Las Vegas-based singer/songwriter Toney Rocks is a fighter. In fact, the rootsy blues man has purposely placed himself in challenging situations just so he can fight his way out of them. “I’m so used to it,” he admits. “If it’s too easy I don’t feel comfortable, which isn’t necessarily the greatest approach to have.”

It is, however, a useful approach to the pursuit of a music career, and those themes of passion, ambition, fight, and drive come through in his music, lyrically, and emotionally. Named as one of Las Vegas Weekly’s top 10 Acts to Watch in 2017, Rocks has shared the stage with folk music legend, David Bromberg, has opened for acclaimed blues artists like Corey Harris and Jarekus Singleton, and has headlined his own shows around the country. Today, he unleashes “Not Gonna Run,” the title track to his forthcoming EP set for release early next year.

“This song has become my personal anthem and I’m hoping it’ll be that for a lot of other people,” he explains of “Not Gonna Run.” “It’s one of those ‘me against the world’ type of songs, where you’ve reached the breaking point. You’re tired of backing down from whatever it is you’re going after or whatever it is that’s working against you. So, it could be anything…drugs, dead relationships, prejudice, racism, sexism, or whatever. It seems like we’re witnessing an overflow of hatred right now especially in America,” he adds. “But the truth is, it’s been this way for a long long time. It’s nothing new, nothing more that it’s been for the past half a century. Just now everyone has a camera and a social media platform. The common thread in all struggle is when your back is against the wall, there are only two places to go; that’s down to the ground or fight your way out. As cool as it would be for me to say I wanted to inspire others through this song,” he continues, “the truth is I think I was giving myself permission to continue fighting and not giving a damn what anyone has to say about it because I’m not ever gonna run.” Without further ado, East of 8th proudly presents “Not Gonna Run” by Toney Rocks:

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