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Biography

Tunde Olaniran is one of the most beloved fixtures of the Detroit music scene, as well as a product of the growing artistic community in Flint, MI (where they currently reside.) Their debut album (Transgressor) led to praise from critics at The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Noisey, Afropunk and countless others. On the heels of that release, Olaniran embarked on their first U.S. national tour in support of noise pop darlings Sleigh Bells. They were named NPR's Top Artist to Watch at SXSW 2017 and performed to a homecoming audience of 5000+ at MoPop Festival in Detroit. Tunde also made their first European appearances in London, Derbyshire (Y Not Festival) and France (Festival Les Escales.)

They released their second studio album (Stranger) in 2018, which was called a “finely calibrated mix of purpose and playfulness, executed to stylish perfection” by NPR, “pop caffeine” by Bust Magazine, a “totally vibrant declaration of worth” by The FADER, and “at once triumphant and defiant” by The New Yorker. Tunde toured with Stranger through 2019, opening for Years & Years and My Brightest Diamond.
In addition to their own work, Tunde has collaborated with Detroit artist Flint Eastwood on her track, “Push” and folk singer Chris Bathgate, co-writing and performing on Bathgate’s single “Low Hey.” Olaniran also co-wrote and produced “Hijabi” and “Dog” by Mona Haydar, directing the viral video for “Hijabi,” which was named one of the top 20 protest songs by Billboard Magazine. Beyond music, Tunde was also a contributing author to Octavia’s Brood, a sci-fi/visionary fiction anthology named by Ms. Magazine as one of the top feminist books of 2015.

Olaniran’s art direction and production work with Allied Media Conference (2016-present) included performance collaborations with Angelica Ross, Mariame Kaba, Tarana Burke, adrienne maree brown and Esperanza Spalding.

Olaniran was named a 2018 Art Matters Fellow and a 2019 United States Artists Music Fellow, alongside artists like Juliana Huxtable and Helado Negro. They are currently producing a third studio album during a 2020/2021 UMS digital artist residency. Tunde will be directing their first experimental short film and gallery exhibition in 2022, commissioned by Cranbrook Art Museum, with support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

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