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Singer Moni Tivony forms band after The Voice

Moni Tivony performing Moni Tivony performing

Saturday, June 28, 2014
3:00 PM

Life after a major TV talent show can be daunting, but one gifted singer is using his new-found popularity to create a band.

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Singer Moni Tivony, 33, captured the nation’s attention in last year’s series of BBC talent show The Voice with his reggae-influenced soulful vocals and is now launching the group, called I Definition.

The Gants Hill-born singer wowed judges in series two of The Voice with his rendition of the Bob Marley classic No Woman No Cry at his “blind” audition, in which judges select singers while facing away from the stage.

Despite being eliminated in a knockout round – where two singers are pitted against each other on the same song – the artist has gained a huge following off the back of the show.

Moni said: “I think being on the show is definitely no hindrance. It’s done me good in that sense, because what I think I have gained from The Voice is that I’ve used it as a platform.”

The singer, who has gained more than 12,000 Twitter followers and more than three million YouTube views for his audition video, formed a band with friends Trevor “Intuition One” Davy and Dan-I.

He said: “Since The Voice, I have been working on original material, I have been working towards this group thing.

“Our sound is very reggae, it even has some drum and bass influences.”

I Definition is reportedly on the radar of record label Island Records and the boys are due to hold their first performance as a three-piece at an event in Shoreditch on July 10.

The fan of lovers’ rock – a romantic subgenre of reggae – is proud of his Gants Hill roots.

He said: “I just like the fact it’s a good community and there’s a lot of different people there over the years, there’s different races and religions and people live in harmony. It’s a good place to grow up.”

Moni, who now lives in Ongar, Epping Forest, said: “I never visualised myself being part of a group. We sat in the studio one day and we just kind of came up with a buzz.”

Passionately committed to music, Moni has written songs for Peter Andre and was mentored by the Grammy-award-winning will.i.am on The Voice.

He cites the likes of Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley as his biggest influences.

Moni said: “It’s not just about the music, it’s about the message as well.” Talking about his mentor on the show, he added: “What Will does is he knows what works and what sounds good.”

The singer’s love of reggae earned him the title of the “ginger Jewish Jamaican” among friends, which will.i.am rejigged as “Jewmaican”, and the nickname has since stuck.

Since the TV show, Moni has been gigging across Europe while working on new original material, and even performed with deep house DJ and producer Duke Dumont on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

The singer said he wanted to “bring a different flavour” to The Voice and will continue to work on solo material too.

The Essex garage music scene is where he honed his skills, but soul and reggae have always been important to him, he said.

“I think, as an artist, you should always be true to yourself,” he said. “It’s the style of music, it goes through me.”

I Definition’s first official release will be their single Stop, Walk Around, which is about positive thinking.

Moni said he’s “all about giving off good vibes” and added: “Don’t just stay static, don’t sit doing nothing, keep applying for all your dreams, don’t ever let yourself go down – stand up.”

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