Russian immigrant Anton Romashev, aka Tonik Slam, aka Got Loonch?, aka Scrawny Tony, was born in Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains. “I learned how to speak English through hip-hop,” Romashev says. “When I first came here through an English-speaking school program, I already knew English from Eminem, Tupac, and Snoop Dogg. I didn’t understand everything they said but I was gravitated to it by their passion.”
Inspired by 2PAC's, "All Eyes On Me." he took the name Scrawny Tony, becoming known for his breakdancing and basketball skills.
In high school, Romashev began to perform at house parties and local clubs, immersing himself in music after the loss of both parents. During the 1990's, there were not many studios in Yekaterinburg, so his first recordings were made with a LG Karaoke mic, a pop filter, and computer speakers.
A close friend and homie named Wizzard hooked him up with beats for his unreleased album Dream$ & Sounds, enabling Romashev to learn how to record and edit in the software program Cool Edit Pro. He has since been making multiple extended trips to San Diego, where he became part of the local hip-hop community.
In summer 2017, Romashev was in San Diego on a student visa, studying at the Art Institute in Mission Valley. He told the Reader “This is my sixth trip here. I first came to the States in 2006 and I’ve been coming back for short stays every two or three years. I’ve been here for more than a year this time.”
In addition to recording with artists like Kokane, Young Dub, Judah Christ, Bad Azz, and former Dogg Pound rapper Kurupt, Romashev hooked up with Justin Watson, whose Jay Wat Productions helped him record two Tonik Slam albums, Hell-a-Code and Tha Kemistry!!