If you had read our article on '13 alternative artists you should add to your playlist', you'd probably have gotten to listen to the sounds of music from the lovely singer and songwriter, Tomi Owó.
It's not every day you get to discover such talent that her like exudes.
Pulse music brings her a step closer to learn more about Tomi's craft, what makes her tick, and her plans for the future.
How did you discover your talent as a singer and songwriter?
I come from quite a musical family, so my mum and siblings helped me become conscious of my singing early on. I started writing songs as a means of therapy, to express things I was feeling, good or bad, and to give voice to things I couldn’t tell anyone directly.
When did you start taking the music professionally?
I started in late 2015, when I decided to release one song a month. It was a very stimulating creative experience. We rounded off the project after 5 months, and decided to build up to a body of work.
Are you from a musical family background?
Yes, pretty much. My mum was an active gospel singer in her younger years. My siblings play a range of musical instruments, and the youngest, IBK, is a music producer.
Do you write all your songs?
Yes. I’ve written all my songs so far.
How’s your recording session usually like, working with IBK and Odunsi?
I’ve worked mostly with IBK in the studio. A typical recording session with him is quite professional. In the studio, I’m not his elder sister; I’m a singer who has to bring her best to the table.
He has an amazing musical ear, so he helps to conceptualize the sound, and make it all come together. Then, after recording, it becomes fun and we have our regular sibling banter.
IBK and Odunsi worked together for 'Versus' after I had recorded my vocals, and they came back at me with the finished song, so I haven’t been in a recording session with Odunsi yet.
Any challenges or reservations you have about the Nigerian music industry you would like to share with us and proffered solutions?
There have been so many improvements in the industry over the past few years, especially in sound quality, music distribution, and general awareness about best practices in music.
However, there is a major need for a smarter, more sustainable business model for the music industry. The solution is already before us – learn and innovate. The more we learn and innovate, the more we know and are able to do, to make the industry more viable.
Which musicians do you admire and why?
Oh, they’re in numbers. I admire musicians who are creative, smart with their career choices, and who touch the souls of listeners through their music. I’ll narrow down to Bez, Asa, Somi, Oh Wonder, and Brooke Fraser.
What’s the deal with The Hills Music Group? Are you signed to them?
No, I’m not signed to The Hills Music Group. They’re also connoisseurs of good music, and I’m glad they share my music on their platforms.
Who has been your biggest support in your music journey so far?
I’m blessed to be surrounded by amazing people. Family and friends have been super, and listeners have been amazing and responsive, sending lovely messages and providing feedback on the music every day.
When can we expect your LP out?
It should be out pretty soon.
Do you have a personal favorite recording?
All my released songs have special places in my heart, but ‘Rora’ featuring Femi Leye is a favorite. It speaks to me a lot of times.
How has the reception of your music been like in Nigeria and beyond?
It’s been amazing. When we started releasing music, I was not sure of how my sound would be received. I just trusted and put it out into the universe. But I’ve received messages on SoundCloud and social media from Nigeria and a couple of countries within and outside Africa, and it’s amazing to see how well listeners appreciate the music and the work we have put in so far.
Any events or gigs you'd be at for the rest of the year that we should be on the look out for?
I’m mostly in studio mode these days, but there are a few events in November which will be shared soon.
What’s the big picture you have for your music career?
I want to keep raising the bar in terms of innovation and execution in the music industry. And I want to keep speaking to the heart, and from my heart, and reaching people through my music. There isn’t going to be an end to that.
Listen to Tomi Owó 's 'Ile' (with lyrics) and be blown away.