TolumiDE (pronounced toe-lu-mee-day) is a name in her Yoruba native language which means ‘Thank You God, it is a merger of her first name ‘Tolulope’ and her last name ‘Olumide’. TolumiDE showcases deep inflections of her African heritage which is translated through her soulful, gospel and poetic lyrics and sounds. TolumiDE is an award winning R&B/Soul/ Afro-Pop World Fusion Singer-Songwriter. - www.tolumide.com
We got a chance to interview this phenomenal artist this month. It wa simply wonderful getting some answers and clarity on some of the questions that we had? There are two podcasts - the first one is one in which she talks about her very recognized song, 'for me' and the second one is one in which she talks more about her music, challenges and more. Read the excerpt and make sure you listen to the pod.
Let’s talk about the direction that you are taking your music to?
Soul music, world fusion, inspiration. That’s really the genre I am targeting. I am targeting urban station here, in the UK, South Africa and Kenya that play urban music.
Talking about the cd, ‘my love’ and the song, ‘specialty’?
Why did you choose - My love as the title of the CD?
What challenges did you face?
As an independent artist, it is always tough to get people to listen to your music at first. On the first project, they moved it straight to gospel which was great and I got a lot of responses but some thought that the music was more contemporary. That was quite challenging, because the music industry loves to categorize and label. Right now, I am pushing it into world music and gospel. For parties, African do tend to like their fast pace music, so it was a little hard to get them to play it at parties because realistically, it is more of a mellow vibe. My love is upbeat so I heard it a couple of times at parties. So we were kinda of battling the pace of the song, and the male driven industry within African music - Nigerian music, they do tend to play a lot of males . But, there are quite a lot of females that are doing extremely well and releasing some really nice music.
Why do you think women have such a difficult time breaking those boundaries - particularly African women?
They are not too many right now. It is dominated by a lot of males. Their music is energy driven. It doesn’t mean that ladies can’t sing but ladies try to maintain a certain element of soul. So, female artists have to sometimes think of some songs that have that part of Afro pop, Dance Vibes to it. It is not the genre of music. Why not sing what you are driven and what your passion is to sing about?
What have you learnt so far in your journey?
I have learnt that slow and steady wins the race. Keep at it. Keep the hustle on and everything will pay off. Not all doors will open at the same time. Just keep going and doing it well. Don’t get discouraged. Do the best that you can in terms of the quality. It is a means, and we are going to put all our efforts into getting that song right. Each song isn’t perfect. I’ve learnt that Africans really appreciate each other in terms of artists. I am here but I have a lot of fans coming out of Africa.
Do you find that because you sing within a particular genre of music, people find it limiting?
You sing about your own experience. For myself. I am certainly encouraged to do what I am doing. If I wasn’t getting any feedback, then that is different. But, I do get feedback and the numbers are growing. So, I just have to keep at it and get more to listen to it. To enjoy and share and enjoy the music.
We’ve talked about my love which is a great cd and for me, which everyone loves...it is a very different message. I don’t think I’ve come across that kind of message but for a woman to actually talk about something like that. It is different. Very very different. Are you scared that people, that people will be like, look at this woman oo.?
Any plans to expand?
What do you do in your spare time?
What is your story?
My story is pretty much: born in Toronto and raised in Nigeria. Living in DC. I am a creative artist in every sense of the word from music to fashion and to design. I, certainly love Africa. I will love to see Africa do well in this century. I want to do my own part and play my role in bringing eyes and ears to the continent. Doing what I can do, to make the world a better place.
interview by PS.
Last Updated ( Monday, 16 April 2012 00:55 )