In an ever evolving music industry, daily thronged by talented emerging acts, Nigerian French-Canadian singer-songwriter, Töme delves into the Afro-Fusion music genre with the aim to stand out in the pack.
Tomë is a French-Canadian and Nigerian artist born in Montreal and currently based in the city of Ontario, where she was raised and has lived in her whole life.
The singer started writing music as early as 8 years old with the direction of rhythms she made up in her head. At the age of 10, her parents gifted her with her first guitar which encouraged her passion for music and led her to releasing her first project on Soundcloud in 2015, a self-recorded body of work.
Tomë acquired her bachelor’s degree in Acting for camera and voice from Seneca College at York to follow her childhood desire of being an actress. It remains something that she’ll likely explore in the future.
Building a successful brand is challenging whether you are a small business or individual. Historically, breaking out has especially been a tough job for women in music and entertainment.
In just 2 years of becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, she has performed with Burna Boy, Wizkid and Mr. Eazi on world stages, and she is just getting started.
Phylix’s Blog; How would you describe your music?
TOME; Afro fusion is the best way to put it.
Phylix’s Blog; Let’s talk about you being in Canada. Is that challenging in any way considering your sound and music mostly speaks to Nigerians?
TOME; Not necessarily I think that the culture in Canada is very vast and diverse and they’re quite in tune with cultured music and so my sound is resonating well with people here and I’m really happy about that.
Phylix’s Blog; 2019 was an exciting year for you. What was it like touring with Mr Eazi?
TOME; In one word it was absolutely amazing. The experience helped me improve in my artistry, performance and engagement skills as well as my confidence. It helped me build my latest album and it’s an experience I’ll never forget
Phylix’s Blog; Do you prefer performing to recording? And why?
TOME; Honestly I have a major love for the two of them it’s really hard to choose which one I like best because in the studio I’m able to creatively free myself but on stage I can show and express my emotions with hundreds of people around me it’s a thrilling feeling so I’m not really sure how to answer that
Phylix’s Blog; What’s your creative process like? From writing music to recording, how do you get inspiration?
TOME; The beat is definitely what inspires me the most. Once I know what the beat is about, I feel the story from that song then it translates into lyrics but I always lay down melodies first and just freestyle in the booth afterwards, I write it out.
Phylix’s Blog; What is it like working so closely with your dad and do you think it gives you an advantage?
TOME; It’s definitely different but it’s truly a blessing to be able to work with my dad it gives me safety and it gives me reassurance that my career is in good hands, that the people who are pushing me have good intention so it’s definitely valuable to have my father with me more so than it being an advantage.
Phylix’s Blog; Both your debut and new albums are imbued with your Nigerian-French heritage – as an artist have you always used your identity to inspire your music?
TOME; That’s a great question when I first started making music I wasn’t necessarily focussing on incorporating Afro beats as well as the contemporary modern mainstream music they hear nowadays or even adding French in the lyrics. all this came with my self growth as I started to just understand myself better and understand who I am and realize just how diverse my blood is and how I was raised; I think that that was really what helped me understand that I can translate this into music and it can sound pretty damn good.
Phylix’s Blog; What’s the story behind your album title, BT4W?
TOME; In short, bigger than four walls was the sequel to Tomesroom. so I took you from the intimate production into something bigger better more improved more colorful which is bigger than four walls but the meaning of bigger than four walls was because I was bringing something different. when you listen to this project it’s a wide variety of sound there is no specific genre that you can call this aside from a fusion of music and I think that in 2020 this is the best time to stay open minded to be able to bend the rules or the standards of what the industry and the market usually knows, to bring something new and so that is bigger than me, bigger than the industry, bigger than 4 walls.
Phylix’s Blog; this album, you’ve collaborated with many other artists that fuse different musical styles – was this a conscious choice for you?
TOME; Funny enough they all came at different times through different vibes but all the features made the most sense for the songs and I’m really glad I could get them on board and it just worked out.
Phylix’s Blog; What’s your favorite song off BT4W?
TOME; It’s between cherry blossom no love a magical fruits. doesn’t my top three
Phylix’s Blog; How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business? Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic ?
TOME; I believe that our industry was probably one of the most affected of because were not able to perform our travel which is a lot of how we make our income aside from streaming which has actually been in our favor the other aspect of our careers have definitely been affected but I think it’s slowly starting to pick up and there’s different avenues and platforms that are making it possible for us to continue to make content and continue to build our brands so it’s getting better but it did definitely affect us hard at first.
Phylix’s Blog; Having the opportunity to perform at Wembley Arena with BurnaBoy must have been incredible too?
TOME; Incredible that’s the first word that comes to my mind we made history as Africans that night; him being the first artist to ever sell out the arena as an African artist and to be part of that on it’s own was an honour. it was incredible.
Phylix’s Blog; Now the album is out, what’s next?
TOME; There’s an acoustic version of the album in the works right now that should be released soon definitely expect more vibes more music more content coming your way so the best thing is to just follow me on all platforms so you can follow the journey because we always working.
Phylix’s Blog; Besides, If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
TOME; How we go about marketing music. I think it’s time to change the standard common ideology that you must be from one genre or style to be able to propel because you don’t have to be.
Phylix’s Blog: What advice would you give to upcoming artist?
TOME; This industry is not for everybody and it’s not a profession that you get into unless you know that this is for you that you will put your blood sweat and tears, your 24 seven hours into it with no reciprocation, with no pay and with no reward of any sense. if that is not within your soul then it will be very hard to strive forward. learn the business, learn the history of music and what makes an artist great.