|Pick of the Week|
|Tunji - Atlanta, GA
By Kelley Guiney
Perhaps this is unavoidable when you grow up on the south side of Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s -- I have a fierce weakness for R&B and soul. There’s something about the genre that is emotionally accessible and smooth – lyrics that bare the soul, and vocals that can express those lyrics through just the right tone and timbre. The vocals really carry the song, and the artists – from Tina Turner to Smokey Robinson to Erykah Badu to Aretha Franklin to Eric Benet – have that form of expression mastered. It’s my favorite type of music, and not a day goes by that I don’t get at least one hit.
So it was real pleasure to listen to Tunji’s debut CD, One & Only Me. It’s a soulful, smooth ride, a group of songs with consistent quality that you can easily listen to over and over again. The vocals and harmonies are stunning, and as I first listened “they” (it sounded like “they”) reminded me of Blackstreet or Boys II Men, as one smooth track followed another with well-written lyrics and just enough of an edge to keep things interesting. I was understandably fooled into assuming this CD was done by a group, maybe four or five guys, all of whom had excellent vocals and range. It was amazed to find, when I went to the Web site to do a little research, that this whole CD was put together – lyrics, vocals, instruments and production – by one guy. That’s right. Tunji is not a group, it is Tunji Ajigbeda, a man who has paid his dues to achieve his musical vision.
Tunji is originally from Benin, a small country west of Nigeria. He and his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was seven years old. Growing up in Atlanta, Tunji and his family struggled through some hard times, his song “Prince of Poverty” did not come from his imagination. He pursued his passion for music in high school, graduated with honors, and received a scholarship from Emory University. He joined a four-man R&B group that specialized in harmony, and did a lot of songwriting for the band. When the group broke up he blended his passion for music with a passion for technology and quickly got up to speed on production technology.
After putting a good deal of energy into producing other groups, Tunji decided to produce his own musical vision. One & Only Me is the result, and Tunji does all the vocals, plays most of the instruments and produced the CD, although artists Emerald and L-Dawg also contributed. The achievement came about through solid commitment – Tunji took a second mortgage on a house to get the studio quality he wanted.
One & Only Me is a promising debut from a dedicated artist.
For more information on this band, CLICK HERE
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