Activism, body positivity, race and social issues are all themes in Flint-native Tunde Olaniran’s music. Olaniran will perform on WKAR’s Backstage Pass on April 17. Tickets are free.
Olaniran’s music can be jarring, especially with sounds that aren’t normally in pop music. He diverges from the pop format with his lyrics and rhythm.
When writing his songs, he said he gains ideas and insight from other people’s perspectives, along with his own, and forms them into a song. While he is writing his lyrics, he is simultaneously thinking about the beat.
His song Namesake (from his debut album Transgressor) became a hit in 2015, and since then, Olaniran has gained more attention.
Olaniran said that as soon as Transgressor was fully released, he immediately began working on his album Stranger, which has been a three-year process.
Those who attend Backstage Pass will see songs that Olaniran has not publicly performed from Stranger. During his interview, he said there were even a few songs he had not choreographed yet.
For his fans that follow him from show to show, he said he tries to change up each performance so people don’t feel like they are watching the same performance again.
Olaniran will perform at WKAR’s Studio A at 7 p.m. at the Communication Arts and Sciences building at Michigan State University.