Tunde Olaniran is one of the most beloved fixtures of the Detroit music scene, as well as a driving force within the growing artistic community in Flint, MI (where he currently resides.) His debut album (Transgressor) led to praise from critics at The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Noisey, Afropunk and countless others. On the heels of that release, Olaniran embarked on his first U.S. national tour in support of noise pop darlings Sleigh Bells. He was named NPR’s Top Artist to Watch at SXSW 2017 and performed to a homecoming audience of 5000+ at MoPop Festival in Detroit. Tunde also made his first European appearances in London, Derbyshire (Y Not Festival) and France (Festival Les Escales.)
He released his second studio album (Stranger) in 2018, which was called a “finely calibrated mix of purpose and playfulness, executed to stylish perfection” by NPR, “pop caffeine” by Bust Magazine, a “totally vibrant declaration of worth” by The FADER, and “at once triumphant and defiant” by The New Yorker.
The Flint, MI-based multi-hyphenate—singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, choreographer, author & activist—brought his energetic live show to fans last fall with Years & Years. The dates supporting Years & Years included shows at New York City’s Terminal 5 and Washington, DC’s Lincoln Theatre and were born out of Olaniran’s friendship with Years & Years frontman and queer icon Olly Alexander. Alexander has called Olaniran “my absolute idol” and notes, “I’ve been a fan of his music for a few years now and I am in total awe of his creative output. Tunde’s ethos of creating a safe space playing live has been an inspiration to me, his vocal talent and musical imagination leave me drooling.”
In addition to his own work, Olaniran has collaborated with fellow Michigan artists Flint Eastwood (“Push”) and Mona Haydar, whose 2017 viral track & video “Hijabi” was co-written, produced and video directed by him. Tunde also worked with indie folk singer-songwriter and musician Chris Bathgate, co-writing and performing on Bathgate’s single “Hey Low.”
Olaniran was named a 2019 United States Artists Music Fellow, alongside artists like Juliana Huxtable and Helado Negro. He was recently named by Yo-Yo Ma as one of the three most inspiring artists of 2019.