Tolü Makay.

Tolü tipped as 'one to watch' in 2022

After a whirlwind year which saw Tolü Makay catapult to national prominence, the young Tullamore singer/songwriter started off the New Year on an even higher note when she was named in the Irish Times list of 50 people to watch out for in 2022.

The Nigerian-born singer was one of five talented singer/songwriters listed by the Irish Times as ones to watch, and they described her as “probably the most recognisable face” on that list and “a great talent”.

24-year-old Tolu, who came to Tullamore from her native Nigeria with her mother, Yemisi, and her two siblings, in search of a better life, is a self-confessed “music fanatic.”

She shot to national prominence with her magnificent cover of The Saw Doctors hit, N17, which she performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra on New Year’s Eve 2020, and since then her vocal talents have been in huge demand both nationally and even internationally.

Late last year she was named as Best Female Artist at the Black & Irish Music Awards, but she was unable to attend the prizegiving ceremony in Dublin as she was representing Ireland at the World Expo in Dubai!

Tolü Makay attended Scoil Mhuire and Tullamore College before pursuing a Degree in psychology and philosophy at NUIG.

Having won the Midlands Got Talent singing competition in Clara, and later went on to win one of the biggest gospel singing competitions in Ireland “Treasure Unravelled” and was given a one-year music management deal, vocal mentoring and the opportunity to record one of her own songs.

A prolific songwriter, who cut her teeth singing gospel music in her local church, Tolü Makay displayed a maturity beyond her years in her songwriting which has seen her being compared to other musical greats such as Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse.

Speaking of the past year, Tolü Makay said she has been “blessed in ways I can’t even comprehend” and is delighted to have been able to make such a huge impression on the music scene “coming from a Nigerian background, being black and also being Irish.”

Looking to the future, she said she wants to carry on singing and writing, and is eagerly looking forward to the release of her debut album later this year.

The Irish Times said Tolu has “steadily grown into an artist with her own vision” who has racked up “hundreds of thousands” of streams on various music platforms and on YouTube for her “soulful vocals”.