All around us, death and its permanence continue to rock the foundation of our faith in human life as we once knew it. From surviving the scourge of a deadly virus that continues to threaten our very existence, to fighting world governments with no regard for our lives, the defining thread from the preceding year has revealed that pain and happiness can co-exist in tandem for pretty much all of our lives. In order to forge ahead in this world as an empath, one needs to have a strong sense of self to navigate the horrors of our current reality and remain on your ten toes despite any curveballs life decides to throw at you.
In our present self-isolating climate, music that speaks to the core of our being and provides a secure emotional base to assess our personal experiences is always welcome. Tomilola’s new second official single, “Mo Yato” – roughly translated in Yoruba as I’m different – seems to provide this as she sings about finding the strength within to weather life’s tempestuous moments.
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Opening up with the sound of thumping bass and delicate guitar strings, Tomilola ushers listeners into her second official offering with a vivid scene that sets the foundation for her honest confessional. “I’m running/I’m running from myself now,” she sings in the song’s opening moments, painting a picture of a restlessness to stay active and evolve consistently. Switching from her calm and deadpan delivery in the verses, to a higher pitch in the hook and pre-chorus, it feels almost like Tomilola is symbolising the freedom she feels through her melodies.
Over the groovy production by Kingsley Okorie of the Cavemen, she sings, “I don’t wanna do follow follow/Can’t afford to wait till tomorrow I need to get going now,” showing listeners that cultivating a strong sense of self and self-confidence is all one needs. There is an impatience to Tomilola’s journey – she knows that if she loses any time to second-guessing, she will inadvertently miss out on her opportunity so she trusts her ideas. The verse ends with the singer self-assuredly declaring, “I’m not afraid to be myself, I’m gonna jump.”
Throughout “Mo Yato”, Tomilola asks listeners to remember that they are special, encouraging them to move with that palpable confidence in each area of their lives. For a newcomer in the music industry such as herself, Tomilola is making her most defining statement yet; she is different and as a rarity in the nascent stages of her career, she has full control of her creative and professional journey. Tomilola is saying that she is carving out her own space because she knows who she truly is and it’s this motivation that keeps her going even when she’s afraid. It feels like a pep talk you would have with yourself in the mirror, urging yourself to be strong and get your head in the game.
Nothing feels out of place on this number. Each lyric she employs is there for a reason, vibrating with a need for freedom and defiance, Tomilola sings with all the self-conviction in the world that will certainly provide listeners with a powerful message to take on whatever they may face over the coming months. With a powerful voice that represents a musical manifestation of strength and power, Tomilola is shaping up to be a musical luminary capable of winning over our hearts and ears and we’re excited to see how she continues to peel back layers to her personhood in later releases.
Stream “Mo Yato” below.