Nigerian singer Tomi Owó finds power in authenticity

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Conversation with Nigerian soulful singer Tomi Owo

Nigeria soulful singer Tomi Owó’s uncompromising vision of her contribution to music is unwavering, as she puts it her purpose is to highlight the beauty, greatness and potential of our people, the African people and culture. Tomi says she’s moved by authenticity, she has put out several projects such as: Nostalgia Sessions On SoundCloud which was successful, where she did renditions of some of the select popular songs across various genres and from back in the days. She describes her music as ‘Alternative Soul’ which is an infusion of various sounds from soul, pop and African sounds.

The Lagos born singer walks the path of reality and substance and keen on building a lasting legacy as a true musician and an exceptional artist. She began her career around 2015, where she put together a project dubbed,  Pieces: The One Song A Month Project; the 5-track project was well received earning her admiration among her peers and music fans, with her unique approach to music, and as they say the rest is history.

The singer recently released;a piece that was birthed through a collaboration with creatives at HelaBase the creators of afrocentric popular culture entertainment and Samsung as part a campaign for Samsung Nigeria.

We sought out the Nigerian songstress and she was gracious enough to have a conversation with us.

Afroway: Tell us a little bit about Tomi Owó

Tomi: I’m a singer-songwriter from Lagos, Nigeria.

Afroway: What got you into music? Is it a family thing?

Tomi: I’ve always loved music, and the icing on the cake is that my family is musically inclined. From listening to my favourite artist, Brooke Fraser in college, and seeing how much her music impacted me, I then decided to make my own contributions in music.

Afroway: How is it working with your brother-producer?

Tomi: It’s the best, really. IBK is a brilliant producer, and I enjoy working with him because we understand one another musically.

Afroway: How has your musical journey been so far and what influences you as an artist?

Tomi: It’s been one of steady growth, and I\’m grateful for the ups, and for the lessons I’ve learnt along the way. As an artist, I’m moved by authenticity. Every human being has something unique to contribute, and as an artist, you should know what makes you unique, and make meaning out of it.

Afroway: Now, on ‘Linger’ how was the creative process on this?

Tomi: ‘Linger’ is a song I wrote for an audio-visual collaboration with HelaBase, a team of creators of afrocentric popular culture entertainment, and Samsung Nigeria. We had an interesting brief, and worked together to produce the song and visual towards a campaign for Samsung Nigeria.

Afroway: You are currently working on your debut LP, that’s definitely exciting. What should your fans anticipate?

Tomi: Yes, my debut LP is in the works, to be released this year. It\’s going to be an experience for everyone, and I look forward to everything coming together.

Afroway: How different would this album be from your previous projects?

Tomi: The things I’ve chosen to write about define the body of work.

Afroway: How do you define your sound?

Tomi: My sound evolves as I do as an artist, but it\’s always soulful.

Afroway: Any artists you featuring on this project?

Tomi: They’ll be revealed in due time.

Afroway: If you would have an actor play you in a movie who would it be and why?

Tomi: Somkhele Idhalama. She’s one of my favorite Nigerian actresses, and I think she’ll totally get me. If she sings, that would be even better

Afroway: Your favorite hangout joint in Lagos?

Tomi: I love love love the beach.

Afroway: What is your take on the Nigerian music industry? Is it working?

Tomi: It’s growing exponentially. Right now, it requires artistes to put in much more work, resources and strategy than other more developed industries, but the right conversations are being had, and progress is happening.

Afroway: As an artist how much are you putting in to become an African Influencer?

Tomi: The best way to achieve that is to be excellent at what you do, which is what I aim for, with everything I create. Also, my Nigerian/African heritage is very close to my heart, and all that I do as an artist and creative aims to highlight the beauty, greatness and potential of our people and culture.


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