to go back to my roots and my influence of having a full band and everything, that's why I like that one more.
What are you doing right now as far as anything regarding school, professional, musical, etc.?
Right now I'm still pursuing my social and behavioral sciences degree. It's why I came to Norco, but when I found the music department I kind of just fell in love with a whole new part of school. And I've taken on a lot more when it comes to my education. After finding Norco Music... I was able to do things I hadn't thought were possible before unless I had a record deal or something... which I don't have.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
I am a very busy person, music is my hobby. Being able to kind of hone that craft and learn more and be around people who only want what's best for me, it is my hobby. That is what I do for fun and in my free time. Here's a hobby: I collect records. I have a couple hundred sitting at home. I spend a lot of money on records.
Your favorite store is Amoeba?
My favorite store is Amoeba; I don't think I've ever gone in there and spent less than $175—like at once. I don't go in there every week... I love finding deep cuts of artists that I can appreciate, and finding good songs that nobody knows is the coolest feeling in the world.
How would you identify yourself as a musician?
That's either really deep or really similar to the first question. I try to stay true to my ideas of my own songs and what I want to say in each of my songs. I don't want to cheat myself of any false emotions or anything like that, so I always try to stay in my lane.
Do you have any goals that you've set for yourself, either short-term or long-term, that you want to accomplish?
Short-term I want to at least have something on a Norco Music CD, and I also want to perform a lot more inside and outside of school. Long-term I do have goals, [but] they're secrets so I don't want to talk about them. My goals are to put an album out, tour, stuff like that.
What influences you in your writing?
Past experiences, certain feelings, specific moments. I like to—when I write—make my lyrics mean more than one thing but be rooted in one specific experience or time.
How did you first get involved in creating music, writing lyrics, playing your instrument?
I've always been into singing; I started singing for real when I used to lead worship at the church I used to go to. Then I decided I wanted to learn guitar so I learned a few things... and I haven't really stopped. It's really addicting and it sucks sometimes how addicting it is because if something sucks... you know what I'm saying? Like if you write something and you know it's not good or you've done better... I don't know, maybe that's just me.
Is there anything else you want to talk about? Like your vice-presidency?
Not only am I thankful to be able to record music and to receive criticism for it and be given opportunities with it, I'm also thankful for being the vice president of our department. It's a really big honor and I'm really thankful and humbled that it was given to me, so thank you.
Do you want to talk about your social media?
Yeah, you can follow me on Instagram @stonekingmusic. I also have a Facebook page, T.J. Stoneking, I use my Instagram more, though, so you'll probably see more from me on there.
- Skeletons & Birds written by T. Stoneking • T.J. Stoneking (vocals, acoustic guitar)
- 1,000 Voices written by T. Stoneking • T.J. Stoneking (vocals, acoustic guitar)
- All of Me written by T. Stoneking • T.J. Stoneking (vocals, acoustic guitar) • David Morales (electric guitar) • Richard Napalan (lead guitar) • Luna Luquin (bass) • Tyler Veazey (drums)