Growing up across the globe did not deter TolumiDE’s aspirations of becoming a singer. In fact, her various dwellings strongly shaped her musical prowess. With gospel music at heart, TolumiDE hopes to convey a message that is totally her own.

Born in Canada and raised in Nigeria, TolumiDE got her start in music at a young age when she joined various youth choirs in her community. After graduating from high school, she relocated back to Canada where she enrolled at York University. It was here that her musical interests vastly began to form.

“Music started mostly in high school, but a lot more in college,” TolumiDE told the AFRO. “In college, I joined an all-female reggae band as a back-up vocalist and after a couple of years, I started singing lead.”

TolumiDE left the band after six years and settled in Baltimore, where she pursued a career in still graphics and on-air productions at Warner Bros. But music still lingered in the singer’s heart.

“I decided that I wanted to start pursuing a solo career in music more aggressively so, I started writing more and here I am today, I’m making music. It’s really been a journey.”

In 2008, TolumiDE released an EP entitled Specialty and received critical praise for its unique take on inspirational music. This musical effort combined gospel with African rhythms and urban pop and solidified TolumiDE as a one-of-a-kind inspirational artist.

“My music is still within the genre of gospel, but it’s more on the contemporary side and it’s combined with Afro pop, so that definitely makes me stand out,” TolumiDE said. “I’m trying to introduce something that’s a little more edgy while still being sincere with the lyrics.”

Now, TolumiDE doubles as a singer and graphic artist. With her latest musical effort My Love she hopes fans will relate to its messages while also appreciating its various influences.

“I write to inspire, I write to tell people about my life and my Lord,” TolumiDE said I want to give people a nice blend of the African and also the western influences on me through my own journeys in life. It’s all really part of who I am.”

After her first EP, she won the coveted Nigeria Entertainment Award for Best Female Artist. Thereafter, she got the opportunity to perform on an international platform.

While the singer is basking in praise from her efforts, the road hasn’t been easy. In the midst of financial issues and fears that people won’t accept her form of inspirational music, TolumiDE uses her fans as a drive to keep pushing through all of her tribulations.

“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed,” TolumiDE said. “But ultimately, I just hope my music will bless someone or somebody will just have a good time listening to it, that’s the motivating factor to keep going.”

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Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor