Shalom Dubas & Toyin Ores: New Single, Project, and Insights!

Shalom Dubas & Toyin Ores: New Single, Project, and Insights!

I spy with my little eye, a very interesting project coming out soon. Oakwood Ave is a collaborative afrofusion project by US-based Nigerian musicians, Toyin Ores and Shalom Dubas, and it features Tim Lyre, and Chicagoan rapper Femdot. It comes out on the 29th of July and aims to push and expand the culture by showcasing the Afrofusion budding in America. While the project itself is a few days away, they decided to lead up to it with a single called (Bright) Lights. They sent it in ahead of time, I heard it and loved it, and so I decided to sit down and have a little chat with them individually about how this whole thing came to be. The song is linked down below but before you take a listen, lets find out how it came about. Ladies first, so:


Yinoluu: Alright,  Let’s start with you haha. Who is Shalom? 
Shalom:Lol, Initially I was gonna answer in 3rd person, and just give you a heads up to know that my head is not that big [yet], but I think this flows better. I’m a creative – singer, writer, rapper, and a developer of strong ideas. Who I am is always developing but I believe a strong foundation is lasting. So at my core I’m inquisitive, interested in development, and bringing quality through in what I do. So, I’m a musician who is a fan of the journey and the growth that comes from immersing your self in it. I also like to read, laugh at memes, and chill tbh.
Yinoluu: A creative, I like that word. And besides inquisitiveness, what would you say drives that creativity
Where does your music come from?
Shalom: My music comes from wanting to express. First learning to do it through music, and then second, learning that great music is what transcends time. So wanting to express, translate, and to do what I’m striving to be great at. That’s where it comes from at the moment.
For this project specifically – the music came from Ores and I wanting to do a joint project since we’ve been working on music in the same physical circles for the past 2+ years after meeting as undergrads.
Yinoluu: So that means the combination of both your sounds and styles was very influential to this project. What would you say your sound is and how have you seen that grow over the years? Who are your influences?
Shalom: For most of the tracks, Ores makes the beat, I write/build the song on the beat and then record, and then we go into mixing and mastering to get our final product. We’re close in proximity but we also like to work in out own spaces so we trust each other to bring their best to the table. We both work in Logic so that’s been a key part of our friendship lol. He’ll have a better say on his sound but from me – Ores’ sound is clean and it knocks, he’s Afrofusion to a T. My sound is myself I’d say. I sing, write, rap, and play guitar, so it’s a mixture of all those. My sound is everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I’m going.
Some of my favorite music comes from – Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, Kehlani, Lauryn Hill, 2 Face, Drake, Burna, JCole, and Beyonce lol
Yinoluu: Everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I’m going. I love that. That’s a decent list of inspirations there. I know you already have a feature or two on the project but who would you say are you dream collabs? If you had a genie, which producers or artistes would you work with?
Shalom:Lol thank you, it’s a line from a future jam. Haha, dream collabs – it might be weird cause I moreso want to learn how to work with my self first, bring the best from my self, and I’m focused on doing so with people within my reach. So my dream collabs are all reality collabs – cause they’re either a call away, or a couple of calls and a fire track away lol. But people I would love to just sit in the studio with and learn from – Kanye, Andre 3K, Frank Ocean.
Scratch that, Yeahhh Frank is my dream collab
Yinoluu: Hahaha soon come don’t worry. Speaking about learning and growing, were there any difficulties you had to work through in putting this project together?
Shalom:Amen! Biggest difficulty was creating time to work and maximizing efficiency in the time we had. We’re both still based around Penn State and traveling is a big part for gigs but the project is important so we made it happen. 
Yinoluu: I can imagine that. What would you want your listeners to take away from this project?
Shalom: I want them to know that there’s a scene in the US that values and respects Afrobeats and produces quality music that is influenced by it; specifically this scene out of Penn State. I want them to listen and listen well, pick their favorites, and share it with someone. And I want the main takeaway to be that youth can be everything, especially when fueled by urgency. The best time for us to act, to build, and to learn to move with intent is in our youth. If we do that, the future is ours. So yeah, I want homies to vibe and then take that energy and put it into their own purposeful endeavors.
Yinoluu: I feel you I feel you. I’m hoping everyone that listens to this gets that message and adds you to their to watch lists haha. Any last words you’d wanna say to any new fans you’re about to make?



