My music is inspirational. Genre wise, my style is African, roots, ethnic, folksy and soulful with a contemporary edge. I incorporate my native Yoruba language in my songs. I am from Ogun State Nigeria, West Africa, currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. … Tosinger Oluwatosin [in her native Yoruba language Tosin means God is worthy to […]
Here’s presenting the latest video to one of my favorite songs from my Organically Singing Debut Album – ‘African Nostalgia‘ . I have always had an affinity foranything nostalgic, classic or vintage.. I know there are many songs out there that talk about ‘Home’ from ‘homesick’ artists and musicians based in the diaspora, this proves that it’s a general feeling that is easily relatable for those who live abroad and not just only them, but everyone in general, within or outside the continent, with memories of throwbacks. It is our job as music healers to make this feeling manageable (or incite-able) through our art. There have always been songs on this subject and there will always be in the future. As a diasporan artist, I particularly have a strong default passion and deep emotion towards the concept of our “roots” and inclination towards “home longing songs” and I have a lot of memories that guide me on this creative path, this is what also led to my songwriting and storytelling of the ‘African Nostalgia’ song. Click video below —:::
The African Nostalgia music visual is basically a musical imagery and storytelling of some experiences of my childhood and activities I observed growing up in my Grandma’s house in Abeokuta city, Ogun State, Nigeria ; from the sounds I heard, to the people I saw and my environment in general. You’ll have to listen to grasp it and maybe you can recognize a thing or two if you are from a similar background. This video was shot on a hot sunny day, while hiking miles up the Kennesaw mountain in Georgia. I wanted that picturesque green scenic scene that reminded me of the lushness of the African continent, I was not glamorously dressed or anything like that, typical of a music video; it was just simple, an everyday capture and I was comfy (apart from the bugs and sweat :)) ) within my environmental element.
I love Nature. I love Africa. I love Music. I love Art. I love Nature. Oh I think I said that already :). I am definitely a nature’s girl and I believe it’s a God given therapeutic environment which we should use more of, and also conserve and treat kindly. You should try having nature walks when you are stressed. I (and Lloyd the videographer) were sweating like Christmas goats, climbing up the mountain, huffing and puffing, I had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions but we still tried to pull it off 😀 so just like the album title, this is as raw and organic as it comes 🙂 and I hope you enjoy it.
I want to particularly thank two musical powerhouses who collaborated with me on this song, who I’ve not met but we connected across borders to bring this to life. The talented Ivorien bassist Arnaud N’Gaza based in Morroco and Daniel N’Guessan, percussionist/drummer also from Cote D’Ivoire. My gratitude goes to Zambian Photographer and budding Filmmaker, Lloyd Mackayi, who I met at TERRA COTTA ATL, who shot the video. Despite being independent and on a shoestring budget, I’ve been blessed to attract, albeit virtually, and connect with fellow talented and beautifully spirited, understanding creatives and individuals who come across my creative path and space. For this I am grateful. And I hope to come across more in my lifetime.
I hope you appreciate and enjoy the video, or in one way or the other, in some way, relate to it. Please feel free to like, share and comment and subscribe to my new TosingerVEVO channel where I intend to release bit by bit, concept videos of my musical body of work.
