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INTERVIEW: TolumiDE

Hi Tolu, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I am awesome, thank you for having me! I’m excited about the new song “Your Arms (Fun Mi Layo)” and am happy it’s generating some good reviews!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Your Arms (Fun Mi Layo)”?

It’s a Soul song with an African groove. I wrote it to express the feeling of being loved and being in love. I chose to sing part of the hook in Yoruba – my Nigerian native language. It sounded sweeter to sing “Fun Mi Layo,” which means “You give me joy” in Yoruba.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

It was a series of events for me. it was comforting to finally meet someone special.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, the video was filmed in the Bahamas by Lavado Stubbs. It is currently being edited so I am looking to release it very soon.

The single comes off your new album Suya Soul – what’s the story behind the title?

I coined the phrase “Suya Soul” to describe the fusion of Contemporary R&B with African music. Suya, which is a popular spicy grilled shish kebab indigenous to Nigeria. It represents the alternative music flavor I offer to listeners who love soulful music.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process has been wonderful. I really got my songwriting skills flowing after I jotted down a list of themes I wanted to share on the album. I also got into producing and worked with some really talented producers like James McKinney, Dayo Afolabi, Lorenzo Johnson, Jaja Bashenghezi and Terry Poindexter.

What aspect of Soul did you get to explore on this record?

African Soul music is the core foundation of this record. It has a touch of Reggae, Jazz, Inspiration, and Afropop.

Having lived and traveled around the world – how do all these cultures have an influence on your music?

Yes, all of the different cultures have certainly influenced me. Especially the diverse range of cultures present in Africa. Some of the other languages I explored for the project are Swahili, Lingala, and Twi.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Much of the inspiration for the album has been from personal experiences. Just to name a few, “Survivor” is a self-affirmation claim to myself to keep pushing through challenges that life presents from time to time. The song “Beautiful” is an anthem of gratitude to a true and genuine friend.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! I am looking forward to a few summer shows in the United States, Europe, and Africa. I am hoping to share my music wherever I can!

What else is happening next in TolumiDE’s world?

I’ve been vlogging a lot of my experiences creating the album and sharing my world. Some of my vlogs include me traveling, cooking, dancing, attending events. You can find my vlogs on tolumide.com!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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