Born in Montreal, Canada, Nigerian/French-Canadian singer, TÖME is the neo-afro-fusionist artist, who refuses to slow down for anyone or anything (not even corona). Releasing her sophomore album, ‘Bigger Than 4 Walls‘ earlier this year, TÖME has rather swiftly moved on to a new chapter ushered in by a three-pack single release, “I Pray”.
Laden with inspiring quotations and messages of love, “I Pray” is a spiritual gospel song that leans on God for guidance. Speaking with NATIVE, TÖME revealed what in particular she has needed God’s protection from this year.
What (or who?) have been your biggest adversary this year?
Most definitely COVID-19 has been my biggest adversary, as well as my bad habits of procrastination￼.
Besides prayer, what other methods do you use to overcome your demons?
Meditation really helps me calm down, yoga, [or] just [taking] deep breaths and moments of quiet; these practices are not as consistent as I’d like them to be however it is something I still try to do as frequently as possible to help me centre myself and focus my energy on positive thinking.
What are your preferred methods for lifting your spirits?
Taking deep breaths and just recollecting my own memories and thoughts of the moments I appreciate the most. Making music is a great way for me to find inner peace. Working on an acting script is really uplifting and my social life, being around friends is always good and healthy for my mind and mental.
Who are you sending love to today?
The primary single is a reggae-soaked number, fittingly featuring a childhood hero, Sean Kingston, who last year came back to popular attention in Nigeria with his collaboration with Davido, “Peace of Mind”. Following her alluring musings that signal TÖME’s entrance onto the track, the singer, narrates of how different adversaries wish to knock her down and take her sight, but she says “No, no fighting, no cussing, no war,” instead encouraging “love and affection for all.”
With compelling wails through the first half of the chorus, TÖME gets on her knees and prays to the Lord for mercy to lead her, help her fight her demons and give her strength so she is not broken down by the forces working against her. Sean Kingston quickly snatches the mic after TÖME’s magnanimous chorus, contrasting her passionate cries to God with a smooth, laid-back verse where he discusses his troubles involve financial difficulties, takes accountability for his sins, and ultimately thanks God for the good life he has lived over his thirty years.
Following TÖME’s second chorus is an unduly lengthy outro, the highlight being a brief duet where TÖME sings over a part of Sean Kingston’s verse where he praises God for the blessings that He has bestowed upon him. In a press release statement, Sean Kingston expressed his gladness to have worked with TÖME on “I Pray”, saying:
“TÖME is an incredibly unique artist with a beautiful voice, I really vibed with this song and I respect the fact that she is an independent Afro artist on the rise. I’m happy to be a part of a record the world truly needs right now”
The next offering in the pack is the extended version of the track, that replaces Kingston’s vocals with a second verse from TÖME herself. This take is absolutely impeccable. Exhibiting the versatility in her vocal skills, as she dextrously changes pace and rhythm, TÖME encourages us not to be discouraged from following our dreams, and not let outside voices control us with their purported “advice”.
To fill out these three minutes, TÖME ends the extended version of the track repeating a prayer to God, “please have mercy on me,” before leaving room for the BRYM beat to play us out. The final track in the pack is a French rendition of the extended offering. Boasting a worldly following, TÖME appreciates her own multinational, bilingual upbringing with this trifecta of singles.