And then I sat with Toyin!:
Yinoluu: Can you tell a bit about Toyin Ores?
Toyin Ores: Toyin Ores is an artist/producer/sound engineer. I do everything myself now, even though that’s not how I originally started music. It just became a thing to do everything yourself, saves a lot on costs too. Youngest of 3, Nigerian born and raised. My mother is also of Ghanaian decent so little bit of a mixture there.


Yinoluu: That’s a lot to do with sound. Is music your only creative outlet and how would you say your music reflects the uniqueness of who you are?

Toyin Ores: For now music is my major outlet, I do photography as well but the music has my major focus right now. My sound is unique in the sense of my writing and fusion of genres, I’m not gonna write bout something I haven’t done or something that isn’t achievable for me. Like I can’t be bragging bout pulling up in a Benz when I don’t even have my own car lol. Then the fusion aspect, I like experimenting with different genres in almost all my songs but I’m majorly an Afro fusion artist, there’s just something bout mixing foreign genres with afrobeat to a different sound.


Yinoluu: Hahaha I think I get that. Multifaceted. I can so relate lol. So from your own perspective how did you and Shalom get to the point of creating a collaborative project?
Toyin Ores: It’s funny cause Shalom and I are actually flat mates lol. So it was just a matter of time tbh, but I’ll say it something that needed time cause I meant her when I was still trying to find my sound and I believe she was still trying to get her balance on recording and production around that same time. So fast forward 2 years, we are flat mates now, and we both know where we wanna take our music, so it just made sense to finally collaborate. Plus, I find it very hard to work with other people so me and her just clicked organically.


Yinoluu: Haha the location couldn’t be more ideal then.

Toyin Ores: Exactly lol.


Yinoluu: How long did the project take you considering you could really sit with each other and work it at home?

Toyin Ores: Mmm about a month. We’ve always had conversations about making a joint project before we moved out through out the year, so we started working on the project late June, completed recording, making beats and selecting the songs we wanted by the beginning of July, then it’s just been post production making sure the project is 100% sonically.

And obviously, being under the same roof, there were a lot of sleepiness nights lol. There was a lot of times where we didn’t even work in the same room. I have my set up and so does she, so some days it was just a matter of sending emails and airdrops back and forth lol. It was just that trust in each other’s work. I would send a beat with some of my vocals recorded, she would write to it, send back what she did, I’ll work on it then just present it to her later in the evening when we are mostly free and tweak accordingly. And we are both open to constructive criticism so we would work on songs until we were both satisfied.


Yinoluu: This sounds like a dream workflow. I’m almost even jealous. What difficulties if any did you guys come across while working? And would you say the friendship and everything helped make things easier?

Toyin Ores: Lol. Difficulties I’ll say came majorly from me. I had a lot creative blocks working on the project so I wasn’t working as fast as I wanted to. And yes, the friendship definitely makes the work process easier. Shalom don’t hold back on her words lol.


Yinoluu: Those blocks can be a pain to get through. I’m guessing you got inspired from her as well so that could help. Now that the project is done and almost out, what do you want people to get from it when they listen?

Toyin Ores: Yeah, working with her definitely made me work harder and better lol. She’s a better song writer after all, so I had to step up my game. For the people that haven’t listening to me from day one, I want them to see the growth in my artistry, song writing and production. For people that are new to my music, I want them to hear the message in the songs, and feel the music. These song are honestly among my best produced song so far. I actually listen to some of them as consumer, especially the single.


Yinoluu: Lol hard to sell people on something if you’re not sold on it yourself yknow. Final question is, can we expect more collaboration from you guys?

Toyin Ores: Oh of course! If not actually recording collaborations, definitely production. I’ve actually produced a good amount of singles for her. They are out right now. But as far as a joint tape goes, I’m down to keep it going if she is lol.


Yinoluu: I feel like after listening to the project, we’d all hope you’d keep it going. Thanks so much for taking time out to talk to me

Toyin Ores: No problem bro.


Whew. Now that you understand the mindsets of these creatives, listen to the song below in anticipation of their project, and hopefully, future collaborations.

  • Toni
    Posted at 20:04h, 30 July Reply


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