We had the good fortune of connecting with Tosin Aribisala and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tosin, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
When I moved to the United States in 2001, I met an old woman that said to me: “Make a name for yourself.” That was one of the best piece of advice I ever received from anyone. It grew deeper in me, and it has always propelled me to hold on to my dreams of self-redefinition. That line also helps me to handle all of my projects and businesses with high degree of integrity, knowing I have something of value to offer the world when it comes to art and music.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am into creative arts, songwriting, music production, drumming, acting and teaching music. Making music is natural for me. Being open-minded has really opened some doors for me in the industry. For instance, being at the right place at the right time, and meeting the right folks. One thing always leads to another. Being open to collaborations, as opposed to trying to stand alone, has some advantages. Collaborations puts you on the path of diversity and relevance. That has been my story up till date. I recently did a virtual collaborative project with the New York-based Grammy winner Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. I won’t say it has been easy all the way. The music industry has its unique challenges. The independent record labels that used to be around to support some creatives are no longer in existence, leaving many individual artists to bear the burden of fueling their own projects alone. But with self-discipline, management skills, and determination, some of the odds can be well-managed and surmounted. One lesson for sure is that it is very important to be proactive when it comes to change. The industry changes a lot, and COVID has made a radical change a reality in the arts/entertainment industry. I saw this over 15 years ago, the fact that things will not always be the same. So, it is always great to have plan B or C, such as other career alternatives to keep life going, as a responsible citizen of the world. What I want the world to take from my art is the idea that music can be therapeutic; it can elevate the mind; it can foster cultural depth, and bring us together in solidarity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
With limited places to visit due to COVID, I would take my visiting friends to some parks with heavy nature presence. I love nature, so that would be somewhere we can go and be free to explore things that are not man-made. We can bring our own snacks and drinks along.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to all of my well-wishers who always give me some words of encouragement and support through the journey. I am not a self-made man. It takes a village (and the global community in this modern dispensation) to make an individual.
Photo by Justin You