It’s been a minute and here is what I’ve been working on. I sing, I write, I act and I tell stories. I am a modern day griot and a cultural ambassador and my name is Tosinger. 🙂
Here’s introducing, the first vlog/webisode/series, whatever you choose to call it, edition of my weekly (on Tuesdays) folk storytelling project- TALES WITH TOSINGER,
Folk tales and fables are an educational and entertaining means of passing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. An African tradition for several generations, adults would tell tales by the moonlight while teaching morals and lessons. I have chosen to gather adults and children alike around a social app, a youtube video, the millennial way to get the world’s attention 😉
Enjoy Episode #001 Dawu the Lion King. DO SUBSCRIBE, like, comment and spread the word. Ese! ( pronounced “E-shay ” — which means ‘Thank you’ in Yoruba)
Ongoing for three years now, AfroDreamFest is an annual touring concert that celebrates and promotes neo afro-fusion artists/genres of music from the African continent in the diaspora to commemorate African Liberation Day. (May 25) . Previous ones were held in Atlanta and Houston and it is coming to NYC this year. For more about Afrodreamfest see – www.afrodreamfest.com
As the convener, I wanted to see a platform for afro-indie artists in the diaspora who make meaningful good music to come together and share a stage, it has been a journey and an ongoing one as the event continues to brand itself in the afro~diaspora traveling across select cities across America. As years go by, the hope is to have interested sponsors push it to a wider reach on a bigger stage with larger audiences who appreciate the afro fusion music these talented artists are putting out. Performing in New York on May 22 at world music venues Meridian 23 on Friday May 22 and on Saturday May 23 at Silvana respectively are Brooklyn based Afrobeat band ‘Laolu and The Afromysterics’, myself, Afrosoul/folk/acoustic music ‘Tosinger’, AfroRnB artist ‘Ogasilachi‘ , Afro Jazz Artist ‘Eli Fola’ and from Nigeria, Ayanbinrin- Africa’s foremost female Talking Drummer and a guest artist from Nigeria, afrosoul artist Aduke. Tickets are available online at $10 and will be $15 at the door. Doors open at 7.30pm and show starts 8pm till 11ish on both days. See you there if you are in New York, great way to spend the memorial day weekend holiday and enjoy/support good music. ~https://afrodreamfestnyc2015.eventbrite.com ~
Here’s a glimpse of what you will experience live.
Presenting a short acoustic spontaneous version of ‘Merci Beaucoup’ (Thank you very much) – work in progress song from my upcoming debut album project ORGANICALLY SINGING Summer 2015. I invite you to join me on board this uniquely refreshing organic and healthy afro~soulful music journey at http://igg.me/at/organicallysinging . I appreciate your contribution to the indiegogo campaign (currently 9% at 28 days left …Help!!! :D) where you can also lock in your pre-public/pre-order and get perks as well. A special thank you to all who have supported so far.
Laolu Senbanjo on Acoustic Guitar, Kunle Ade on Percussions and Eli Fola on the Saxophone. Recorded at Complete Studios, New York Oct 2014
In honor of Fela Kuti, his music legacy and in commemoration of his birthday, Felabration! an annual celebration is taking place in various cities all around the world during the month of October. (October 15, 2014 would be Fela Kuti’s 76th birthday).
“The idea and concept of Felabration as an annual celebration of Fela’s music, life and times, originated from his eldest child Yeni who conceived it in 1998”. …Read more here
The impact of Fela’s Afrobeat music cannot be overemphasized and his musical legacy surely lives on, greatly influencing the works of the today’s crop of Afro artists.
And so I am honored to be a part of Harlem-New York’s Felabration concert as a special guest of Laolu and The Afromysterics , also featuring the Super Yamba Band, where I’ll be doing some favs and a couple of originals. See you there if you are in NYC!
Knitting Factory has a special offer going on that you might want to check out if you are an ardent Afrobeat lover
Culled from Knitting Factory FB page
“Happy Birthday Fela Kuti!!! The Original Black President!
Felabrations are taking place around the world in celebration of his life and legacy. Knitting Factory Records is offering 15% off the entire Fela Kuti catalog (excluding box sets) for the month of October.
Use code: HAPPYBDAYFELA at checkout)”
Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing and keeping the flag of Afro music flying….
Kino Lorber, New York film distribution company has released the first trailer to the documentary “Finding Fela,” which made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
‘Finding Fela’– a look at the life and music of Fela is certainly not the first documentary to be made about the legendary AfroBeat maestro, musician, composer and performer Fela Anikulapo Kuti aka Fela Kuti. Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney, the film was produced by Jigsaw Productions, Knitting Factory Entertainment, Okayplayer and Okayafrica.
Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela (2014) is a sweeping portrait of the artist as guerilla warrior. Set to the insistent groove of Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti’s revolutionary Afrobeat sound, the remarkable story of one man’s courageous stand against a corrupt and dictatorial government gives testament to the transformative power of music as a force of social and political unification.
“Finding Fela” will begin its US theatrical run on August 1, with an exclusive Manhattan engagement at IFC Center; it’s also scheduled to open in DC on August 8 (at Landmark’s E Street Cinema), as well as in Boston (at Landmark’s Kendall Square) and Atlanta (Landmark’s Midtown) on August 15.
