Introducing ITUA: a dynamic drummer and vocalist who skilfully crafts a unique sonic symphony by weaving together the rich flavours of AfroFusion and the captivating allure of electronic indie-pop. Standing out for his innovative exploration of polyrhythmic African drum traditions, seamlessly blended with the nuances of auto-tune and synth arrangements, ITUA presents a resoundingly fresh perspective on contemporary musical landscapes.
Just this month, ITUA unveiled his latest musical offering: the EP titled 'Transition.' This collection serves as a profound embodiment of what's to be ITUA's most challenging moments. The shadows cast by losing his father to an unrelenting disorder, coupled with his struggles throughout his life, led ITUA to embark on a poignant journey into his Nigerian heritage. This endeavour became his way of drawing his father's spirit and familial legacy closer than ever before. What started as bleak stains of grief transformed into a transformative journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
Sonically, the six-track project is a montage of gentle, wispy melodies whisked with intricate rhythmic digital patterns. Standouts include 'Trophy', ‘Favourite Soul’ and ‘My own #1’. ‘Transition’ is an honest depiction on how grief must exist to remember what it means to live. Its fresh essence indicates where the AfroFusion genre will ascend in future times.
Discover more of ITUA’s journey so far below.
1. Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far?
My name is Lloyd Itua Usidame. I am a drummer, producer and singer-songwriter from
Eindhoven, The Netherlands. My mother is Dutch and my father is from Edo-state, Nigeria.
My musical journey started at the age of twelve. I replaced my older brother as the drummer
for his school band. He became the singer/frontman of the band. From this point we named
ourselves ‘Hunting The Robot’. We made Alternative indie-rock with a lot of Afro-beat
influences. Bands such as Radiohead, Menomena, The Killers and TV on The Radio were
big inspirations for us at the time. Being surrounded by more disciplined and older people
has made me grow fast as a performer/live drummer. The band stopped in 2017 as we all
needed to go our own ways. From this point, at the age of 19 I started to play live-drums for different artists such as Thomas Azier, Klyne and BEA1991. My first international experience was a European arena support tour for Years &Years. Later on I did various international tours with Thomas Azier. These tours really inspired me to create my own music and do my own shows. During this time, I rented a music space in my hometown and started to experiment with vocals, African rhythms and synths to produce my own unique sound. I have been releasing my music for about a year now, it has been a wonderful and empowering journey.
2. Who inspires you musically and creatively?
a totally new interpretation of Afro-fusion. I see myself becoming more at one with this
upcoming wave in the near future.
3. What is the creative process behind your music?
As a drummer, my process in creating new songs is often very rhythm-based. From there I’ll
start messing around with different chords and melodies. Next to drumming I play bass and
guitar. Being able to play everything myself is a huge contribution in the development of my
sound. Lyrically I get inspired by a lot of things. I usually like to talk about certain feelings,
emotions, fears and difficulties that might be hard to talk about. I have noticed that the theme
‘duality’ keeps coming back in all of my lyrics. I like to keep it honest, simple and relatable for
4. What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey?
Before starting my journey as a solo-artist I played live drums for Klyne, an electronic pop-
duo from Eindhoven. I became very close friends with Ferdous, the producer of the duo. He
always advised me to really take my time in creating my sound. The best advice he gave me
was to make a little future plan of where I would like to be in 10 years. This was not really my
style because I don’t like to plan things out too much. But, by writing this down I started to
realise that my vision behind the music supersedes the music itself; I saw the bigger picture
behind the music. I began to see my creativity as a tool to express and connect rather than it
being me. This realisation has made me to enjoy and trust my process of making music way
5. How do you nurture your creativity?
From time to time I like to let go of music totally and just live life. I like to be in nature, around
friends and family, read books, get high, travel and learn new things about the world and
myself. A good balance between the two makes my creative process to be more organic and
6. What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
The songs on my sophomore EP ‘Transition’ were are all created shortly after a dark period
in my life in which I was dealing with a lot of suppressed insecurities surrounding my identity.
This resulted into a deep depression. I got forced to seek professional help and was
hospitalised for about two months. During this journey I’ve gained a lot of transformative
insights about myself, humans and the world in general. It gave me a new understanding of
life and has fuelled me and my music ever since. It made me trust and enjoy my own
process in making music. The EP marks a turning point in which I am more at one with
myself, my sound and the vision behind the music. I hope that my listeners feel understood
and empowered while listening to my music.
7. Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
I am working on my first try-out tour with a full live band. I am really excited to share my
energy on stage and create a whole new dynamic with my band. First confirmed show;
October 26th, Kanaal 40, Amsterdam. If you’re around, pls come by!
8. Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
Take your time, don’t be in a rush, stay focused on what you want but try to let go at the
same time. Also; don’t listen too much to people that don’t have a certain ambition or
passion of their own.
Check out ITUA's 'Transition' below!