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How I Learned to Love Science: TV On the Radio Singer Tunde Adebimpe Rocks Hollywood, Indie Style




I’ve always considered myself a mainstream girl…my music tastes have never ventured past the Top 40s. I never really had that illuminating music discovery phase in high school where you find some strange unconventional music that changed your life, well until I listened to TV on the Radio‘s Dear Science album on imeem. I first heard about the Brooklyn based indie-rock band,  TV on the Radio when they played on the “The Colbert Report”, Comedy Central’s satirical news program. I was amazed to learn that the lead singer was a Nigerian, Tunde Adebimpe.  And then a few weeks ago, I watched “Rachel Getting Married”, the critically acclaimed indie movie which featured Tunde as Rachel (Anne Hathaway’s sister)’s groom in the film. Tunde was so raw in the movie. It is definitely refreshing to see Africans in the U.S media playing un- cliched roles.

torSo how did Tunde the son of a psychiatrist and pharmacist get involved in music? In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Adebimpe says, “I never wanted to be [a musician] at all, but I always played in bands. Right after I was at NYU, I was in a noise band called Strugglepuss. Right before shows we would meet up and record two hours worth of absolute noise and screaming and keyboards being badly banged on. At the show we would play until everybody left and whoever was left at the end would get a free CD.”

Adebimpe studied film at the renowed NYU’s Tisch Scool of the Arts. He worked as an animator for MTV and animated the Yeah Yeah Yeah video for the group, Pin. What I really love about TV on the Radio is how their lyrics are so metaphorical and reads like poetry.

Here’s the chorus from my favorite song on their new album, Dear Science:

in my mind i’m drowning butterflies
broken dreams and alibis;
that’s fine.
i’ve seen my palette blown
to monochrome-
hollow heart
clicks hollowtone,
it’s time

Definitely listen to TV on the Radio below, Tunde and his band are just too cool!

Dancing Choose by TV on the Radio


  1. notjustok

    March 25, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I watched that Movie last weekend and I just had the feeling that the dude was from Naija; dude resembles one of my cousins… Nigerians are doing it BIG everywhere. I dunno about their song though, these guys are different, I need to ease into their music…
    I get the feeling that they also used some of the band’s music for the movie soundtrack…. Their sound was prominent in that wedding party and rehearsal scenes… good job Louisa

  2. Ada

    March 27, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Wow, i saw them on Saturday Night Live…they r indie indeed! Yup, u need to ease into their music. Good for him, I need to see that movie!

  3. Kimleestar

    April 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Yes!!! i’m so glad this is up here! been a fan of tv on the radio for a long time!! they were awesome when they played in calgary! i hope they stop by again this summer!

  4. H.Atse.

    April 8, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Loved the movie, although his role was somewhat minor. I’d like to see him in something else. Nonetheless, the movie’s worth watching.

  5. GamGam

    May 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Naija for life jooooooooo!

  6. unicornblue

    May 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I heart TV on the Radio!! Thanks for this article! I’ve been avoiding seeing the movie Rachel Getting Married, but now, I must see Tunde’s performance. Go Nigeria!!!

  7. Crnk Mnky KazumatriX

    June 8, 2009 at 4:04 am

    You can see Tunde in something else. Look up the indie film Jump Tomorrow. It’s about a shy guy who ends up on a zany road trip. Maybe not for mainstream tastes, but he’s the star.

    The first time I saw it, I thought he looked like my uncle. Years later, I found out that he was in a popular band!

    By the way, Kele Okereke (a Nigerian Brit) is lead singer of Bloc Party.

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