Sontiago (aka Sonya Tomlinson) has been performing in Maine since 2001, after relocating to the state in 1999. Her debut album “Abuse My Adoration” was released in 2004 and her sophomore release “Steel Yourself” would lead to a number six spot on the CMJ hip-hop charts, URB’s Next 100 list, and on the pages of Bust Magazine. The video for her new single ‘Muscle Car’, which was directed by David Meiklejohn of Portland’s Budget Fabulous Films, features a cast of Portland regulars.
Where were you born?
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
What brought you to Portland?
My big sister.
Do you have a day job, and if so, what is it?
I am the Grants and Outreach Manager at the Maine Women’s Fund and I am on the event staff at Space Gallery.
What was your most memorable gig?
Playing in the chapel at Long Creek Detention Center for incarcerated youth or opening for Atmosphere in 2001 at the Skinny.
What was your worst gig?
The one in my dream the other night where I played a show at Buckdancer’s Choice that I forgot I committed to and showed up unprepared and unrehearsed for and forgot all my words. It woke me up with anxiety.
What album or artist has most influenced you as a musician?
Not their recent stuff as much, but I would have to say overall, Atmosphere. At the time I got into Atmosphere I was really heavy into making music and Slug’s content and delivery and Ant’s production were ideal.
What’s the one piece of musical equipment you can’t live without?
Boss digital 8-track and a microphone.
Any advice for a musician starting out?
What’s the origin behind your name?
I was in a group in North Carolina and my bandmate Anthony came up with it. It’s a hybrid of an abbreviation of my first name and first initial of my last name.
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
I have the hots for Adam Levine of Maroon 5- does that count?
Additionally, Stephen has exhibited his photography in Portland, Maine, Boston, and California. He lives just outside of Portland with his wife and two children.