Powerful, conscious and genre-bending music
Tunde Olaniran is a singer, rapper, producer, choreographer and activist from Flint, Michigan. With Stranger, the multi-talented Olaniran delivers a complex, interesting and exciting album. Olaniran’s impressive vocal range shines throughout, over complex dance rhythms and a wide range of musical styles. On many tracks, Olaniran shatters genre in the name of art. Trap, electronic and pop influences provide the outline within which Olaniran lets his creativity explore.
The album is tight, with 13 tracks and a total runtime of 44 minutes. The titular track “Stranger” begins hauntingly, with synth chords and spare, echoing percussion. It then develops into a trap jam for a momentary chorus before easing back out into its spare introductory sound and continues to swing between the two. On “Dead Last,” Olaniran flexes his vocal range over an industrial trap beat. “Miracle” is the perfect pop anthem that urges us to find the miraculous in all of us.
Olaniran gets raw on “Vulnerable,” a soaring and emotional track, where he implores his lover to “give [him] a chance to show it all.” “Celine Dion” is an attitude-drenched rap over a dark electronic beat dedicated to some women that represent serious strength and sass. Olaniran gets real about his funds and flexes a bit on the explosive “Coins.” “Symbol” is another spectacular showing of Olaniran’s vocal power and commitment to purposeful lyrics, with the main message that his “body is a symbol.”
Tunde Olaniran may not commit to a specific genre, but he has certainly carved out an artistically impressive space for himself with Stranger. Olaniran leans into electronic and trap vibes, and doesn’t shy away from strong and heavy sounds. Olaniran alternates between showing off his incredible vocal range and distorting the vocals into near unintelligibility, making Stranger a complex album that merits multiple listens.