One On One with Töme

One On One with Töme

Siphelele Shezi

TÖME is a Nigerian-French Canadian actress, singer & songwriter.

Born Michelle Oluwatomi Akanbi in Montreal, Canada,  she boasts a sonic palette that is as diversified as her multicultural background.
Töme’s musical journey kicked off half a decade ago with a self-recorded 5 track EP released in 2015. Whilst working a full job as a marketing executive, Töme continued to hone her musical skills and nurture her audience with the release of her first official tape “Töme’sRoom: Chapter 1” in 2019. In the same year, the singer quit her full-time job to face her musical sojourn full time.

Tömeusical journey so far has seen her perform across Africa, Europe, and Asia sharing the stage with African International music heavyweights such as Wizkid & Burna Boy. She also toured with Mr. Eazi on the Life is Eazi tour.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Töme released her much-anticipated EP on May 22nd, 2020 “Bigger Than Four Walls” (BT4W) which is already generating millions of impressions across all digital platforms.
Töme teams up with ace Ghanian artiste King Promise for “All to You” and Nigerian hitmaker Runtown for “Concentrate” which are the lead singles off the project. She also features Nigerian Alte music star Wavy the Creator and Zanku Music rapper on other songs of the project.

Tome’s next single titled “I Pray” is set to be out on the 17th of September, 2020 which is also her birthday.

GeeGo is greatful to share Tome life with all the readers.

What have you been working on recently?

A lot of new music and content will be released very soon. You can look out for my new single titled "I Pray" that will be released next month, September 17th, 2020, which happens to be my birthday! 

How is your new EP different from your first EP?

My project "Bigger Than Four Walls" (BT4W) had an improvement in production as well as in sound. I began to realize that I am very versatile and I do not need to box myself into a certain style to be accepted.  I can be myself and own the versatility that I can bring to my music. I’m starting chapter 2 with a whole new light.

What are the topics addressed by your new EP? 

The topics that were addressed in "Bigger Than Four Walls" are quite diverse. They include and are not limited to: understanding your truth and having to live with your reality, staying positive regardless of a failed support system, and on light-hearted songs like "Sol", we are encouraged to let go, let loose and feel good. The topics are very multi-dimensional in that sense.

How would you describe your music genre? 

Afro-Fusion is the best name for it. I’m able to incorporate Afro beats with the tonality of genre-bending sound by fusing Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul all into one song.

Which of your songs are you most connected to?

I easily connect with " No Love" from my latest project; it is one of my favorites because I believe that it is relevant at this time. You know, you start to realize at some point when you start attaining new levels of success that your supposed "support circle" isn’t moving at the same pace as you are and no longer propel you to be better. Although I have an amazing support circle, there are also the negatives there too.  

Are there South African musicians that have influenced your music?

Quite honestly, no. There isn't any South African artist that has influenced my music. However, there's quite a number of South African artists that I am discovering more and more, and I'm starting to realize just how similar we all are within the continent when it comes to the language of music.

What has been the most memorable moment in your music career so far?

My Europe tour with Mr. Eazi in 2019. It was an incredible experience and something I would never forget because, during that tour, I performed in my first arena opening for Burna Boy, who made history that night as the first African artist to sell out the Wembley Arena.

Is there an area of life that has influenced your music? 

I believe that my growth as a person through my journey of life is what influences the lyrics and the messages you get in my music. Sometimes, it doesn't necessarily speak to or about me but it resonates with those around me. Those things are truly what inspires the music I make.

If your city were a song it would be…?

"Started from the Bottom" by Drake

What’s your favorite place in South Africa to play?

Sadly I have not been to South Africa just yet. However, once I do I will let you know, hopefully when the world opens up after this pandemic.

Which artist in South Africa do you wish to collaborate with and why? 

Honestly, I don’t necessarily know many South African artists but I do plan to be working with quite a few very soon. So there are some collabos on the way and Sho Madjozi is also someone I would like to collaborate with in future 

Which artist will you like GeeGo to feature in Africa and why? 

Tems, Wavy the Creator, and Lady Donli are artists I believe are bringing fusion to the industry and bringing a new sound to the African market. I believe that the more we can showcase our versatility, the stronger we can become an African industry breaking through to the mainstream. 

What goals do you have going forward in life? 

I plan on creating a platform for other emerging and upcoming artists as well as creatives to propel and guide them in whatever direction they might be going into. By God's grace, I'd wanna create two Grammy award-winning songs or projects as well as two Oscar nominations for Hollywood films. Furthermore, I plan on starting my own label and have a generational empire that leaves a legacy behind so no one ever forgets who Töme is. 

How to book Tome?

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