Emerging Artists

Giving Back Means Giving People a Chance

Giving Back Means Giving People a Chance

Tony “Solo” Hearst grew up in Buffalo and ended up on the streets at a young age. At 13 years old, he found himself locked up in a detention center and was in and out of jail over the following years. Surviving a shooting, he was caught up in a federal case in 2004. That was the year he decided to change his life. Tony decided to work for himself and “hustle” legally by building local businesses while always giving back to the community.

One part of Tony’s life journey is a program he created to help men and women find employment after being released from prison. He even gave many people work in his restaurant, barbershop, and other businesses. He had the same issues when he got out of jail and wanted to give others a chance. While some people have trouble adapting to the work world after prison, one of his employees has worked for him for over four years. He recently told Tony, “You are the only person who gave me a chance.”

An essential focus of Solo Group is to help the next generations. Tony put in place the Boys to Men Mentoring Program for at-risk African American and Latino youth. He has seen success steering many young men in the right direction and found his ability to be a consistent presence made the most difference. He recently hired one of the participants for his restaurant Solo Eats.

Giving Back Takes Many Forms

When Tony founded Solo Group Entertainment, he brought to life two passions: Lifting up authentic artists and changing our communities for future generations. Giving back takes the form of charitable donations and helping give people hope.

In the City of Buffalo, NY, Tony is the force behind Operation School Supply, a charity event held for over ten years that provides supplies and discount haircuts for children to set them up for success at school. He also sponsors Help for the Holiday’s Gift Basket and Christmas Toy Giveaways. Tony is a Worshipful Master Mason at St. Johns Lodge #16. In 2020, the cornerstone was laid to rededicate the building in Tony’s name to honor his service to the community. He earned a Community Service Award from Mayor Byron Brown in 2013 and numerous local and state proclamations. . Tony Solo Hearst Day was commemorated in 2019 and 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tony focused on helping the homeless, served meals to people in need in inner-city neighborhoods, and distributed hand sanitizer.


Solo Group Entertainment Gives Back

Tony’s commitment to finding emerging artists with authentic stories of their community for his record label is a chance to provide hope and economic prosperity for musicians. The music industry has been unforgiving for many people, especially youth, to break into and achieve success. The support of a label and a mentor like Tony can make a difference in the career of a talented musician.

The Solo Group Entertainment Studio in Buffalo, NY, will be another way to give back.
This recording studio will primarily be for our artists and rentals to local musicians, but we have an idea for a small give back to the community. We will open up our studio once a month to those who would never get a chance to experience space like this, such as disabled and troubled kids. The goal is to give young people hope and a chance to see all of the opportunities for different careers if you keep working hard.

The Future

During the upcoming nine-city national tour of Solo Group’s Artists, IAmTune, Savv, and JayMarr, we will give away 30 tickets in every city. The goal is to provide kids who might not be otherwise able to enjoy a live performance a chance to experience music with some of the hottest, new musicians. Especially after so many shutdowns, the ability to hear live music can positively affect people’s lives and make a meaningful difference.

As a business with growing influence in the community, Solo Group Entertainment will focus on giving back and looking for new creative ways to support its mission.


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