Toby Derima was born on July 2, 1970, on the island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.Toby
has always lived around music, with his Haitian-born parents playing lots of records, especially of Les Freres Dejean, a Haitian band comprised of his maternal uncles.
...Toby first became interested in being a musician in 1980, when a paraprofessional at the Lew Muckle Elementary School chose him to play snare drum in her marching band.
was not taught the basics of playing drums until he
joined the Elena L. Christian Junior High School Band
in 1982, under the direction of Jack Petersen.He
also played snare and tenor drums with the St. Croix Majorettes Marching Band, and developed his
skills on the drumset as a member of the music ministry of the St. Ann's Catholic Church
Toby‚s professional music career started in 1985, when he
was asked to join a band named As One, as their drummer.The band played many musical styles, but lasted just about a year and a half, breaking up when most of the members of the band left St. Croix for college.In 1987, at the beginning of his senior year of high school, he was asked to join The Enforcements, a group of young people from the village of Mon Bijou, as their drummer.The Enforcements
went on to become very popular in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.As a member of The Enforcements, Toby showed that he was also a songwriter and arranger, penning lyrics and arranging music for the band's original tunes.In 1991, Toby left The Enforcements for a college education in computer programming on the mainland.
summer and winter breaks from school, Toby
returned to St. Croix, and sat in with the XPress Band
.Upon leaving school in 1993, he moved back to St. Croix and joined The Violators (later V.I.O. International), as drummer and vocalist.The Violators
achieved much regional success, with Toby writing many of the original songs recorded by the group.The highlight of Toby‚s tenure with the group came in 1999, when he
wrote and sang the song "Bend Down," which won the St. Croix Festival Road March title.He
also wrote the songs that won the St. Croix Festival Road March title in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2000, as well as "Jungle," the band‚s biggest hit.Toby left V.I.O. International in 2003, and is now a member of the XPress Band, as drummer and vocalist, bringing his style of songwriting and performance.