A Tony Toni Tone reunion is on the horizon, and D’Wayne Wiggins couldn’t be happier.
After a 15-year absence, the legendary R&B group founded by Wiggins, Raphael Saadiq and Timothy Riley is set to stage a long-overdue reunion concert. Taking place in their hometown of Oakland, the family trio will perform a medley of songs.
When talks of a reunion first surfaced, Saadiq expressed doubt that the group would ever perform again. After much discussion, the trio managed to reconcile their differences for at least one more trip down memory lane.
“Timing is everything, and everything happens in this lifetime. I always go back to us and what we went through,” advises Wiggins.
“But the point is that we [are] here today to understand that; it’s all about us always being solid. You don’t get offended when people speak straight up to you. Let’s just say things didn’t happen with us in ’96 where we went [our] separate ways because [of the] energy pulling in that way,” he continued.
“It’s really going to be a homecoming. It’s going to be emotional because we’ve all been through a lot [and] people in our band have been through a lot, and we are all blessed to see each other standing. I know when we [take] that stage it’s going to be magic.”
Critically recognized as masters of creating music that withstands the test of time, Wiggins has some simple advice for today’s songwriters and reflects on which modern era advantages he wishes he had.
“You can’t appreciate it [the stage] until you know you’ve clawed to get to where you are. I work with a lot of new artists from developing to signing to deals,” he said. “In the studio, we can create magic all day. But it takes performing in clubs and other locations to really feel what it takes to be an artist. Without that, it’s a solid waste.
“As for one thing I wish I had that the young artist has access to now? Financial literacy. We learned on the street, so now I make sure my kids not only have passion and love for the art but that knowledge. When you have that, you’re a beast.”
To say Wiggins is excited to return to the stage with his family in blood and music is an understatement. He’s waited a long time for a Tony Toni Tone reunion. It won’t matter whether it’s “Anniversary,” “Feels Good” or “It Never Rains (In Southern California).” What will matter is that a music legacy will once again command the stage.
The “Bay Area Reunion with MC Hammer/Tony! Toni! Toné!/En Vogue + more” takes place on Nov. 27 at the Oakland Arena.