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"As things start to open up again, "Nana" is a vibe that's perfect for everyone," says Nigerian and French-Candadian afrofusion singer TÖME

TÖME Returns With New Single And A JUNO Award

Nigerian and French-Candadian afrofusion singer TÖME's latest lighthearted single "Nana" blends afrobeats with indie-folk.

Award-winning singer and songwriter TÖME has kickstarted her 2021 music releases with the single "Nana". She also recently won the prestigious JUNO award, under the Reggae Recording of the Year category, for her single "I Pray" featuring Jamaican artist Sean Kingston. The annual Juno Awards celebrate all aspects of Canadian musical artists.The Nigerian French-Canadian singer continues to wave the Nigerian flag high, where she is a descendant through her paternal lineage. "Nana" follows TÖME's 2020 album, Bt4w (Bigger Than 4 Walls) which she created in the middle of quarantine.


A talented singer and acoustic guitar player, TÖME hits the high notes on the defiant "Nana". A polyglot singer, she celebrates her individualism over ebbing instrumentals, and expresses sentiments around persevering despite difficult circumstances. "Nana" aptly captures her multi-cultural background which has, so far, contributed to her diverse musical abilities. TÖME shared the excitement of finally releasing "Nana" with Complex.

"This one just felt right. After a year in lockdown and dealing with all the emotions the pandemic brought, I felt like it was only right to deliver warm and feel-good music. "Nana" is a vibe that's perfect for everyone as things start to open up again. It also showcases my range and diversity as an artist, which is further exemplified on my EP coming out later in the summer. I want to show that I'm more than just an Afro-fusion artist. This is just a preview of a lot more to come."

TÖME was born in Montreal, Canada and shared in an interview with CBC that her father would often take her back to Nigeria for visits, which made her very proud of her culture. She has toured with Mr Eazi, shared the stage with African international music heavyweights; Wizkid and Burna Boy. Bigger than 4 Walls was her 2020 sopohmore album. It was preceded by Tomesroom: Chapter 1, which she produced while working full-time in 2019. Her debut project One with Self, a five-track self-recorded acoustic EP released on Soundcloud in 2015.

Read: Interview: Tomë Is Pushing Beyond Afro-Fusion From Ontario

TÖME is also a globally recognised actor. Her acting debut as a lead in the short film Love in Transition earned her a recognition from the Accolade Global Film Competition USA 2021, which garners exposure from The Emmys and Oscars.

Listen to "Nana" on Spotify.

Listen to "Nana" on Apple Music.


Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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