My name is Tunmi, and I am a blind and visually impaired music producer who began production at the age of 12. I am now 18, going on 19 in about 3 or so weeks.
Where are you based?
Minnesota, United States
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music for about 6 or so years.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
I usually do a lot of Trap and LoFi, yet lately I have also been covering some Afro and Drill as well.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
When I was young, I was a person who would bang on pots and pans and basically cause chaos throughout my home as a result. Part of the reason I was interested in music was that I just loved the music out there. I was always drumming along to them, coming up with my own complex rhythms or versions, and generally just having a good time. But I figured that my lack of vision would get in the way of ever making music. That is until I discovered GarageBand was accessible with a built-in screen reader on Apple devices called VoiceOver. After a few years of experimenting with it and making simple beats, I got better and eventually tossed GarageBand aside and went to using Reaper on my computer with a screen reader called Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), which I found out there was a plugin called Open Source Accessibility for the Reaper Application (OSARA), which made Reaper useable to blind individuals. Eventually I learned the ropes of Reaper and I’ve been using it since 2020 up until now.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I am always influenced by listening to other beats out there, which gives me inspiration to improve. There are times where I will be like, “man, I wish I was as good as (insert name here)”, or “(insert name here) is way better than I am”, but I realize eventually that the only reason I actually improved was because of them.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I am an independent artist.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
I think my lack of vision is a big one. Not many people believe that a blind person can pick up a MIDI keyboard and a DAW and make music. When people think of music, they think of lines, stems, waves. But how do you make music? Do you read it, or do you listen to it. In order to make music, you need to have that audible aspect. What does it sound like? How does this make you feel? How would this song make others feel? What emotions are you trying to bring across in what you’re making? You can’t just do that by reading. Music isn’t a book, or a bunch of numbers, letters and lines on a screen. It’s a completely audible influence. Sure, influence can come by reading, but music is the most powerful influence in my honest opinion.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I honestly cannot count. I know my YouTube channel has over 350 or so videos and they are all beats dating all the way back to I believe 2015/2016. However I have recently joined Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music almost a year ago.
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
My latest release was inspired by Naruto Shippuden. For those who have not watched it, spoilers ahead, you have been warned. In Naruto Shippuden, there is this scene that I really enjoy. I cannot see what’s happening, but both Madara and Pain have a habit of using Sage of Six Paths jutsu, based on what I hear them say. Most of the time it’s usually planetary devastation, but my favorite one was Almighty Push. I decided to take the music from the scene, chop it into two parts, and convert it into a Drill beat. Never did I think it would come out the way it did.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
Last year, I started what’s called End of the Year Slam (EYS). At the end of the year, I make several different beats, then compile them into a gigantic mix with bass drops, buildups, and other fun things. Last year’s version wasn’t the best since it was the first release, and I was rushing to get it out there before New Year’s, but this year I’m planning to knock it out of the water.