How long have you been doing music?
I would say that I started doing music professionally in 2007 not as a singer, but as a dancer. I went for a dancing competition where I represented Nigeria in South Africa in 2007. I also contested in Dance Hip Hop International competition in 2008 and I won to represent Nigeria in Las Vegas. When I came back, I partook in the first edition of Maltina Dance hall. After that, I decided to do music to match my dancing career. Before then, I was singing in church but I didn’t really take it serious, because my sisters were doing that. When I came back from those competitions, I decided to combine my dancing skills with singing because I didn’t see any female artiste doing it. So I officially started singing in 2009. I had the first video called Hallelicious. Then my other single was Dirty shower.
I have a video for Dirtycious which went viral and people started saying that the video is controversial. After that, I went into events. I did Calabar carnival like three to four times and I started doing other shows. In 2013, I dropped my other video Pricky Loving and Nanana. I have not done anything after that. I have been working undercover, watching the industry. I have done stuffs with other artistes but not as a video vixen. I’ve been working till tragedy struck and we lost our boss in the record label. He wasn’t really the owner of the label, the label is like a group of people coming together to form a record label, but he was the face of the label. So, when he passed away last year, we had a lot of challenges. Everyone was traumatised because it was unexpected.
Why did you say Dirty Shower, was a controversial video?
It wasn’t but people said it was because they saw a girl in the shower. I was the person in the shower and it was directed by Seasan. There were many brains behind that video and we sat down and thought about it. It was just like a Caribbean video and that was what we wanted it to look like. The song itself, Dirty shower, means many things. When I say I’m too dirty I need someone to wash me up, it means I am hungry, come and take me out.
You said you started with dancing and now music, have you given up on dancing?
No, I do both – it is a 50-50 thing. I still teach dance, I have private classes where I do that and it does not clash with my music time. I have time for my studio and I also have time for dance. I still dance, it is just that I don’t push dancing out to let people know that I am a dancer. People who know what I do, still call me when they need my services. They still ask me to choreograph in their videos. I do not dance in the videos, I teach dancers what to do in the videos and they do it.
Tell us about your song with Patoranking?
Yes, I did a song with Patoranking, titled, Another Day, and it has been released. It is a love song between a guy and a girl. When we were in the studio working on the song, many things came to our minds. We asked ourselves, what are we going to talk about? Do we talk about club or the normal boy/girl thing? Patoranking said we should just do anything we feel like doing. He was just looking at me and was making fun of me. Everything about that song happened that night, we started recording that song around 1 a.m. and we finished around 3 a.m. After that we listened to the song and liked it and that was it.
Did you have working with Patoranking in mind before that time?
Yes, I did, but we didn’t have any music in mind. We just came together that day and worked on that song. We were like eight people in the studio, we started with free-styling and then we did the song. I never had any music in mind when we entered the studio.
What inspires your kind of music?
Everything around me – my environment, my friends and neighbours. Sometimes, ideas come to my mind too. Like in my single, Dirty Shower, I was actually on the phone, I was quarreling with someone on the phone and I fell like strangling the person for calling me by that time of the day. And I said, I feel dirty and want to take a shower, and that was how the music came about. I also needed to do a slow song.
Is it true that you went naked to promote your musical video?
It was my video Dirty Shower. It was a day to my birthday and the song was supposed to drop on my birthday and I did a photo shoot for the cover of the single. I do not know how Linda got to see the pictures and the whole pictures went viral on internet. Till date, we still do not know how those pictures got to Linda and she was the person that uploaded them on the internet. So, I called my manager to ask how my pictures got to Linda Ikeji’s blog, he said he didn’t know. I told him to take care of that. So he called her to remove the pictures from her blog which she did. But you know how the system is, other blogs have already collected the pictures. It was not a nude picture. I covered my boobs and I wore a micro short and I was in a shower with waters dropping on me just to portray the title of the song very well. I do not have issues with that, because it is something that has happened and I do not let it bother me. After all, people wear bikinis and you don’t expect me to be in the shower with my clothes on. Linda uploaded the photo and other bloggers started trending it with different headlines. On the day I was supposed to be receiving happy birthday calls, what I got were calls telling me that my naked pictures are on the internet.
Did that affect your brand?
I won’t say that it really affected my brand but, that the way the pictures came out was not how we really wanted because I see myself as next Nigeria’s Janet Jackson.
What is so unique about your music?
I am a singer and a dancer. I try as much as possible to be different in my music. Just like my first video single, it was not what everybody expected from me. They wanted to see a poor song but I stepped up. When they saw the song, they liked it. Everybody has what works for them – if my label allows me to do it, then I am good to go.
Why is your music all about love?
Growing up, we were taught that we need to love our neighbours like ourselves. Well, it is actually intentional and my manager has asked me that question before. I told him maybe I am into love more and I want to have a song that people can sing and dance to with their partners. In one of my tracks Only You, I imagined myself getting married. Also, Hallebaby and Falling in Love dropped last year. Falling in Love is a true life story, I had a crush on somebody and as a girl I have shown the person all the signs and he seemed not to notice me. There was this guy that I had a crush on every time I see him, but he never really got my attention. Hallebaby was between me and my co-writer, Sammy, he is also an artiste. We wrote the song together like I have a neighbour who is always looking at me but I never noticed him. Hallebaby was about someone having a crush on me which I never noticed, while Falling in love is about me crushing for someone and the person never noticed. So they are opposite of each other.