When Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records announced in 2014 that it had signed a new artiste, Hadiza Blell, aka Di’ja, many wondered where she emerged from. This is because she had no track record in the Nigerian music industry. However, according to the information released by Mavin Records at that time, Di’ja was formerly Canada-based, and she had even won awards in that country. Her flowery resume led many to believe that Di’ja would be hitting the industry with a bang, but three years down the line, her impact is yet to be felt.
Her first song, Yaro, released under the imprint of Mavin Records, failed to make appreciable impact, and some attributed it to the fact that she was still new in the Nigerian music industry. The success of Mavin all-star songs, Dorobucci and Adaobi helped to take the heat off her for a while, and her follow-up solo single, Aww, also won her quite a number of fans.
However, three years down the line, Di’ja still cannot boast of a robust repertoire of music. Meanwhile, Korede Bello and Reekado Banks, who were signed to Mavin at about the same time with her, have been able to churn out some hits, and even have an album each to their names. It is obvious that Di’ja is working with her own time-table; different from what her label-mates and the rest of the industry is following. She once said in an interview, “I can write a (single) song for five years. I still have songs that I haven’t finished writing since 2008. This is because there’s just this thing about being yourself…I think music comes with a form of madness. You just have to be free, crazy, stupid and yourself. Don’t try to please everyone, please yourself even if it takes you to be crazy.”
While it is a good thing to be unique and original, the music industry is fast-paced, and it often leaves behind those who aren’t fast enough.