What are the memorable experiences of your childhood that have stuck with you?
One particular memory that resonates with me is when my late father used to play his records and have me dance to them while he videotaped me. After recording me, he would then play it for his friends. Little did I know that he was preparing me for the life I’m living now.
What were some of the peculiarities of growing up in a polygamous family?
One thing I can recall was how we (the children) used to rush out whenever they called us to come and get our food. However, it was a good experience overall because my dad thought us how to live in peace and love one another.
Which schools did you attend from elementary level to tertiary level?
For my elementary and post-elementary education, I attended Apata Memorial School. I thereafter went to the University of Lagos where I got my Bachelor in Biology Education.
How would you describe your relationship with your late dad?
It was awesome and it is something I can never forget. I was actually his favourite and I was the only child in the house that he never laid his hands on. He never beat me, and everyone wondered why, because my dad was a no-nonsense retired military man. I recall with nostalgia that I used to weave his hair.
Are any of your parents musically inclined?
No, they don’t. They just like music, but not as much as to want to take it up as a profession.
What were your childhood ambitions?
I always wanted to be a musician and nothing more; so, I guess things played out well.
How exactly did you get into the music industry?
I started my career by actually going for talent hunt shows. I went a number of times and I was rejected a couple of times before I succeeded with Project Fame. After that, I never looked back, and the rest, as they say, has become history.
Did your parents support your decision to become an entertainer?
At first, they didn’t lend me their support. I remember that I used to hide then to go and record music and also perform at events. However, the story has changed. My mum now has a huge picture of me in her office, and she is proud of who I am becoming.
What are some of the enduring lessons you learnt in Project Fame Academy?
It was quite a wonderful experience for me and I learnt a couple of things. Some of the things that stand out include the fact that I was able to enhance my songwriting skills while there, I knew how to work with people better and I learnt more about the industry.
Why do you think some winners of reality shows don’t succeed with their music careers in ‘real life?’
They don’t succeed? Honestly, I am not the right person to answer this question as the only thing I know is how I handle myself and my business.
What are some of the major challenges you face in your career and how do you surmount them?
Music is a capital intensive project, so for me, it would be finance. However, God has been faithful and we are pulling through.
What would you consider as your breakthrough moment in the industry?
I used to think that with every song I released, I was having that breakthrough, until Maradona came along and broke it finally. That song has really done a lot of things for me.
How would you describe the reaction to your album, This is Me?
The reaction was and is still amazing, and that’s just the way I imagined it to be. People have been picking different songs that they love most. Whatever mood you are in, there is a song in there for you and we are still not done yet.
Do you think it’s tougher to succeed as a female singer in Nigeria’s music industry?
Well, there is nothing you would do in this world that is not harder for a female compared to a male. However, I never let that bother me. I believe that if one person can do it, then I can.
How would you describe the relationship between you and your sister, Teniola?
She is my sister, so by default, we are close. That’s my baby sister for crying out loud.
Do you girls often rehearse together or share music tips with each other?
As kids, we used to sing together and do other things but when she travelled out of the country for her tertiary education, we couldn’t do all that again. Right now, we still call each other and talk about music every now and then.
Why didn’t you feature Teni on your album?
When it’s time for a feature, you guys will get it. Just keep your fingers crossed.
How do you handle the fact that you’re both competitors in the music industry?
You may think we are competitors but sorry to disappoint you, we are not. We are first sisters before any other thing.
Who are your role models and influences?
I have quite a lot of them. Some of the people that influenced me in terms of music include Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Whitney Houston, Angelique Kidjo, among others.
Apart from music, what other interests do you have?
I love to teach and I also like cooking.
What are your dislikes?
I cannot stand liars and thieves.
What are the qualities you look out for in your ideal man?
The most important thing is that he has to be God-fearing. That’s the first thing I look out for.
Can you date or marry anybody in the entertainment industry?
No, I cannot.
Was your song, Maradona, influenced by a personal experience?
Yes, a part of it was from my experience and I also added other people’s experiences too.
How do you unwind?
Singing is a form of relaxation for me; so, even when I want to unwind, all I need to do is sing. I also play a cooking game that I have on my phone.