Born as Tolulope Olumide, in Toronto, Canada, to Nigerian parents studying at the University of Toronto. They moved to Sacramento, CA to complete Graduate studies before migrating back to Nigeria with Tolulope also known as Tolu.
Growing up in Nigeria, TolumiDE was born for music. She was a member of a number of choirs and cultural dance groups at her primary school University of Lagos Staff School and secondary school, Atlantic Hall. Deciding to pursue Graphic Arts instead of the occupation of her father, an architect and engineer, she journeyed to Toronto and enrolled in York University’s Fine Art Program. “My faculty was filled with art, music, dance, film, television and multimedia specialties, all of which I had always wanted to explore,” shares the songstress. Immersed in the arts fully, she became part of an all-female Reggae band called “Women Ah Run Tings”. The group, producing a collage of music with Dancehall, Roots, R&B, Rock and Hip-Hop influences, caught the attention of many and ultimately became four-time Canadian Reggae Award Nominees. Not only did the group open up for artists like Burning Spear and Beenie Man, their videos debut on Much Music, Canada’s #1 Music Video Channel. The band gave Tolu know as “Tini” in the band the opportunity to hone her songwriting and singing skills, as she soon became the ensemble’s lead vocalist.
Simultaneously while pursuing her music career, she obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts Honors Degree in Visual Arts Communication Design from York University in Toronto, Canada. While in school her mother passed away after several cancer treatments in Baltimore, Maryland. TolumiDE continued her studies and upon graduation, left Toronto for Baltimore to be closer to her family and develop her career within the design industry. She secured a position as a Graphic Artist for Baltimore’s FOX and Warner Bros affiliate Television Station and began to design motion, still graphics, on-air promotions, marketing and public affairs projects. Shortly after being settled in her design career, TolumiDE joined the non-profit group Nigerian Youth Association of Maryland (NYA) and became part of the team to establish FestAfricaUSA, formerly know as Naija Fest – an African Festival that celebrates and showcases African culture. The artist never strayed too far from creative arts activities, she began to attend open mics and singing engagements within Maryland and Washington, DC to fuel her first love for music. She received an invite from Harrison Nwozo C.E.O of Tribe X Entertainment to feature on the Green October Project: Volume I. and with the introduction of Big Lu – a DC based producer, TolumiDE released ‘Because you know’ as the feature track for the project. The single gained much recognition with the African Entertainment industry and earned her the award for Best Female R&B Artist at the 2006 Nigeria Entertainment Award. In 2007, TolumiDE released an EP titled ‘Specialty’ with 6 tracks including the hit single ‘Because You Know’.
By Fall 2009 – Spring 2010, TolumiDE was in the studio working on a debut album project with Producers and Musicians – Blaise Tangelo, Tery Poindexter, John Bashengezi, Ngouma Lokito, Erik Dennis, Mark Baker, Alan Gaffere, The Ogunfiditimi Brothers. The full length, Project, My Love, was released May 2010, an Urban RnB/Soul project with element of World (Afro-Pop), Gospel, Jazz and Reggae. Throughout the twelve tracks, all penned by the artist herself, TolumiDE bares her musical soul and takes the listener on an emotive and telling journey of her life and her love.
Bob Marovich of The Black Gospel review writes – My Love blends songs from TolumiDE’s first EP, Specialty, with brand new tracks, and the sum total is sweet, jazzy, soulful, powerful and an effective combination of world beats with inspirational lyrics and practical lessons. So turn up the volume, wave your cell phone in the air, and enjoy TolumiDE.
The accompanying video, for the title track ‘My Love’ directed by Tayo Abereoje from Black Royal Pictures received rotation on MTV Base, Channel O (South Africa), Trace TV (Europe), Gospel Music Channel (USA), MBOA TV, Nigezie and ONE Gospel TV and many online outlets. The video earned numerous award recognitions including Channel O Music Video Awards (South Africa) Most Gifted RnB nomination, Artscape SOUND-OFF Competition Winner, MOAMA – Africa Music Video Awards Nomination for Best Diaspora Song and WAMA (Washington Area Musicians) Nominee for Gospel/Inspirational Vocalist & Recording. The Album packaged as an enhanced CD with bonus screen Savers, Karaoke – Instrumentals also received a nomination at the Covenant Awards nomination from the Gospel Music Association Canada in the Urban/R&B/Soul Album of the year.
Performance Experience: Vancouver Jazz Festival – Vancouver, Canada Toronto Jazz Festival – Toronto, Canada Nigeria Entertainment Awards – New York City, NY ArtScape – Baltimore, MD FestAfrica, Patterson Park – Baltimore, MD International Festival – Baltimore, MD New Year’s Eve Street Festival – Wilmington, DE Blues Alley – Washington, DC Nigerian Embassy – Washington, DC Howard University – Baltimore, MD Morgan State University – Baltimore, MD Towson University – Baltimore, MD Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City, OK Canadian Reggae Music Awards – Toronto, Canada 10A Garden Theatre – Lagos, Nigeria Busboys and Poets – Washington, DC