For those who may not be familiar with you and your music, tell us a little about yourself and your sound.
My name is Tosin Phebean Oluwadare popularly known as Phebean. I am an artistically oriented, energetic and soulful African saxophonist and quasi singer. My sound is Afro centric, Energetic and Expresses love for humanity
When did you start playing your instrument and what or who were your early passions or influences?
Started in 2006 with influences from Fela, Charlie Parker, Kenny G and Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and Dave Koz
Tell me about your instrument, please. How would you describe the relationship with it? What are its most important qualities and how do they influence the musical results – and possibly even your own performance?
It’s a wind Instrument. I see it as an extension of me, perfection to my act as a musician. My choice of Saxophone was partly as a result of my inability to pitch high when I sing. Every quality is important starting with d volume, d ability to mimic the human voice, the piercing sound, the attention it brings, the prowess to adapt to virtually any Genre of Music, and it’s the totality of my performance.
As a female performer in this industry, how have you found your experience?
Well, Most times its put me in leading position especially when performing with amale band, not just because I am female, but because I play my instrument well. My experienceshas been good so far, some minor challenges has been issues with costumes, I remember when I was in Steve Rhodes Orchestra, I was the only female in the 22 man Ensemble and sometimes I had to wear similar Uniforms. Gosh! It reminded me of my tom boy nature.
What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion and what’s your approach to performing on stage?
Well, every performance I Believe should tell a story and express creativity in the highest form. It should give the Audience something to look out for..otherwise why would audience come see a show that similar to the album! So for me, I carefully select my songs, create fusions where needs be, map or the high points, the tension points and silence too… those are my recipes for a good performance. With all that in place. The audience would definitely want to come back!
What do improvisation and composition mean to you and what, to you, are their respective merits?
That is the real you!! You can tell the state of mind of the improviser when he/she plays. That’s it’s never expressed the same way. Improvisation makes us stand out as musicians. So Be yourself!!!
How do you define success? Is it a sold out show, an award, or recognition from a particular publication?
Well, I view success as fulfillment over a period of time, for example I just released my version of the National anthem with a video shot at the National Theatre, whether it deems successful or not, I feel fulfilled that I did it; because its was in line with the current state of Nigeria. Well, other definitions matter too, but fulfillment comes first!
What does it for you when it comes to success?
A sense of satisfaction, being widely accepted, being a source of inspiration and be in a state to help others.
How would you describe and rate the music scene and sound potential in the Nigerian music industry.
Hmm… we are moving faster than I imagined. Every sound has its audience; so no one is left out. Music is paying bills and Musicians are becoming more respected and accepted. I see a better future.
How important do you find social media and engaging with your fans to be? Are you active on social media?
Social media to me is a proof of existence in the trade, a means of getting a wider reach. And Yes I am active.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Angelique Kidjo, Fela and Nigerian Hip hop
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2016 into 2017?
I would be dropping my personal composition and arrangements tending towards an album
Who are some of the coolest people that you have played with?
The Stelenbosh festival orchestra – bunch of Young players but very talented. Rolake Akinkugbe – a Pianist by night, Banker by day. Philip Uzo, shared the stage with Norman Brown, Rick Brawn
What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from your gigs and studio sessions?
Headlining the satchmo jazz festival! Its was a very lovely experience. from the rehearsals – explaining my thoughts to my band , long hours of rehearsal.. and the performance! I was in charge!!!
Also featuring along side two other talented Female saxophonists at the freedom park. it could appear as a competition but my conclusion is that we all have our sound, style and identity and Yes! The sky is big enough for all to fly.
Lastly which Nigerian artistes would you love to collaborate with?
First the Legend – King Sunny Ade, Tiwa Savage – perhaps I could learn how to be sensual and more feminine from her.
Hmm… Asa is an inspiration. Flavor- I would love to play a solo to one of his High Life tracks, and Don Jazzy- he might have a song for me. Seriously I respect all Nigerian Acts. I would be oliver twist in this case.
DOWNLOAD – Phebean – National Anthem
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