Nigerian-French Canadian Singer-Songwriter TÖME took home the Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording this past June, for her glowing single “I Pray.” She’s also one of the talented artists selected to be part of this year’s First Up with RBCxMusic.

This Saturday, the Montreal singer-songwriter will be performing a virtual concert through the Imagine Summit. We promise her beautiful voice will brighten up this dreary grey weekend. 

We connected with TÖME to get to know her better. 

What does your music give you?

Satisfaction to be versatile with my sound 

What does being part of First Up with RBCxMusic mean to you?

The First Up with RBCxMusic program has helped provide exposure, funding, education and mentorship opportunities for me. RBC is continuously helping to amplify Canada’s creative community and I’m so thankful to them for all the support. 

What’s your go-to song or artist when you need a lift? 

Quite honestly, I don’t necessarily have a go-to song or artist that I listen too when I’m down. I listen to myself a lot. Doing so is a constant reminder and gives me the motivation to keep  going and remember why I started this journey. 

What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you, when it comes to making it in this industry?

Be authentically you. That’s what people gravitate towards. 

What does gender inequality look like in the Canadian music scene? 

It means being seen as object of desire more so than a talent. This is the most relevant and universal issue in the industry as a whole—not just in Canada. 

What steps do you think need to happen to close the gap?

I think it’s important for our male peers to acknowledge our skills, and our knowledge, aside from our image, to see us fully and understand our worth. It will allow women to be heard and seen from a professional standpoint, and not just the physical appeal. 

What’s the most memorable concert you ever attended?

Burna Boy African Giant Concert at the Wembley SSE Arena in London, UK. 

It was the first time an African Artist had ever sold out an Arena and the performance, music and energy was incredible. I was part of history, and I’ll never forget it. 

What’s helped you get through the past year and a half? Supported your mental health?

Working out, staying as active as I can, and making music. I definitely had my writing blocks, a lot, but it just kept me focused and busy which was important, so I didn’t feel like I was losing it (although I had my moments).

Follow TÖME on Instagram at @tomeofficial_