Simply put, TolumiDE (toe-LU-me-day) is an incredibly talented recording artist. With her African flair and inspirational musical stylings, she exudes a finesse and an energy rarely seen in gospel music. A unique heritage that includes Nigeria and Canada, TolumiDE, her stage name a collaboration of her first name Tolulope and her last Olumide, which means “Thank you God” in her native language of Yoruba, she has a music ministry with sprinklings of Urban Pop, Classic Soul, Afro-Jazz, Funk, Reggae and Contemporary Gospel. The recipient of the coveted Nigeria Entertainment Award for Best Female R&B Artist, she’s already been recognized in the Motherland as one of the brightest music stars of the day. With dynamic and audience grabbing performances, TolumiDE has gained new fans and rave reviews for her debut EP Specialty in 2008. The project set the stage for her upcoming release, My Love, a further extension of the amazingly gifted artist.
Growing up in Nigeria, TolumiDE was born for music. She was a member of a number of choirs as a youth at Atlantic Hall Secondary School in Nigeria, a place where she honed her musical skills during her time with the school cultural dance group. 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 band called “Women Ah Run Tings”. The group, producing a collage of music with Dancehall, Roots Reggae, 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, but their videos debuted on Much Music, Canada’s #1 Music Video Channel. The blessings kept coming and the opportunities gave TolumiDE a chance 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. The degree opened doors for her to work at a FOX affiliate and Warner Bros. where she designed motion and still graphics, on-air promotions, marketing and public affairs projects in Baltimore, MD. During her time in Maryland, TolumiDE released her first EP, Specialty, containing the hit single, “Because ou Know”. The single was featured on The Green October – Volume 1 mix project and he music video garnered airplay on MTV Base Africa, Channel O, Nigezie TV and a umber of online media outlets.
She’s been blessed to perform at Blues Alley, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, FestAfrica, the Canadian Reggae Music Awards and other prestigious events. In addition to being a sought-after vocalist, TolumiDE sings with the Hallelujazz Project, and Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa, and renders the Nigerian, Canadian or American National Anthems when requested.
Although she’s thankful for the accolades she’s already received, TolumiDE is in no way resting on her laurels She’s thrilled about her first full length release, My Love. Songs like the incredibly moving “More Than You’ll Ever Know” and the funky grooves of “What I’d Like To Be” easily demonstrate how talented this young woman is. The title tune, “My Love” is an exciting, breathtaking fusion of African rhythms, electronica and urban pop. TolumiDE has a way of conveying the gospel message totally her own.
She’s excited about the project and feels that her fans will love it as well. “It’s Gospel Soul and Afro-pop CD with a unique blend of sincere lyrics and invigorating music that fuses African and Western elements,” she explains. “I’m working with some really talented producers and musicians. I love to dance, too, so I knew I had to get some danceable party songs on there! It’s definitely a good world music mix with elements of Reggae and Jazz. I’m really excited with what I have to share.”