Bio

Kunle

An acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter, Kunle’s folk and soul music bridges contemporary styles with roots in West African rhythms and stories. Nigerian-born and currently based in Toronto, Kunle brings together his rich vocals, guitar tapping, harmonica and talking drum to take audiences into what he terms 'music with no boundaries'. 

Grounded in traditions of oral history, Kunle’s music often starts from a West African riddle or proverb and then pulls rhythms and sounds from different cultures to tell a story.  In his song “But a Dream”, from the EP Ami N Rele 2015 Kunle puts the childhood nursery rhyme “Row Your Boat” to styles from the Mediterranean and finger-picking techniques. In “Ori Okere Lawo” from Kunle Live In Accra 2017, he narrates a proverb about listening to advice and accompanies the story with an acoustic melody that is based in Yoruba folklore. The effect is a richly melodic and contemporary style of West African tradition and music.  

He supported a Nigerian international touring act, Adekunle Gold, in the Toronto leg of his 2019 North American tour at Mod Club.  In October 2017, Kunle showcased the fusion of contemporary roots music with string instrumentation in a concert he directed and headlined alongside a five-piece band and string quartet at the Alliance Française d’Accra Amphitheatre in Ghana. The performance was attended by a Canadian delegation and the High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana Heather Cameron tweeted: “Great concert by Kunle @AFAccra. Thanks for bringing some new Canadian music to Accra! Looking forward to your next visit.” 

Kunle has performed at Mariposa Folk Festival Canada, Habari African Festival Canada, Maawanji’iding: Festival Canadiana Owen Sound,  Summer Folk: A Month Of Sundays Aboard MS Chi-Cheemaun, Ossfest Toronto Canada 2017, YYZ Live- Toronto Pearson Canada 2017, Asiko World Festival 2015, Blue Skies Folk Festival 2016, Peterborough Folk Festival Canada 2017, Africa Day Festival Hamburg, Germany 2018 and 2019 and for the first time at the 42nd annual Summerfolk Festival 2018.

Kunle’s song “My Little Fingers” was awarded for best instrumental by Folk Music Ontario in 2015 and has been endorsed by Furch Guitar Czech Republic and Stonebridge Guitar Canada.

. “Join Kunle as he leaves you basking with gentleness and optimism.” ─ Mike Hill, Artistic Director, Mariposa Folk Festival
 

With an assured stage presence, his maturity as an artist allowed his collaborators to shine along with their lead. Afro-Folk Prince.”— Just Music, Accra Unplugged (concert series), Accra, Ghana (2019)