(August 30, 2019) Toronto-born and Lagos, Nigeria-raised singer TolumiDE (pronounced toe-lu-mee-day) moved back to Canada at the age of 18 and became immersed in all forms of the creative arts while studying Fine Art at York University and singing with an all female reggae band. Shortly after moving to the United States to pursue a career in graphic design, TolumiDE solo performances began to bubble at open mics, festivals and weddings. She quickly garnered a following for her sweet vocal presence and intimate songwriting. She compliments soul music with a fusion of her Nigerian heritage and explores themes of life, love, laughter and inspiration with mainly English lyrics and a touch of African spice in form of rhythm and native Yorùbá language.
Some artists craft their musical concoction with research, and study – others play the tune that’s rolling through their heads. Our latest feature however, Mrs. TolumiDE, has gathered her influence by immersing herself in it, traveling the globe to gather the ingredients in her unique Suya Soul sound, a contemporary fusion of Soul, Indie-pop, and African music. Spending her formative years in Lagos, Nigeria, TolumiDE landed in Toronto at York University, where she got her first big break in music as part of the Reggae band, Women Ah Run Tings. After earning several nominations for the Canadian Reggae Music Awards, TolumiDE landed state-side in our backyard of the Baltimore-Washington metro area, and its here that she’s truly made her mark.
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.
International singer-songwriter TolumiDE is back on the music scene with a new single “Your Arms,” from her highly anticipated EP, Mama Sunshine. TolumiDE shared her music as well as a piece of her heart during a recent interview with rolling out.
Where are you originally from? Where do you reside now?
I’m a Nigerian-Canadian currently residing in Washington, D.C. I was born in Toronto, then my Nigerian parents took me back home to Lagos for my primary and secondary school. I came back to Toronto to study Fine Arts at York University and moved to the States after graduation when I was offered a full-time job as a graphic designer for WBFF, a Fox-affiliated television station in Baltimore.
The inspiration for me deciding to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter came from my passion for music. I sang, danced and performed a lot as a kid in my high school and at church and then while I was at York University in Canada, I sang and toured with an all-female reggae band; an opportunity that literally just fell into my lap from a friend at my job suggesting I audition for my boss’s sister who had a band. After my undergrad studies and a few years of working full-time as a graphic designer, I naturally came back to the music and developed my songwriting skills so I could sing songs of that I could relate to.
Event: Launch of WANDA, nonprofit by Tambra Raye Stevenson for organization education, empowering and advocating for women and girls of African decent to become leaders in the fields of nutrition, dietetics and agriculture.
TolumiDE is a talented Nigerian-Canadian singer and songwriter whose music spans the genres of R&B, Afropop and Soul. Having never met her nor listened her music, I was struck by Tolu’s earthy voice and quirky adlibs. A WANDA honoree herself, TolumiDE graced attendees with a new song called, “Mama Sunshine”.
While listening to the catchy song filled with themes of growth, resilience and renewal, I felt the song was a perfect way to begin a new chapter for many of the women standing in the room. WANDA has provided an opportunity to connect and build a community with a common purpose and that is something I am very thankful for.
TolumiDE had a song for these feelings as well, offering an encore with her song of thanks and praise, “My Love”. Be sure to check out the video on YouTube!