Available today, June 2 via Believe, ‘Spectrum‘ is the new six track EP from hotly tipped newcomer Tamaraebi. The EP contains the critically acclaimed singles ‘Brown Angel’ and ‘Telephone’ plus the brilliant new single ‘Waistline‘.
A clubby track with skipping rhythms, synthesized guitar and top notes of reggaeton, ‘Waistline’ was inspired by Michael Sembello’s ‘Maniac’, the ’80s chart smash that featured in Flashdance. “When I was young my mum was proper into health and fitness and when she put videos on to do a workout, she would do her squats to Maniac,” comments Tamaraebi. “All my songs are a bit sexy and with this track I wanted something that was also a bit upbeat, so I could move my waistline!”
‘Waistline’ also illustrates the multifacetedness that Tam sees as his creative strength, which is why it inspired the EP’s title ‘Spectrum’. “I have so many different approaches and it’s all still me,” he explains. “I feel like I need to integrate every part of myself because all the parts make the whole and I feel that a lot of people in the world are afraid to express parts of themselves they feel they will get judged for. With this project, I want people to connect with the parts of themselves that they think are ugly or that others won’t really get and just be free to be what they want.”
Tamaraebi has received tastemaker support from The Times, Notion, Clash, the Line of Best Fit, Trench among others, plus radio support at Radio, BBC London, BBC Wales, BBC Leeds, Jazz FM and Amazing Radio. The videos for ‘Brown Angel’ and ‘Telephone’ have received over 200k combined views on YouTube, and the tracks have received extensive playlist support from Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
Daniel Tamaraebi Itombra was born in Lagos to parents who worked for the UN. The family moved around a lot, first to Calabar in southern Nigeria, then to Nairobi, Sudan, Tanzania and – when he was 16 – Leeds. It was here that Tamaraebi, whose childhood listening had been limited to gospel and (his father’s passion) country, first heard hip hop and “properly fell in love with music”.
While studying law at Leeds University he started performing every weekend at a local club’s open-mic nights. That was soon stepped up to a regular Saturday session with a soul-funk band, followed by a short stint as a hired-in member of a trio, which meant travelling from Leeds to London to record old-school, soul-pop songs.
After graduating and completing his Legal Practice Course, Tamaraebi secured a coveted two-year traineeship in London. He moved to the capital – and quit the job after two weeks. Law wasn’t for him, Tam realised. Music was. It was then that he began “trying to figure out how to be an artist”, determined to write and record his own material.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone who started singing at the age of two and hasn’t really stopped since, Tamaraebi is still hooked on that feeling. “When I sing I don’t feel shy, I enjoy it,” he declares, “because that’s when I feel the most connected to everybody. They’re just in the moment and we share this… thing. It’s like a big group hug and I like that. I definitely feel like I was born to sing.”