African-born, Manchester-living story-teller Tobi Sunmola just recently revealed visuals for a new concept track entitled ‘Never Forget We’re Here / Tales From The East’, which plays on the “cynical nature and inherent flaws of the human sense of self”, which is also reflected in the striking video by director Luke Logan, who was shortlisted at Cannes Film Festival for ‘Young Director Of The Year. A dark, grungy and gritty sound, the production consists of a range of instruments that combine with the equally eerie and sinister visuals, bringing an atmospheric vibe. Tobi’s lyrics brilliantly detail life in Manchester, and explores Tobi’s urge to go back to his motherland. Tobi also wakens, like it is depicted in the visuals, to his own imperfections, keeping religion close to him as to keep his soul.
The video depicts Tobi Sunmola running frantically through the woods, maybe searching for his self, maybe his motherland, but whatever it is that he has lost or searching for, he is stuck in the wilderness. Brilliant conceptually, the song is rich in sound and rather melodic too. Tobi transitions from smooth vocals to gritty MC’ing in one tune, showcasing his depth as an artist and his wisdom is displayed in the complex lyrics that explore youth and manhood.
Having moved from Nigeria to Manchester at the age of ten, Tobi would attend his local youth centre studio where he developed his passion for music. Growing up in and around Manchester’s close-knit music community, Sunmola gained support from the Metro and Manchester Evening News, both identifying his potential. He was named as MOBO’s ‘One To Watch’, and now has been championed by Huw Stephens and Mistajam on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Complex, Flavour Magazine and Lost Culture have also written about his ‘stunning versatility’ online. Tobi topped these successes with a performance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2016, and is now working in the studio with Joe Hertz, Bipolar Sunshine, Wretch 32 and Jacob Banks.
Tobi Sunmola’s ‘Never Forget we’re Here / Tales from The East’ out now on Afropunk.
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