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THE SCHICK SIT-DOWN: MUSICIAN, TÖME TALKS PROMOTING FEMALE EMPOWERMENT THROUGH MUSIC AND BECOMING A FORCE ON THE AFROBEATS SCENE

This Women’s Month, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate one of the rising talents on the Afrobeats scene, singer, TÖME. The artist had a big year in 2019, joining Wizkid on his Canadian tour and Mr. Eazi as he performed around Europe. TÖME also performed at the Wembley SSE, London at the Burnaboy Concert, also making an exciting appearance at Afrofest 2019, Uppsala Reggae Festival in Sweden and SXSW 2019 in Texas. It’s clear there’s no stopping this fast-moving train!

SCHICK sat down with TÖME to discuss her music, female empowerment and making an impact in the industry.

Who are your major music influences, if any?

For me, it’s always been Fela Kuti, Micheal Jackson, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, amongst several others! These artists appeal most to me.

You’ve been described as an artist who is committed to making empowering music for women. How do you feel your music accomplishes that?

Personally, I feel that the best way to be heard and understood is when you can relate to someone, which is what I try to achieve in my music. I do that by creating stories in my lyrics that many ladies can relate to and then showing them their worth as a result of that experience.

In my first project, I touched on the different ways a man/relationship can change your whole perspective on life. In my next project, I demonstrate the different ways to express happiness, look beyond the negativity and continue to live a life of wealth and joy. This is my way to not only empower woman but empower all.

I feel the best way to be heard and understood is when you can relate to someone, which is what I try to achieve in my music

 How would you describe your sound?

Honestly, the best way to describe it is Afro-Fusion. I truly put who I am into my music, giving you a fusion of sounds, with my mix of English and French lyrics and tones of Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul and sometimes Reggae (Dancehall), which is what I grew up around. The core similarity within majority of my songs is Afrobeats, though.

All my songs are a little different from one another however, there is a mix of genres in each one that really resonates with me as an artist and lets you know that this is TÖME’s work.

You’ve toured with Wizkid, Mr Eazi and performed at a number of concerts around the world. What, so far, has been the highlight of your career?

Thus far, getting a whole crowd to sing along to my song, which they had never heard before since it is still unreleased, was one of the most gratifying highlights of my career so far; of course, aside from opening for Burna Boy at Wembley Stadium in November, which was an exciting moment for Africans everywhere!

You premiered the music video for your latest single, The Money last month. How has the reception to it been and how did it compare to your expectations?

The reception has been bigger than I expected for sure. It’s the most viewed video of all my songs so far. It feels amazing knowing that so many people really love this song. Oddly enough, it wasn’t even one of my favorite songs initially and not top on my list, as my next release is! So, I’m happy it has exceeded my expectations for sure.

Would you describe your brand as more Afrobeats or global?

Global for sure!

How do you want people to feel when listening to your music?

Like they have a friend they can listen too. I want people to feel good, happy, I want them to move or cry uncontrollably. I want to be able to make my listener go through a roller coaster of emotions and then feel relieved through my music.

I’ve had a few people tell me how my songs were able to touch them in a special way. That makes me feel like I have a stronger purpose than just making good music

What impact do you hope to have on the music industry?

Our world is filled with hate and ignorance, and I feel we have enough music to speak to that demographic. However, I want my music to inspire change and help my listeners strive to be better every day. 

What makes you feel most fulfilled?

Knowing that people were able to be impacted by my words or music, to change something in their own life that needed doing. I’ve had a few people tell me how my songs were able to touch them in a special way, where it seemed like I understood exactly what they had gone through. That makes me feel like I have a stronger purpose than just making good music.

Follow TÖME on Instagram for more!