Holding out for a Hero? Tunde Olaniran Comes to Save the Day
Photo Credit: Bre’Ann White
Originally appeared on Grimy Goods.
Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Tunde Olaniran is an adept singer whose range seems boundless. They have been known to quickly change from heavenly falsetto to gruff hip hop bars on a dime. Their thematically-rich 2018 record Stranger supplied plenty of varying rhythms to exercise Olaniran’s voice, as they waxed poetic about what it means to be known. Their lyrics contain multitudes; they can speak on the Black experience, Celine Dion, and science fiction, and float seamlessly between subjects with grace.
Olaniran’s solo career seemingly began in 2011, with the release of The First Transgression EP, the first of several so-called misdeeds. After putting out the EP’s direct sequel eighteen months later—The Second Transgression—a full-length album called Transgressor came in 2015. The titles refer to Olaniran’s style of music, which was a disarmingly chaotic mix of hip hop, punk, and dance music. But the release that put Olaniran’s career on the map was Yung Archetype, a 5-track EP that came in 2014. The sound was more unified than the Michigan artist’s earlier work, yet also more experimental, incorporating industrial samples into hard rap beats. Olaniran’s voice was still developing at the time, though their grip on rhythm was ironclad. Not to mention their creative language—the EP’s title is the easiest example of a pun with mileage. (Philosopher Carl Jung’s proposed archetypes are considered universal and innate.)