‘We need to shine light on indigenous music’
Although Afropop rendered in different styles has taken over Nigeria’s music scene and has gone global, the need to amplify indigenous music has been canvassed to promote the country’s culture. This was the view of Tosin Taiwo, also known as Tosinger, in a recent conversation with The Guardian as she sought to promote her Afrofolksoul music and new book on African folktales, Seven Afrofolk Tales in Seven Days: Original Folklore Inspired by the Past and Present.
According to Tosinger, “Obviously, the commercial (Afropop) beats have quickly taken over the music scene, even globally. We still need to shine the light on the indigenous, cultural music of Nigerian people. For the sake of genre description, I’ll call my style of music Afrofolksoul or Afrosoul/folk. This is because it is soulful and contemporary with the incorporation and a preference for acoustic, organic African sounds and folk content. Folk content includes storytelling, the occasional use of my native Yoruba language/proverbs and inspirational lyrics.
“As a modern day griot (storyteller), I am just about to start a podcast series on African folktales. I am also a thespian on the side. I work part time, doing background acting and music work for films and theatre”.
Taiwo who gets her music inspiration from God, family, nature and the continent of Africa also noted, “I write and I work behind the scenes for various media productions. I’m a freelance copywriter; I write content and copy for brands”.
She stated that what stands her out is her passion for singing, adding, “I’ve always been into music as a child at five years old, and surrounded by my mother’s classic records. I sang at SS Peter & Paul Cathedral Church Choir, Ake, Abeokuta, Ogun State with my maternal grandmother who was also a choir member. I was discovered to be naturally talented to sing and was drawn to music as a child”.
She has been singing professionally for 14 years now, and has Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Tracy Chapman, Angelique Kidjo, Sade Adu, Bobby McFerrin, Don Moen, Terry Gaithwaite, ZapMama as music models.