Alex ‘Tone’ Guerrero aka “Hightone” is a Multi-Instrumentalist, SongWriter, Producer & Music director. He has been opportune to work with a couple of upcoming and established artistes both within and outside the Bay Area. His productions credits include works for
major labels like Atlantic, Sony, RCA, DefJam, Empire, Universal Music Group and for artistes like CRSB, Adrian Marcel, Janel Marisse, Rotimi, Daddex, Nigerian afro trap artist Bigklef and afro pop sensation Fireboy DML. From touring around the world, performing live on TV networks such as ABC, NBC, HBO, PPV, Collective Hustle, ESPN, ABS-CBN-TFC, SNL, MTV to entering the world of production. Tone, as he is fondly called, has received several endorsements/sponsorships by music industry giants GruvGear, UltimateEars, Fender, XLN Audio, MIA Audio & Optima Strings.
Our correspondent recently had a telephone chat with him about his music and plans for 2021. Below are the excerpts of the conversation.
1) What is your name?
My name is Alexandro Pedro Guerrero better known as Hightone or simply Tone.
2) Hightone seems to be in a world of his own. You don’t chase clout. You are hardly involved in the usual dramas with other artists, is this your strategy?
There’s not much thought put into it to be honest, I stay busy and focused on my craft. Never worried about what the person in the other lane is doing.
I let the work speak for itself.
3) Who is Hightone? How did the name come about?
While in the studio a few years back, a couple of the artistes I was working with would always compliment the “tone” of my playing and they’d refer to me as “tone”. So since then it just always stuck with me. I got the high part because the bass is the low end & the guitar is the highs. So put together it’s “Hightone”
4)You have come a long way in the industry with your music. You are rated as one of the artists/producers/ multi-instrumentalists to watch out for. How do you handle the pressure?
I don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing, I stay in my own lane. Tunnel vision is key. The only person I’m trying to be better than is the person I was yesterday. I’m my own competition.
5) You have a lot of productions for several artistes to your credit, why have you been keeping a low profile?
I never kill my self for recognition, I kill myself to never stop.
6) You recently co-produced a song on Adrian Marcel’s forthcoming album, how did that happen? How did you guys link up in the studio?
It took me a while to get to that man. Met him through a great man named Morchez also known as ‘Che’. He introduced me to him backstage from an Eric Belinger concert I performed at in Oakland.
From there Adrian and I hit it off and kept in contact. I sold him the idea of me getting together songwriters & producers to collaborate on a project.
In less than three months we came out with a little over 36 full songs. Always an honor to executive produce projects with artistes I grew up listening to.
7) Looking at how far you have come and the success recorded, what comes to your mind now when you look at the rate the industry keeps churning out new artists?
Only real music is going to last, all this noise is here today and gone the next. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
8) Your signature instrument is the guitar but you are a multi-instrumentalist. What is it about the guitar that it has become your go to instrument of choice?
There is nothing like a guitar to me, no disrespect to any other instrument or instrumentalist. The guitar is simply the best and sexiest instrument as well.
9) You have worked with a couple of Nigerian artistes like Bigklef, Rotimi & Fireboy DML most recently. Who was your favorite to work with and why?
They’re all my favorites, each one of them has a different vibe and approach to his craft. They all have my respect and I enjoyed making magic with them.
10) What is your greatest fear as an artist and producer?
I have no fears, I believe God will always make a way through any situation good or bad. Life is about perspective so I choose to focus on the good in rough times.
12) 2020 was a tough year for many in music and entertainment as there were no shows and events to earn them income or help them to be in a strong financial state. How was 2020 for you, how did you handle the lockdowns and restrictions necessitated by covid 19?
I cancelled a little over 200 shows. I was going to tour the world all year. Although it was a horrible time for most and took the best of many, 2020 was a huge blessing to and for me. I was privileged to bring together many of my favorite artistes, writers, producers and major labels. We locked ourselves in Air Bnbs for weeks to a month & made some of the greatest timeless records.
13) What advice do you have for the upcoming artistes, producers and instrumentalists out there?
Make sure you love what you do. Once this starts feeling like a job, then you’re doing something wrong. This is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.
14) If you are asked to choose which do you prefer, being a producer/songwriter or just an instrumentalist?
Honestly, an instrumentalist, the reason for that is, being an instrumentalist is what got me in rooms, just being a producer or songwriter wouldn’t have got me in.
15) What should your fans expect from you this 2021?
More timeless music with your favorite artistes.
16) Are you planning on releasing an album sometime down the road? Do you have any projects coming up soon you want to share with your fans and followers?
Yes, I’m working on a collabo album with a handful of artistes that I’ve worked with and built great relationships with. So be on the lookout for that.
Until then, I’m dropping albums with all the artists I work with.
Thank you Tone for your time, we wish you the best with your projects and career. We look forward to seeing you do big things this year and beyond.