We are sharing our recent interview with actress, model, and DJ Tolula Adeyemi.
Pro Media Mag : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Tolula : I started acting in National Youth Theatre age 13. My first play was age 11 years old. A musical version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and As You Like It. I fell in love with theatre, Shakespeare and the whole acting process. I loved being a part of the process, from start to finish – from the rehearsal to the final night’s performance. I then was scouted as a model age 15 in Topshop Oxford Circus, by one of the owners of Select Model management – which is a top model agency in London, which represents super models such as Helena Christensen. I went on to be cast in a series of Vivienne Westwood global fashion campaigns as a model, photographed by the amazing Juergen Teller, as well as walking all the Vivienne Westwood runway shows during the fashion weeks. I appeared in British Vogue, Italian Vogue and Teen Vogue. As well as Vanity Fair, ARENA magazine photographed by Rankin – as well as featuring in his other works and recent retrospective exhibition September 2018. From modeling in GQ photographed by the iconic David Bailey to working with Kylie Minogue in her video called 2 Hearts, where I played bass guitar and then travelled around Europe and Japan to perform with her on TV Promo shows. That was na incredible, unforgettable experience, that helped me explore my musical talents further. Coincedently during this time I was working with Kylie Minogue, I was cast in my first ever feature film called Last Chance Harvey, as a jazz singer, opposite Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.
Pro Media Mag : You have worked in many short films and features films as well. What’s your best role so far?
Tolula : I am lucky to have so far had a variety of different roles from an American High School Cheerleader to a Footballer’s (soccer) wife, to a homeless party girl to a ghost- haha! But I think all the Shakespearean roles, the High School Cheerleader and the ghost story were my favourite characters.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your recent work?
Tolula : I filmed a part in a feature film as a DJ model of sorts… I want to keep it under wraps for now, but it’s in post production right now. I also am featured in the new Seven 7 Jeans Footwear campaign and new couture collection inspired by Elizabeth Taylor for designer Julia Clancey. I just shot a TV commercial as well and lots more stuff in the pipeline!
Pro Media Mag : As a DJ you performed at so many places alongside some top DJs. Our readers would like to know more about that.
Tolula : I started DJing as a hobby around 9 years go. My family, my father had an amazing record collection of Bob Marley, The Beach Boys, Boney M, Fleetwood Mac, Prince, lots of African music… I loved listening on our old record player and I would change records and sing a long as a child. So singing, performing musical theatre from a young age and studying music, was a natural progression performing as a DJ. I have had the opportunity to perform at some incredible events such as VH1 MusicCares gala, CAA Oscar parties with Bungalow 8 – I was a Bungalow 8 resident DJ during the time it was open in London, The founder Amy Sacco is a brilliant force of nature.I have DJ’d with Macy Gray in London, opening for Samantha Ronson in NYC’s 1OAK, opened for Diplo at CAA x Bungalow 8 Amy Sacco’s, Oscar party hosted by Oscar winner Hilary Swank.
Pro Media Mag : What kind of response your music has received from critics and fans?
Tolula : I think I am booked because of my musical style is so eclectic and versatile. I really do love most genres. People seem to dance when I play so that’s a good sign! I have a project I am working on which will explore more of my musical talents and go further and it is quite scary but I am interested to see how critics will receive the project. I am not the first to do this, so I will learn from others before me, but it is still daunting, as it is something I have never done before.
Pro Media Mag : You are an actress, model, muse, musician, and DJ. How do you manage all that?
Tolula : Hahahaha !! I am not sure, I have always had attention deficit disorder of some sort… Also my father installed quite an amazing work ethic into my brothers and I as children.. also my mother is a strong business woman and her mother too. I take power naps haha! I think also because I am passionate about the things I do, I was taught to always do things to the best of your ability and focus 100 percent. Of course sometimes I sleep in and watch binge watch movies or TV shows. I think passion is very important. Even doing things that are not quite your ideal job or career but it is a stepping stone and important to give it your best. I approach a lot of things like an athlete, training, motivation, execution. I think having a mentor is also important or surrounding yourself with people that inspire you.
Pro Media Mag : Any particular role you would like to play at least once in your career?
Tolula : An ideal role would be a character more challenging than I have ever played or auditioned for. I once auditioned to play a drugs mule from the wrong neighbourhood, I had many call backs but missed thatrole. Maybe I would like to delve into something like that. Which is the opposite of my background, I am interested in characters or stories that are from the fringes of society. And also an African queen like Nefertiti or Cleopatra that’s my other dream role. I love period drama and I love the history of queens such as Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Greek Goddesses too. The African queens have not been explored enough.
Pro Media Mag : Have you set some target to achieve ?
Tolula : I would like to do more non-profit work, work with more charitable organisations. Also set up my own production and entertainment company.
Pro Media Mag : Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Tolula : In this current climate, politically, socially etc I think it is important to be extra careful with each other and do our best to be even more kind than usual. I know it’s corny but try to do one good thing a day or a week that is for someone else and that does not benefit yourself directly.
Pro Media Mag : Are you currently working on any new projects?
Tolula : Yes, a top secret musical project. Which I just started working on today! I am helping to produce it.