Northamptonian Femi Tahiru is the soulful singer-songwriter to stop you in your tracks. New Boots sees a star ascending, so joins the voyage.
New Boots: How did you get into performing and writing?
Femi Tahiru: I actually can’t remember the full details, but I had always done covers of songs when I was like 14. Long story short I came back to music when I was like 19/20 and started producing and writing. I would use my lunch breaks to make beats and stuff. I left full-time work in the end…I was like, “this isn’t it”. Like the office vibe just ain’t the one. I moved to Manchester after a good friend [s/o Emanuel J Burton] told me to come study at BIMM.
What took you to Manchester?
Like I said, I was persuaded to come here by a friend because he knew I wanted to make music pretty much all day everyday. So I thought studying would be the only way I could do that. Manchester has been real good to me.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Indie Soul is what I call my sound. Right now I’m not actually listening to much music because I’m studying most of the time. Aylior is pretty cool, but If I was to name a few, probably Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, basically The Internet. Then Nick Hakim, Khruangbin. Actually that’s a lie, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ghetts, Digga D and Potter Payper.
2020 was a strange year for many, but also the beginning of your journey, with four excellent singles. Have you had much feedback yet? The industry is in semi-lockdown, no public gigs…
Yeah I have actually, everyone shows love. I wish I could release more, but you know things happen and stuff doesn’t work out as planned. But I’ve got a lot to show you guys. I just know the shows are gonna be LIVE when they’re back on. That’s enough to stay positive about the industry. The energy is gonna be mad when we all link up.
Tell us everything about this new release, ‘Asking For’.
‘Asking For’ came about pretty randomly to be honest. I made the beat and wrote the song in two days or so. And yeah its just me ‘bigging’ myself up for finding the right girl. Well I didn’t even find her, she was put in front of me. But yeah I didn’t know what I was asking for until I met her.
What are your live shows like? We understand you’ve built up a decent local following through gigging…
You’ll have to come and see them!
How has all the lockdowns been for you? Helped or hindered your creativity?
Both, definitely both. My head is only just coming back around to being straight again. Its definitely been ups and downs. But I’ve been able to write a new project out of it, so I can’t complain. And we’re all going through it, so I just gotta ride it I suppose.
Will you come back to Northampton and play a show after restrictions allow?
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Currently listening to To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar. I have to do an assignment on it, so yeah its on repeat.
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Play a festival. With everything that’s happening right now, I want to put my energy into something like that. Making music is cool, but performing with the band is what brings the songs to life.
‘Asking For’ by Femi Tahiru is out now via the usual digital platforms