CMU Approved

Approved: Tunde Olaniran

By | Published on Thursday 26 July 2018

Tunde Olaniran

Tunde Olaniran is set to release his second album, ‘Stranger’, on 5 Oct. The follow-up to 2015’s ‘Transgressor’, his newer songs dial up the pop production and see him throw himself into his songwriting without a safety net. The results – heard on singles like ‘Symbol’ and the newly released ‘I’m Here’ – are outstanding.

Discussing the album, and growing up in city now mainly known for its contaminated water supply, he says: “‘Stranger’ is, in some ways, about anonymity. Being from Flint [in Michigan], you’re often anonymous; a curiosity at best and a ghost at worst”.

“The experience of becoming an artist in Flint was very disjointed and piecemeal”, he continues. “Few people understood what it meant to be an artist and nobody was there to give any real world advice. And this water crisis has engulfed everything in its wake, and it’s a challenge to exist as worthy of attention apart from the narrative of your tragedy. I want to stand on my art and performance, not rely on a backstory [like] ‘queer artist from Flint'”.

Finally, he says: “I’m not sure if I’ll ever shake the feeling of being a stranger, being stranger. Even in the burst of queer talent that floods Instagram feeds and streaming services, everyone is thin or slim or muscular and white or lighter or more impossibly beautiful. I made ‘Stranger’ to write and sing my way out of tragedy and also about being a stranger to everyone, including the people that love you. I’m not sure where I fit, but I know I do deserve to be here”.

Listen to new single, ‘I’m Here’, here:

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