Saturday, January 17, 2009

letting CON.tra. fly!

It all started when I was growing up.
Yes, I was.
One of those kids who didn’t have friends. Who stayed home and read novels. Who had imaginary friends.
Let’s not go over the whys or wherefores of this. Let’s just leave it at that- I had time on my hands when I was growing up, and I spent a lot of that time alone, in the living room, or my room in front of the mirror, acting, talking to myself, talking to my imaginary friends, and singing.
Music was a tool back then.
My first love was acting, and one of my favourite roles was a singing diva, who was always falling in unrequited love, and who won several awards and performed on the biggest stages!
But my dream, to me, was the acting. Not the music.
Till I started writing.

Yes, I wrote prose.
When I got to my second year in University and people were driving me crazy, I wrote long passages about how it was sad that people would talk about me behind my back.
When I was in secondary school, I would write notes about how I hated all the people bullying me, and what I would do to them latron!
And now, I of course blog regularly and find it to be so therapeutic!

So, writing?

Prose was never just enough though.
I also liked to write to rhythm and beats. I would write poems, I would write songs. I kept writing.
When some guy broke my heart, I would write.
When some friend said something nasty, I would write.
When my mum upset me, I would write.
When I went for a party and felt utterly stupid, I would write.
When I developed a crush that I could not seem to shake off, I would write.
I wrote and I just kept writing, and when I was home alone, I sang what I wrote.
I changed my career path from acting to music and was determined to be a rock star!
It did not help that after years of only listening to R ‘n’ B music, I got into University, and became exposed to a world I am now totally lost in- ALTERNATIVE MUSIC!
It began with some random songs my roommate would play. I later found out it was called ‘rock’. Then I heard the Cranberries, and my heart broke; I could not understand how people could say everything that was on my mind and in my heart! As if that was not enough, Chizoba introduced me to the lady I feel changed my life forever- ALANIS MORRISETTE.

It might have been the fact that she was so angry on You Oughta Know! It might have been the lyrics and the careless abandon in her delivery. It might have been the fact that this was simply a chick who did not send you from here to there!
Whatever it was, I was sold, and there began a new phase of my musical journey.

See, I come from a family of music. My dad is a singer who was quite popular ‘back then’. Parents always end up asking, which ‘Bucknor’ and when u say ‘Segun’, they start singing his songs back to me. I really love when that happens. My uncle was in the Navy and also a musician. My other uncle was the choir master at his church. My cousin is currently in the City of David choir. My uncle teaches music at the University in Ibadan. My… the list is truly endless. Let’s just say there is music in the blood. But I never learnt music as it were. Never learnt how to play any musical instruments (not even the piano or guitar my dad played), and I did not join the choir in school (preferring the Drama Society and the Literary and Debating Society), nor the choir in church (err… I didn’t actually go to church back then).
In short, the only relationship I had with music was the one I began to forge with Alanis, Cranberries, Foo Fighters, U2, Barenaked Ladies, Blessed Union of Souls, Aerosmith, Fela, Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman…
I wrote like them, sang like them, and while I danced to, and enjoyed all sorts of music, it was theirs that made me feel whole.
That was who I was- a rock star!

But the transition between finding my place and being in place took longer than it expected.
First was the fact that I just didn’t do anything about it!
I was in school, studying law. When was I going to start singing instead? And the one time I got ajob as a (bad) back-up singer, my grades suffered terribly (the reason I didn’t get that first class jo!)
Then there was Law School, and then there was NYSC.
During NYSC, I decided to come up with a stage name. I asked around, what did people think I should be called?
Personally, I loved ‘Beautiful Contradiction’ because I felt it explained me- an old woman trapped in a young girl’s body. A girly tomboy. A bitchy saint. An angelic tramp. You know, all those contradictions out there! People chose other names, but I think somewhere deep down, Contradiction stuck.
Then I finished NYSC and went home where I basically sat down for a year, trying to ‘find’ myself. The problem? She didn’t want to be found!
Nevertheless, I got my lazy butt into a studio with Cobhams and recorded two songs; then went on to perform everywhere! A fashion show at Terra, a School prom, a packed Christmas concert, EVERYWHERE!
It was the choleric in me working, but the Melancholic in me wasn’t having fun. I would analyse every performance and tear myself to shreds. I would record songs then hate them. The only thing I had no problem with was writing, but everything else made me sad!
So I stopped. And I started working at Terra Kulture where I famously re-met the editor of Guardian who gave me a shot and a weekly column in the paper, and from there, the Tosyn Bucknor you all know now was born, groomed, and began to evolve.
And evolve.
And evolve.
She is still evolving.
However, the more i created stories that were to be shot, the more I wanted to be the one saying the lines I typed. The more I reviewed shows, the more I wanted to be reviewed. And the more I heard artistes that I loved, and screamed for them at their shows, and listened to their songs, the more I wanted to make music, perform and release albums!
It was like no matter how successful I was in other areas of my life, it would never be satisfactory, I would never be fulfilled. I am just not content with being what I am now. I need music. I want music.
And the more people try to discourage me, the harder I want it.
The thing is, I may never be a Whitney or Celine; that is not even my motivation. What I want is to write songs, perform songs, express myself and entertain. I want to do for people what Alanis did for me. And I refuse to let CON.tra.diction die.

So she is back!
We have started going back into the studio, working with new producers, and some that we have worked with before. We have dusted our mikes and plan to start performing again. We are writing and recording.
And I am happy.
So here is inviting you to be a part of this journey. Here is asking that you be a part of this project.
The CON.tra.diction project.


  1. I just discovered Cranberries a month ago and i just fell in love.

    You may not be whitney or Mariah, no one can be them but you definitely will be you Tosyn. So go on girl and create your own star.

  2. Wow! Looks like someone's mantra is '(To) Live fulfilled!' or maybe even "Be All You Can Be" :-)
    As always, this is an inspiring piece. My sis said she saw a bit of ur CON.tra personality on Moments wiv Mo.
    Keep soaring, We gat ur back.

  3. Plus, would looooooove to hear the magic ur created with the Musical Midas (Cobhams). You got fans already, so pls keep us posted.

  4. love the cranberries, foo fighters kings of leon(sometimes) and cold play......check out lady ga!! she seems to hav taken over the brits

    no other can person can do a great job being u!!!!
    sometimes i really want to be like other peeps and really think about where i'll be in the next 'so n so' i wasn't cut out like n u too
    big up to u T!!!!

  5. Very nice piece..
    Keep on Con.tra.dic.t(h)ing yourself...