If you like what you read, check out Torey’s Tone Talk video on our IG page where she walks through some of her favorite gear.
Torey is a community organizer by day and a musician by night. It’s like being Hannah Montana, except not at all :).
I grew up in New Orleans with a family that was musically inclined, so music was always around me—in and out of the house. My grandmother sang Aretha and gospel 25/8, and my mother sang backup for Warren G at some point in her life. I started playing guitar at ten years old, in a time when all the late ’90s babies were into Disney rockstars and emo alternative rock. I was not only inspired by that, but also by everything my mom listened to at home—the Bee Gees, Tears For Fears, The Beatles, Janet Jackson, Tamiah, Mariah, and any kind of smooth jazz. As I grew up, my tastes evolved, and I became heavily inspired by heavy metal and grunge/alternative rock and R&B. So these days, you can catch me listening or playing to a Lauryn Hill playlist or Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar. It just depends on the mood.
My current project? Actively seeking out BIPOC female rockers in the Houston area to jam.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Tone is so much more than sound. It is representative of where you are in your life and what energy you put into your craft. I used to be very self-conscious of my tone, be it guitar or voice. I sometimes felt like I didn’t “have enough.” Over the years, I’ve learned to understand that tone is ever-evolving, and it’s something to be proud of. Tone can be experimental, fun, and represent growth.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’ve been playing both my Fender Squier Strat (Standard) and Yamaha 5G Series Acoustic-Electric for years now. I grew up with them. I use a Vox Celestion Cambridge 15 amp because she’s literally a blessing. That toneeee. Oof.
What about strings?
What up, Ernie? Standard.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Rawness is everything. I try my best not to overcomplicate things or over mix and master. The music that heals me the most is when I’m playing with no expectations and leaving perfection out of it.
What does your practice consist of?
So. Much. Repetition. A lot of times I’ll play without my amp to practice singing and playing. I’ll record videos and audio to hear myself from a different POV, and that’s how I’m able to tweak any mistakes.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Since I don’t work in the music industry, I can’t speak directly to this. But what I can say is, if you have an immense passion for performing—Keep. F–king. Going. Keep playing music. Keep singing around the house. Keep doing you, because I’m so certain that music heals. Music is love. It’s expression. It’s generational traditions. It’s communication in the hardest of times. We don’t choose our passion for music, music chooses us. And it’s a gift we can hold onto for the rest of our lives. And that’s dope AF.
Follow Torey Brown on IG @t.o.r.tuous
Check out Torey’s Tone Talk here