A renaissance force to be reckoned with, the music of composer, vocalist and percussionist Tosin speaks highly of his African origin, coupled with his exploration of jazz, funk, rock, reggae and Latin American music. As a prolific composer, Tosin writes and sings in Yoruba, Pidgin English and English. Over the years, he has drawn inspirations from his musical influences in the likes of Tony Allen, Art Blakey, Dennis Chambers, Bob Marley, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Majek Fashek, Keziah Jones, Sting, Seal, Peter Gabriel, and Ebo Taylor.
As a child growing up in Nigeria, Tosin was drawn to music of various origins from around the world through his father's vast album collection. His initial education in music started from consciously listening to those records, as well as reading the liner notes. These diverse sounds reflect in his compositions. In his own words, Tosin professes that, "my music is a mixture of African rhythmic textures and some elements of jazz and blues, with lyrics of hope, love and human realities." Possessing infectious groove sensibility and versatility, Tosin has shared his talents with various groups and artists including Carolyn Malachi, Taj Mahal, Baba Maal, Fatoumata Diawara, Spyro Gyra, Julie Dexter, Femi Kuti, and many producers.
In 2017, Tosin received the Individual Artist Award for best World Music Compositions from the Maryland State Arts Council. In the same year (2017), Tosin appeared on the Drumeo Channel for instructions on African rhythms for the drum set. In 2016, Tosin appeared at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention as a clinician/performer. In 2014, he received the Individual Artist Awards for the best World Music Compositions from the Maryland State Arts Council. Tosin has appeared on the MTV’s Realworld Show performing his Drum Monologue. Other appearances include the Voice of America and Fox 5 News with his own group.
Being a bandleader with 4 albums to his credit, his most recent projects include singles: "What Are We Gonna Do?", and African-themed remix of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” - 2016. His band has performed, both as headliner and opening act at many festivals and jazz venues in the US. With keen interest and passion for teaching, Tosin continues to inspire both the young and older generations of drummers and music lovers through his teaching programs and workshops. In the same vein, he does not relent in writing new materials. Tosin's new album, Afrika Rising, is set for release in June 2018 on Ropeadope Records.
Written and Arranged by Tosin Aribisala
Produced by Tosin Aribisala
Meje Meje – written by Tosin Aribisala and Sarah Melody
Keyboard and Bass Programming on Meje Meje by Alex Akpanita
Musicians in Lagos
Michael Oloyede - drums (3, 4, 6)
Kayode Kuti - bass (3, 4, 6, 7)
Biodun Kuti - guitar (3, 4, 6, 7)
Etuk Ubong – flugel horn (3, 4, 6, 7)
Etuk Uwana – trumpet (3, 4, 6, 7)
Debbie Soul – backing vocals (3, 4, 6, 7)
Rex Shittabey – backing vocals (3, 4, 6, 7)
Samson Olawale – congas (3, 4, 6, 7)
Timothy Ogunbiyi – keyboards (3, 4, 6, 7)
Oluwadamilare Akinyede – recording & mixing engineer
Recorded at Harmonix Studio, Lagos, Nigeria
Mixed at Alfa June Studio, Lagos, Nigeria
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Musicians in the US
Tosin Aribisala - lead vocals, backing vocals, drums on (1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9).
TJ Turqman - bass (1, 5, 8)
John Lee - guitar (5, 8)
Olakunle Afolabi – guitar (2, 9).
Dokun Oke – guitar (1)
Sarah Melody – lead/backing vocal (9)
Adele-Clarice – backing vocals (2)
Kemi Adeagbo – backing vocals (5)
Brian Falkowski – tenor sax/alto sax (1, 2, 5, 8)
Donvonte McCoy – flugel horn/trumpet (1, 5, 8)
Reginald Cyntje – trombone (2)
Joe Mouliom – bass (2)
Ola Thomas – talking drum/percussion (5)
Malari Moore – djembe (2)
Tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 recorded & mixed by Vincent Othieno at Bass Cleff Studio, Maryland, US.
Drums on 1, 5, 8 recorded at Drumeo Studio, Vancouver, Canada
All tracks mastered by Vincent Othieno at Bass Cleff Studio, Maryland, US.
Tosin endorses Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads & Sabian Cymbals.