The name, Tolu Meduna might not ring bell much but the song, EKO (Lagos) that is spreading like wild fire on the internet is giving the songbird away as the next big act to watch out for as the New Year approaches. A singer with a difference, Tolu, in this interview with Ilori Titilayo shares her joys and hopes in music industry, among other stuffs…
What really inspired your new song, “Eko”?
I actually sang about my experience when I first came to Lagos with my mummy and brother. We stood at the bus stop for minutes and we saw people rushing to get a seat in the bus, at first I didn’t understand what was happening. After some minutes, my mummy told us that we should rush because we would end up sleeping at the bus stop. I didn’t have a choice, I had to rush, my mum was surprised because I got into the bus before her. As an artiste, I should sing about what affects you or the environment we are.
Tell us about your journey in the music industry.
I started in 1999 and I joined a band; it’s called the Sugar Band and I left the band in 2006 and I went to the Coliseum to sing as the female lead singer. After that, I took a break, it wasn’t as if I had a fight with Sugar Band members, I just wanted to move forward. When we started the band, we started without a name, we were all hustlers, it was more like a family thing, we are not relations but when you are in a band, you are like families.
Are you into other things aside singing?
I am a fashion designer, I design clothes for men and women.
Would you like to talk about your background?
My name is Tolu Meduna, the third child in a family of four. I have a younger brother, I lost my daddy at a very tender age; my mummy couldn’t adjust quickly. I attended staff school primary school, Oriwu College in Ikorodu and obtained my B.Sc at Unilag. I did part-time course because I had to work. After that, I went to a fashion school in Dubai to perfect my training. Since then, I have been designing.
Why did you leave your former group, Sugar Band?
I have been with them for a long time, I just wanted to try something new when I released my song. People were happy for me because they know I have been with the band for a long time. When they heard my song, they all said ‘’Ha, finally we are happy for you.”
Were you the only female member of that group?
Yes, I was the only female singer they had but I am sure they would have several of them now.
As a growing child, what was your ambition?
I never had a childhood ambition, I just wanted to do something good with myself. When I was younger, we were living in a staff quarters and I attended a nearby church, they discovered I could sing well.
Which do you enjoy more, singing or sewing?
I love both, let me say it depends on my mood at that particular time. Fashion relaxes me; I enjoy designing and as for music, it helps me to interact.
Are you happy with your current state in music?
Looking back from where I started from, I will say thank you Jesus for seeing me to this level. I’m happy because I know I’m going to go far.
What has been your biggest challenge in music?
Music is very expensive and financing it is a big challenge, you always have to come out with something new and good. Sometimes, you look at the challenges as a stepping stone or an experience. I’m not a musician because I want to be famous, I just want to make an impact. When I was young, I would go to church to render special numbers without caring about the number of people in the congregation.
Are you planning to feature any known musician?
Yes. I’d love to do a ‘collabo’ with Asa. I love Asa so much. I also love to pair with Tiwa Savage, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and Salawa Abeni because there is something unique about her voice. I love her so much. Also, I’d love to pair with Dare Art Alade, Don Jazzy, Kiss Daniel, because they are all very talented and experienced and I believe I can learn the ropes from them.
Do you feel fulfilled living your dream?
I tell myself every day that the future is now. I can’t think of anything I have left where I thought I couldn’t get to, I’m far above that point now. I will really like to be an ambassador for a cause and I will like to have an NGO. I’m getting there.
What do you cherish about life?
Life has a way of teaching us what we need to know. I cherish the lessons of life, I lost my mother in 2009 and it was as if the world had ended. That has really taught me so much about life. I see life differently now.
Have you had any embarrassing moment?