If you're into betting, you may want to put your money on Tonja, the sultry singer/songwriter who's paying her dues in Las Vegas in hope of becoming "the next big thing" in music. Born and raised in New York City, Tonja has spent the bulk of her life honing her passion for singing. It all started when her mother recognized her fascination with music at a mere five years of age and fostered that fascination by enrolling her in singing, piano and violin lessons. She had been blessed with an enormous head start, and Tonja took full advantage of it. After years of hard work and sacrifice, she eventually sang her way to Vegas, establishing herself by performing in some of Sin City's largest casinos and by landing spots as a background singer for both Rebbie Jackson of the world famous Jackson clan and the accomplished Carl Carlton. Tonja also found herself performing before audiences across the country as part of both the 'Platters' and 'The Marvelettes' reviews. After having lent her sultry soprano voice to performing with cover bands and background singing, Tonja felt she was ready to step into the spotlight and introduce the world to the voice she had worked so hard over the years to perfect. She was ready to sing from the space of what emanates from her own heart. She say's, "I've had wonderful experiences singing background and singing other people's classics, but I always looked at it as a platform and not a stopping point. I, too, have something to say and God gave me a beautiful instrument to say it with: my voice..." With her mission being to make a name for herself as a solo artist, Tonja began searching for the right opportunity that would help her to realize that goal. Fate led the humble-spirited, but confident songstress to a chance meeting with EJ and Tammy Hinskton, of SWAT Productions Entertainment, who saw in her what her mother saw and encouraged: a talent and passion for singing that had the potential to touch souls. And it's no surprise that the Hinsktons recognized soul-stirring qualities in Tonja's voice, as her musical role models, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston, couldn't have spawned anything less. "I was always listening to artists like Aretha Franklin when I was a little girl. Not only was their music pleasing to the ear, but it also made me feel good on the inside. That's why I chose to remake one of Aretha's songs, Natural woman, for my record; it seems to capture how I feel when I'm singing," she reminisces. The chance meeting with the Hinskton's would ultimately lead to production of Tonja's debut CD, 'Tonja'. Under E.J. Hinskton's direction, the S.W.A.T. team worked with Tonja to carefully craft a sincere set of songs for the CD that would complement her subtly sexy voice, as well as capture her desire to touch souls with her music. She poured her passion and relentless years of training into her self-titled debut and the outcome was something for which many of the power players on the Vegas music scene have vowed their support. The record boasts songs, many of which she wrote, that melodically capture the highs and lows of love, and it throws in a couple of bangin' party cuts to round out the pensive set. 'Tonja' has something that everyone can relate to. With belief in herself and her incredible talent, a new CD in stores, and a strong stable of support all working in her favor, Tonja has a sure shot at attaining the big payout of realizing her wildest dream of becoming that next big thing in music...