Tolu. A’s “My Talents”

With a brisk tempo behind its melodic lashing to guide us into its harmony, Tolu. A’s “My Talents” takes shape before our ears (and eyes in the case of the music video) ready to endear itself to anyone listening. There’s an epic quality to the tone of the introduction, and even before percussion has entered the fold and properly assembled the rhythm of the song, it’s quite obvious that the grooves we’re to encounter in the next few minutes are going to be anything but understated. This is large and in charge melodic wonderment, and it’s attacking with the full force of nature. 

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Though the drums are pushing a lot of the energy here on their own, there isn’t a moment in which the piano is not the center of our attentions in “My Talents.” Tolu. A’s dexterity on the keys is something to marvel at on its own, but when added in with the other elements here it becomes but one of the many facets of a powerful performance just about anyone – serious jazz fans or novice music critics the same – could get into. Compelling is the structure, but more than this, “My Talents” is a track that demonstrates its creators passion for the medium above all else. 

Tolu. A picked one heck of a year to drop his debut EP Magnificent (which is also definitely worth a listen if you haven’t already given it a spin), but I think it will ultimately turn out to have been a smart move in the big picture. 2020 was hungry for some conceptual but wholly positive music from musicians outside of the mainstream, and in “My Talents” he answers the call for such sounds with what I would deem some of the best work to come from an unknown player in the last six months-plus. 

Mindy McCall

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