Digital Residencies – Tobi Adebajo’s week in residence


A still from a video with a play button visible. Three people of colour are sitting closely together, singing. The lyrics are captioned and read "in a world where existence is resistance"

Over the past two months we have held our first Digital Residencies at Drake Music, as part of our Artist Development programme.

The Digital Residencies came about from a desire to highlight and support artists, in particular those from underrepresented groups, to explore their work and practice meaningfully.

We wanted to offer up our digital spaces for artists to take the lead in shaping what that might look like, and to allow space to make, think, reflect and share. In a sense we wanted to go back to basics – to allow artists to be artists.

We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and working with Tobi and Patrick who have shared their thoughts, insights, and creative work over the past two months.

In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of Tobi’s 7 day residency, during which they focused on exploring the topic ‘Ableism, access and the creative process’.

Day 1

Tobi’s Residency began with a thread on Twitter and an Instagram post sharing a video and a poem.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Drake Music (@drakemusicorg)


“Who says you can’t see with your eyes closed?
I mean, try it.
Close your eyes

You can see with your ears
feel with your tongue.

You can taste, with your nose

Touch with your words
You can hold with your heart

Sing with your hands

Open yourself up to the infinite possibilities that lie within your existence.

Those eyes are not the only part of you that are keeping you alive.”

Tobi also invited our digital connections to respond to questions. The first of which was: “As a Disabled person, how do you show up for yourself OR If you’re able-bodied, how do you show up for Disabled persons?” Head over to our Instagram or Twitter to respond.

Day 2


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A post shared by Drake Music (@drakemusicorg)

This video shares some great music by Tobi’s band Wastewomxn.

The question shared for Day 2 is:

“Do you know of any Black / PoC musicians/bands with members who speak about disability? I’d love to discover new artists”

If you have any artists to recommend then why not connect with Tobi on Instagram?

Day 3

Here Tobi shared more about their creative process in another Twitter thread and Insta post:

Read the thread for the full info. Day 3 Question : Does social media play any part in your creative process? If so, how?

Day 4

Tobi designated some time as research days during their residency period. They used them to dig into official reports and statistics on Disability in music/arts and also to speak to other Disabled artists:

I will be speaking with other disabled musicians and drawing connections from the intersections of our experiences of ableism within trying to be fully present in the creative process.

Days 5 & 6

Rest and recovery days. During the Digital Residencies we encouraged there to be downtime and space in the schedule, so that it could flex and bend to suit the artist. This makes the process more accessible.

Day 7

On their final days of the residency Tobi shared findings from their research days.

On Twitter and Instagram they shared graphics exploring some of the stats that stuck out to them from the reports and also thinking about how that information is presented.

Thread 1 on Twitter:

And the second post from Instagram:


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A post shared by Drake Music (@drakemusicorg)

We were so pleased to see people engaging with these stats and the questions/reflections Tobi raised. These reports show how under-represented Disabled people are across the creative sector in all different ways. Thank you to Tobi for spotlighting this and for their insights:

“These research days have affirmed the importance of representation and I’m reminded to make sure that I complete any surveys / data requests that may be relevant to my experience – when I can. 

I don’t know how much it will help in the long run but I do know how important it is to have factual data when trying to make structural changes – especially as a lot of us and our experiences as disabled people aren’t very well represented or documented in general.”


We would like to say a huge thank you to Tobi for their work, sharing and thinking over this Digital Residency. For their final farewell they are sharing this video:

“An homage to Pride month & the beauty of Queer, Disabled artistry. Here’s a video of me singing at a queer wedding. The couple requested this song: ‘At Last’ and I was honoured to oblige!”


Digital Residencies is part of Drake Music’s covid-secure artistic programming and is supported by the Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund. It is a self-directed online residency for Disabled artists.

It is an opportunity to play, think, ask questions, be inspired, experiment and take risks. This opportunity is specifically for Disabled people from marginalised and under-represented groups. Even within disability arts there is not enough diversity.


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