When it comes to music and general aura of the cultural creative, I am an old soul as evident in a huge section of my music taste. So it was with sparked interest and melancholy that I heard of the news of the death of Nigerian highlife, afrogroove, afrofunk musical legend ‘Bola Johnson’ who ironically, his discography included a title tagged ‘Man no die’ . I got the news of his demise, as posted on the wall of a fellow afro old-school music connoisseur who is a music historian, DJ & owner of ‘Comb & Razor’, Uchenna Ikonne. The news was broken to him this morning, however Mr Bola Johnson passed on recently, April 6, 2014 to be precise. No further info on the circumstances of his death. May his soul rest in peace. His music legacy lives on.
From the vaults of Philips in Nigeria comes this collection of mysterious trumpeter and bandleader Bola Johnson. Unmissable 60s and early 70s recordings for all highlife and Afrobeat fans. A missing jewel from a golden age of Nigerian music – Vampisoul Records
Bola Johnson & His Easy Life Top Beat
About Bola Johnson – as culled from a VampiSoul Publication which now links to Munster Records.
Up till now, Bola Johnson only seems to figure in the margins of the high octane Lagos music scene of the late 60s and early 70s. He may have never had the focus, the career longevity or the catalogue of titans like Afrobeat’s Fela Kuti, juju’s King Sunny Ade or highlife’s Victor Olaiya, but his music took its own magnificent route through the popular music of the time. His joyful treasure of a voice embellished every style in his repertoire, from the sweetly melodic heights of highlife and palm wine to the soulful skanking of Afro-blues/funk and Afrobeat; his red hot trumpet scorches its way to your yearning soul; his tunes vibrate with infectious hooks and undulating rhythms; he seems equally at home composing across the stylistic range… Funk? Calypso? Highlife? You got it!
Bola Johnson was born in 1947 into a musical family. He attended Livingstone Academy in Lagos and, after that, the prestigious Eko Boys High School. In 1962 he dropped out of school to follow his musical destiny. His trumpet dreams were inflamed by his time playing with Nigerian trumpet-playing legend and highlife maestro Eddy Okonta, but he joined Eric Akeaze’s highlife band as a singer and maracas player in that same year, then resident at the Easy Life Hotel, in Mokola, Ibadan, which was the hub of the music scene in Nigeria in the 60s. When Eric Akeaze and his band left the Easy Life Hotel, Bola was asked to stay and set up the Easy Life Top Beats. They also toured the northern part of Nigeria. When Bola returned south, this time to Lagos later in 1968, he and his musicians were match fit and ready to make their funkiest tracks.
In 1964, while still only 17 years old, Bola had been signed to the Philips West African record label, and he recorded many of the rootsier tracks you can hear on this album as 7-inch singles. In 1968, in Lagos, he recorded the funkier material on his “Papa Rebecca Special” LP and later a rootsier album entitled “Ashewo Ajegunle Yakare”. Given how great he sounds, you’ve just got to ask exactly why more material wasn’t recorded. According to Bola, the A&R people at Philips in those days allowed sentiment for the past to override their judgment in promoting new artists, because they had highlife giants on their label such as Osita Osadebe, Rex Lawson, Victor Olaiya and Bobby Benson, and so it was hard for younger artists to get their attention, backing and consequent exposure.
Additionally, it was always difficult for him to own musical instruments, and bandleaders were the people who owned and supplied their musicians with musical hardware. Of course, you must factor in the civil war and the consequent decrease in popularity of highlife. Then the rise of juju, Afrobeat and the briefly fashionable Afro-rock. Classic and unique as Bola’s approach was, it didn’t seem to light the same kind of fuse for young Lagos. As his musical opportunities began to go off the boil, Bola went into broadcasting, firstly at Radio Nigeria Ibadan in 1970 and then he moved to the FRCN (Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria) in 1973. Sometimes he played at the Cool Cat in Ebute Metta, Lagos.
