An Inside look at the Oakwood Ave EP by Toyin Ores & Shalom Dubas

Toyin Ores, the artist, producer & engineer along with Shalom Dubas, the multi-talented artist & creative have come together to make their new joint EP, Oakwood Ave. This 6 track EP is the result of 2 unexpected original styles blended together for our enjoyment. You’ll hear the distinct flavor of both artists in this project along with their invited guests. We interviewed Toyin Ores & Shalom Dubas to know the story behind Oakwood Ave

Ade for ONETRIBEMAG: Hey guys, introduce yourselves to the world. Tell us about yourselves and your music.

Shalom Dubas: My name is Shalom Dubas, I’m a creative and a business enthusiast who is committed to living my purpose through my passion. I’m a Penn State University alum and a current student of life. I sing, write, rap, and play guitar for fun and for dough, so booking me is always a welcomed idea. I’ve been releasing music for three years, and in the next three years, I’d like to have released much more. You can check out my music at

Toyin Ores: Hi, this is Toyin Ores, Afro-fusion Artist, producer & sound engineer. Nigerian born and raised.

 How did you both decide to make this joint EP? 

Shalom Dubas: Aside from being music collaborators we also shared a house this year in our college town. We’d see each other from time to time and we had a conversation about making a joint tape, and then we did it. Much easier said than done, but that’s the gist of it. We wanted to make a project to reflect and capsulate the time, and that’s where Oakwood Ave came from.

Toyin Ores: It has always been a conversation we’ve had throughout the year. Shalom proposed the idea first, so the idea was always there but we decided to work on it in the summer since we would be more free with our schedules and really focus on the music.

How long did it take to make these 6 tracks on Oakwood Ave? 

Shalom Dubas: Making the EP took about 5 weeks of focused work. From conception to delivery it was 8 weeks, but the time that was focused on creating this project – Ores producing beats, me recording and writing, and us putting the songs together – I’d like to say that was about 5 weeks.

Toyin Ores: We tried out as many sounds as possible but we also didn’t need to make more than we needed.

Describe this EP in one word.

Shalom Dubas: Dopeness.

Toyin Ores: Growth.

Talk to me about the challenges you both faced in collaborating on Oakwood Ave?

Shalom Dubas: The biggest challenge was probably setting time, and then feeling free to bring our best and most creative efforts to the table regardless of any perceived judgments from self or otherwise. 

Time because being based in our college town of MiddleOfNowhere, Pennsylvania means that one will most likely have to spend a lot of time traveling to widen their musical reach. Additionally, both Toyin and I were focusing time on our solo projects and another project Toyin is producing – Lamii’s ‘Signs and Wonders EP’ coming this fall.

Toyin Ores: Speaking from my part, there was a lot of times where I had creative blocks so I would make some trash beats or trash ideas for a song.

In creating this project, how has collaborating challenged your music-making process?

Shalom Dubas: For me, collaborating is a growth process. From task distribution to creating environments for success, and maintaining accountability – everyone’s favorite. 

Since we’ve been working on so much in the past, on this project we kept our usual work dynamic but we would do little things here and there to differentiate this time from all the others. Collaborating has challenged my trust, in a great way.

Toyin Ores: Well Shalom is a very intricate artist so I had to step up my game when it came to collaborating with her, also had to up my songwriting game. But the workflow never changed though, we’ve always had a good workflow, it was just more challenging for me to write about some of the topics we chose to talk about.

If you had to choose one, which song is your favorite song off the EP?

Shalom Dubas: My favorite is either Cry No More or Young Heart Breaker. (Bright) Lights hold a special place though. I’m cracking up cause you asked for one and I answered with 3 which is very on-brand for me.

Toyin Ores: Of course, each song has a different message to it, some deeper than others. We need people to really soak in everything, take their time with it and enjoy it.

To new listeners that will hear your music for the 1st time with this EP, what would you like to tell them?

Shalom Dubas: “Whatitdobaybeeeeee” – Kahwi Leonard

Toyin Ores: Welcome and enjoy the ride.

Is there a theory/theories or message(s) to this EP you want your fans to take away from this project?

Shalom Dubas: I’d like fans to take away from this project that time is fleeting. If you get a great moment in time with people you should experience it, grow through it, have fun, mark it in some way (a fire EP if your housemate is a musical G) and then move forward trusting that great things are coming.

Toyin Ores: Of course, each song has a different message to it, some deeper than others. We need people to really soak in everything, take their time with it and enjoy it.

And there you go.
I’ve been having this EP on replay and this is a project you can listen to, time and time again. Link up with Shalom Dubas & Toyin Ores on Oakwood Ave! Oakwood Ave – EP is available on all platforms.

Listen here on Apple Music:

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