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. In a chat with Harry Itie, TolumiDE tells us what she has been up to and talks about her new single, My Love.
How has the journey being from Specialty to this new album?
It’s been quite a journey, but I am really encouraged with the results. I still got loads of work to do though. Specialty was a short EP album and ‘My Love’ is my first full length CD with 12 tracks. It required a lot more out of me. I worked with talented producers and musicians and engineers who truly brought out the best in me. Terry Poindexter produced ‘My Love’, ‘More than you’ll ever know’ and ‘What I’d like to be’. Blaise Tangelo produced ‘Ekabo’ & ‘All cell phones’ and also mastered the entire album. Other musicians I worked with were John Bashengezi, Ngouma Lokito, Erik Dennis and Mark Baker.
How have you changed as an artist and a performer?
I haven’t changed too much growing vocally everyday and thinking a lot more about the complete package, the music, the brand, my style, my personality and elements that will make me unique in a world full of other fantastic artists. As a performer the main objective is to inspire, enlighten and get people grooving hence the phrase ‘Ke Ma Rocky’ – a terminology I created that means get your groove on, get rocking and excited about the music and the lyrics
What inspired the first single My Love?
I wrote ‘My love’ late last year; I had just come back from work and felt extremely grateful to God for getting home safely and then just started of thinking of various things He does for us all and various ways to describe Him and it came down to the simple phrase ‘My Love’.
How is it doing in the US? How is the airplay? The sales?
“My Love’ is doing relatively well in the US, Canada, UK and also Africa. It’s getting air play on about 150 gospel stations here in the US (through Edmondson Communications) and a couple of college stations in Canada (through Extol Group). Although I’ve charted on BDS, still hustling to try to get further up the charts.
How are you promoting the music in Nigeria?
Nigeria has been challenging, but I am optimistic. Right now, I am asking friends to help spread the word about the single, using Facebook and emailing the single to radio stations and DJs.
What do you intend to give back to the Nigerian community with your music?
Ultimately the goal is to offer the Nigerian (African) community at home and abroad a refreshing sound and set of lyrics within the Urban Gospel/ R&B Soul genre that’s inspiring and draws people to grow in Love towards God and each other.
What do you think of the Nigerian situation?
There so many situations… Lighting up Nigeria would be awesome!
How can this situation be changed?
Mega prayers!! Team Work, Education and Determination.
What is your advice to young Nigerians?
Be inspired to be the best that you can be! Draw strength & guidance from God, good research, work hard, network, maintain good relationships and your dreams can become a reality.
Final word (This is usually a brief Word or Prayer to the readers)
May God continue to guide us all in all our endeavors. Amen
Hair Color: Brown/Orange (today)
Eye Color: Black
Favourite Food: White Rice, Stew, Plantain & Salad
Favourite Artist: Anita Baker
Favourite Song – Peace by Lionel Peterson
Book you are reading now: Bible
Favourite past time: School