Bola Johnson 1947 -2014
Listen to his “Lagos sisi” track
Boomkat product review of ‘Man No Die’ CD
The irrepressible Vampisoul label presents a wonderful overview of Nigerian legend, Bola Johnson. With all the attention afforded to Fela Kuti, Victor Olaiya and King Sunny Ade, Bola seems to have slipped by all but the most ardent collectors and Nigerian natives, that is until Kayode Samuel painstakingly researched and dug deep in the crates to collect these twenty two track, spread over two discs. As you’ll discover when dipping in, Bola was a charming personality who could adapt his charming vocals and trumpet playing to a range of styles, from Calypso to Funk, Highlife and Afrobeat. Disc 1 contains the Afrobeat spiced palm wine styles of ‘Asewo Ajegunle Yakare’, the frisky merengue-like rhythms of his house band Easy Life Top Beats on ‘Oro Aiye’, and the swinging highlife of ‘Iyawo Kokoro Mi Da’ with its charming soap opera intro. Disc 2 opens with the killer drums of ‘Mimo Mimo Loluwo’ (sample hunters beware), before firing up the deadly James Brown-debted Yoruba Funk of ‘Ezuku Bozo’ and ‘Lagos Sisi’, plus the infectious blues licks and conga shake of ‘Lagos Special’, and heartwarming rootsy Highlife in ‘Edumare Soro’. Once word gets out about this album, there’s gonna be a stampede from the Afrobeat lovers!
Whatever happens to music royalties of legendary Afro musicians? What is the structure in place for African musicians to get what they rightfully and legally deserve when they are long retired or gone? or after foreign music tastemakers see the treasure in their work and take over representation/distribution, do they get what they rightfully deserve? This will be a great “look into” for future and I’ll be checking with my friend, Uchenna Ikonne, on his thoughts on that soon.
Talking about mysterious legends, this video documentary about William Onyeabor,the man and his music, intrigued me so much, to say the least. It is interesting how the relevance of ‘old music’ is now catching and riding on the waves of the ‘modern age’. Watch this.
Keeping the legacy of afro music alive, and promoting and supporting talented indie afro~artists today, who make contemporary afrofusion music on the continent and in the diaspora, is a passion/project of mine tagged ‘Afrodreamfest’. Check on it and be in the know and kindly spread the word. Thank you!
Have you heard of the Guitar Wiz Musician Keziah Jones? What?! You haven’t? Well, now you do, no dozing on a musical bicycle 🙂 The continents are loving his “Afro BluFunk” music, Europe in particular. An eccentric Afro ~ Bohemian, he is very relevant to the new wave of the Afro musical scene even though he has been around for a while. I personally love his branding, the uniqueness and incorporation of Afro elements ( especially on his latest project which depicts him as having superpowers dressed in a simple yet dramatic costume made out of African Ankara fabric) Here are a few picks from his photoshoot, so distinctly intriguing, a representation of a musical African SuperHero.. His new album ‘Captain Rugged’ is available on iTunes.
A Nigerian-born rocker heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Fela Kuti, Keziah Jones gained popularity in England and France with singles like “Rhythm Is Love” and “Beautiful Emile.” Jones was sent to a boarding school in London when he was eight, and he started busking in the London Underground when he was in his teens. He gigged up a storm in Covent Garden and Portobello Road, which led to his discovery by manager Phil Pickett. One bassist (Phil “Soul” Sewell), one drummer (Richie Stevens), and many gigs later, Jones found himself with his first album, Blufunk Is a Fact!, in 1992. Several more albums ensued over the next 15 years (African Space Craft, Liquid Sunshine, and Black Orpheus among them), fixing Jones as one of the more prominent blues-rock musicians on the European music scene in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach
Hope everyone is doing alright. There’s always music to make you feel a little better. Right? The spotlight is on a very good, personal, musical friend of mine, coincidentally a namesake, TOSIN (Tosin is a Nigerian (Yoruba) unisex name, short form of Oluwatosin which means ‘God is enough to be worshiped or God is worthy to be worshiped). Tosin is a songwriter, vocalist, drummer extraordinaire, composer and arranger. He is one of ‘us’ carrying the torch of African music in the US diaspora. He is a renowned drummer & percussionist (oh I said that already :)) former – Ayetoro band member who has played with who’s who in the industry including Spyro Gyra, Femi Kuti, Andres Levin, Jon Carroll, Antibalas, Julie Dexter among others. More on his site. I absolutely love his sound and vibe, afro feel with a touch of contemporary lacings, and his use of the Yoruba language, just like my music. Keep scrolling. 🙂
I will let this video of his interview with Heather Maxwell do the talking. Enjoy.
Music Time in Africa presents TOSIN with Host Heather Maxwell
Click on Tosin’s image below to learn more about his music, connect with him and get his latest project ‘Life Begins’