This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, Tayo Sound – the artist moniker for 18-year-old Nigerian-Scottish songwriter Tayo Oyekan – goes track-by-track through his hypnotic debut EP Runaway as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. An alt-pop artist taking the music scene by storm, Reading-based Tayo Sound introduced himself last summer through the deep, slow-burning grooves of “Cold Feet,” an outpouring of woozy pop dwelling in the uncertainty and insecurity of young romance. “Cold Feet,” along with additional singles released over the past year, have garnered seven million streams combined across all platforms, and earned Oyekan considerable praise throughout the music industry.
An intoxicating fifteen-minute journey that leaves us wanting more, Tayo Sound’s Runaway is a dreamy, soulfully sweet indulgence trying to make sense of romance and intimate connection. The artist’s hazy sonics draw comparisons to Glass Animals and Sir Sly; meanwhile, his sincere, earnest lyricism grounds his ethereal music in relatable, poetic matters of the heart. Oyekan hooks listeners in with opener “Cold Feet,” diving deeper into himself on “Gone” and the achingly melodic title track “Runaway.” “Someone New” and “Heartbreaker” continue to find new ways of expressing the universal tensions of love and romance, tension and release, closing Runaway on a high note and ensuring our inevitable return to Tayo Sound.
“I love music discovery; finding genuinely good underground music,” Oyekan says. “I’m just a normal, introverted guy chilling in an unimportant town in England trying to figure out how to be an artist and how to have a sound that I love, and that other people will obsess over.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Tayo Sound’s Runaway EP with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his debut EP! Runaway is out now via Arista Records.
“‘The Runaway’ EP is the best of my last two years of professional writing. Most of the tracks are based around situations that I was going through at the time, and I’m super excited to finally release my first full body of work.” – Tayo Sound
:: stream/purchase Runaway here ::
Stream: ‘Runaway’ – Tayo Sound
:: Inside Runaway ::
Cold Feet was made in April 2019 and at a time when I was halfway through a relationship and wasn’t sure where it was going or how committed they were so the track is pretty much about the anticipation of the end of that relationship. It is one of the first that I wrote with Courage and I remember it being one of the best sessions we’ve had together. I had the idea of the chorus the day before and brought it straight in. We ended up finishing the track that day.
I wrote Gone immediately after a break up. I was at my uncle’s house and started playing around on his guitar and found some riff’s that I liked and started writing to them. This is probably the most personal and emotional track for me on the EP. I completely let go of the technical do’s and dont’s when writing this track and really just focused on conveying as much emotion as possible. I think that really comes across when you’re listening to it.
Runaway was made at the same time as Cold Feet. I was sat at the piano for a long time and eventually figured out the chords and just started singing the melody. Billie Eilish had just released her album and in my head, Runaway was gonna be this weird, almost spooky sounding song because that’s what was in at the time. I took it to George Reid who thought it was sick but needed some tweaking. We stripped back the verses, rewrote the pre-chorus and what was left is the Runaway you’re hearing now!
I made Someone New with Rob Milton and I remember it being a super fun session. We made this one track, it was cool but we weren’t fully set on it. We decided to start something from scratch so Rob pulled up a simple drum loop and I began writing some chords to it. The song came together piece by piece and we were kinda just working it out as we went along.
Heartbreaker is another one I wrote with Courage, and it’s probably the only song that I’ve written to a beat. Similar to Someone New, we were working on something else in the session but we both weren’t really feeling it. Courage started playing around with some synth sounds until he came across the synth that’s on the track and I was like “That one there, let’s use that”. He’d actually made a sick beat with that synth so he pulled it up and before you know it we’d written Heartbreaker. George Fitzgerald was kind enough to finish some bits off on the track and added those last finishing touches and his own little vibe.
:: stream/purchase Runaway here ::
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:: Tayo Sound ::