Biography (taken from Discogs.com)
Too Tuff (2 Tuff) real name Toyin Agbetu is the owner of four independent dance labels, (UNYQUE , INTRIGUE, MUTANT and EP Records) Toyin Agbetu has produced several soul / dance classics since 1985.
Originally signed as a member of the group KEW-T (Keith Sealy and Eddie With T), he was elevated to the position of producer / writer for the small but then successful ELITE independent dance label. There he produced and mixed the first ever “street soul” classics for Artists ROSALINE JOYCE (who had a hit with “No questions, No answers” , and her landmark debut “Lovers Soul” LP), and Birmingham based PROJECTION (whose “Lovestruck” single which he mixed remained a club hit for many years).
It wasn’t until he severed links with ELITE and left to form his own label (UNYQUE ARTISTS), that his profile started to increase. As member producer of the group DELUXE, he masterminded the release of the biggest ever streetsoul record of it’s time “Your Loving Drives Me Crazy”, which remained in the national charts for almost 50 weeks (topped only by Soul II Soul’s”Keep On Moving”). The follow up singles (“I’ve Got A Feeling”, and the timeless “Just A Little More”) became instant hits and paved the way for DELUXE’s top selling debut LP.
Hit after hit followed for the now undisputed “king of Streetsoul” with tracks being produced for artists, RICK CLARKE, SOUL CONNECTION, THOMAS ESTERINE and THE PROJECT.
A brief excursion into soul flavoured HipHop, helped by a young “Starpoint FM” DJ named (Mixmaster) MAC resulted in his first ever HipHop record “Together, Forever” released on the DTI label. Later on, again with rapper MC IB (Iain Burton), the debut 2TUFF track “90% Funk” was created, and when unleashed was an instant hit.
It was through his acquaintance with a then up and coming young producer named Dave Lee (aka JOEY NEGRO), he was introduced to the world of garage and house music, and with a big dose of encouragement from a female DJ friend COLETTE) he decided to form the now cult INTRIGUE label where Toyin (under the guise of NEMESIS) released the legendary house cut “After the Storm” inspired by Detroit’s DERRICK MAY.
INTRIGUE grew from release to release into an international success story, licensing its tracks all over the world and building the NEMESIS name Into a cult figure.
Toyin produced many successful spin offs from the NEMESIS name such as SHADES OF BLACK (who signed to POLYDOR) , The DARK KNIGHTS (another pseudonym for Toyin), and the infamous ANDROMEDA (who had a massive rave hits with “Control” and “Gazza”).
It was the success of ANDROMEDA’s “Gazza” that convinced him that he needed yet another musical identity for his work, hence together with ace engineer Sean “RUDEBOY” Fraser he formed rave label MUTANT records and based the labels most successful premiere artist on the name of one of his favourite comics THE X-MEN.
MUTANT released tracks by the WITCHDOCTOR, MATRIX (Marvin Beaver) RISE, and The AFRICAN, and as with INTRIGUE every release became a classic. The only drawback was that Toyin now missed writing songs, and his strong desire to go back to working with quality vocals encouraged him to create his last and final label, EP RECORDS.
The first RAPHEL release did well. The second ATTITUDE release was a number 1 club hit in New York.
Time for a change.
While messing in the studio with Delores “DELUXE” Springer, the 2TUFF single “Jazz Thang” was created, the last 2TUFF single “Slow Down” was so popular it had been picked up by Warner Bros, “JAZZ THANG” was an overnight smash.
The list of hits continue with productions for artists such as MARY PEARCE, ZUSHII, JENNY BELLE, and rappers U DON’T KNOW ME. His music is also present in Nintendo video games (World Cup Striker, Dr Franken, etc.), and on TV programmes such as Dance NRG and GAMESMASTER.
He is now a Pan African human rights activist-artist and founder of the Ligali Organisation. He is an educator and published author, with books and thousands of articles to his name.
Toyin is also an independent film director and has made several films and documentaries.
Also see M.C.I.B. AND THE BEATCREATOR