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Tolü Makay


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About Tolü Makay

Tolü Makay is an Afro-Irish singer, born in Nigeria and raised in the midlands of Ireland.

Inspired by soulful artists across the globe such as Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Asa and Labyrinth, Tolu strives to create songs that will forever inspire, heal and touch generations to come as she encounters and deals with and shares challenges and growth in her own life.

Following a string of impressive singles such as ‘Don’t Let Go’ Tolu Makary unveiled her debut EP ‘Being’ in October 2020.

‘Don’t Let Go’ reached the #1 spot on RTE Radio 1’s airplay charts and the track ‘You Are Enough’ has been spotlighted by BBC’s Across The Line as “The Best Song In The World”, while also being selected upon release as a 2FM Track of the Week.

In 2020 Tolu Makay was also a part of Irish Women In Harmony, a collective of artists who released a cover of ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries and an original festive single ‘Together At Christmas’ in support of women’s and children’s charities, SAFE Ireland and ISPCC Childline, respectively.

Tolü Makay teamed up with the RTÉ concert orchestra for a spell-binding cover of the hugely popular Saw Doctors classic N17, which debuted on RTÉ on 31st January, as part of their annual New Year's special. 

The video, which includes clips of Irish people sending messages to their loved ones back home, has captured the hearts of the nation, already clocking up over 80,000 views on Youtube.

As a nod to the Irish around the world who couldn’t make it home this Christmas, Tolü’s version of ‘N17’ with The RTÉ Concert Orchestra was put together by Kite Entertainment for RTÉ’s NYE Countdown Show.  

Commenting on the reaction to the song’s broadcast Kite MD Darren Smith said, “We knew we had something special with this one, with the combination of Tolü’s stunning vocal, the orchestra’s beautiful arrangement and the Saw Doctors great lyrics we’d high hopes that it would get a great reaction but even we didn’t predict the outpouring of love it’s received from all over the world since Thursday’s nights broadcast. We couldn’t be happier for Tolü and can’t wait to see and hear what she does next”.  

Tolü says: “Performing for the RTE New Year’s Show was incredible. I had no inkling of what to expect.  Although I wasn’t performing in the same space with the concert orchestra because of restrictions (hopefully one day I do sing with them in person), the production team from Kite Productions, Susan Scannell, the makeup dept, Damien Chennells, and everyone involved made it such a heart-warming experience. I don’t even have words really. Learning N17 by the Saw Doctors and singing the lyrics to the arrangement Gavin Murphy created really resonated with me. I felt every word I sang because it rang true! I went to university in Galway. I was taught in prefabs! And not seeing my family for a whole year was tough, and I’m sure the whole world understood what that felt like over this holiday season. 

No less than about 30 minutes after the show went live the tags on social media started going crazy. It wasn’t till the following day that I was absolutely awestruck and so shocked with the responses! And seeing that the Saw Doctors loved the rendition gladdened my heart! I was not expecting the wonderful reviews! So many people shared stories with me and how long they’ve been away from family. I cried my eyes out on the first of January with gratitude.  

I’m beyond grateful to have been able to bring people into the new year and for it to be significant enough that it resonated with those living far from Ireland.”  

Graham Norton tweeted “Maybe feeling fragile on New Year’s Day but this has reduced me to a sobbing mess.  Huge congratulations to everyone involved in putting it together!!” 

Dara Ó Briain tweeted “Well this is just very beautiful. Well done to all involved. Very much one for the Irish and Irish abroad, this.” 

Tolü plays her first headline shows “Tolü Makay – A Night to Be Reborn” Friday at The Grand Social, Dublin. 

Tolü will release her debut album later in 2021. 

Last updated: 27 January 2021