Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NIGERIA'S MUSICAL DIVAS

Hi Everyone,
I’m so sorry for the lack of blogging.
I am in the midst of some major life decisions… I think I might need some Aunty Bella counselling in my life lol…The situation does not relate to relationships and has nothing to do with getting married lol. I think I’ll talk about it next week and y’all can give me some advice.

So back to what I have been meaning to blog about. The Nigerian music scene experienced a sort of rebirth over the last couple of years. After some quiet years, the new millennium has seen the rise of Nigerian musicians such as Styl Plus, 2Face Idibia, P-Square, Ruggedman, Modenine etc…These artistes have gone on to win international acclaim and commercial success.
What I and many other music fans have noticed is the lack of popular Nigerian female musicians…
Some emerge and fade away quickly…No one has risen to take the crowns of Nigeria's female music royalty such as Onyeka Onwenu, Yinka Davies, Evi-Edna Ogholi and Esse Agesse.
Anyway, here is the new gang of women attempting to take the crown. These are Nigerian female musicians (rappers and singers) all based in Nigeria who are making strides in the Nigerian music scene. I present, Nigeria’s Musical Divas.

Yetunde Antonia Alabi is Sasha. Arguably the most popular female musician of her generation, Sasha has been on the grind for a long time. This University of Lagos Law student emerged as part of ‘Da Trybe’…Eldee’s collective of solo artistes on the old Trybes Records. From the moment she spit her verse on the song ‘Oya’..everyone stood up and noticed…we all wanted to know ‘Who’s That Girl?’…Sasha is now on Nigeria’s hottest label ‘Storm Records’ and is prepping to release her first solo album with the lead track ‘Adara’…Go look for Sasha’s album when its released and hunt down a copy of theTrue Love February 2007 edition which featured Sasha on the cover. Thanks to Dami for the scans!!!!!!!!! You're a sweetheart! MUAH!
Sasha’s MySpace

Bukola Folayan aka B.O.U.Q.U.I is a gospel rap artiste. Despite growing up in an academic environment (her father is a professor), Bouqui has nurtured her love for music and honed her craft and is now ready to take on the world. With some hot tracks, a tight flow and most importantly, a positive message, Bouqui is a true inspiration.
Listen to Bouqui: Not Ashamed
Bouqui’s Myspace

Bouqui’s Website

Ashionye is popularly referred to as Nigeria’s Beyonce. Whether you think the comparison is justified is down to personal taste but one thing is for sure. Ashionye Michelle Ugboh is bold and ready to break down barriers. She is a TV presenter and former Cool-FM DJ; She is on the cover of this month's True Love West Africa, recently released her debut album and has been performing at various concerts.
Watch Ashionye: Party Tonite
Ashionye’s Website
Ashionye’s Myspace

Asa is a different kind of artiste. Her music is organic and melodious. Just her voice and her guitar. Simply stunning! Musical artistes like Asa do not rely on the glitz and the glamour, rather they let their talent speak for itself. Asa is a favourite amongst the expatriate crowd and ‘real’ music lovers in Nigeria. She has appeared on the cover of True Love West Africa magazine is a true Nigerian musical ambassador.

Aralola Olamuyiwa better known as Ara is a star! She has performed all around the world yet not that many Nigerian know her music. No doubt she is popular, the girl with the long braids and the talking drum but why cant we sing any of her songs? I guess that is part of the mystique, Ara is a stage artiste, not a studio performer. She brings great vibrancy and energy to the Nigerian music scene and deserves every accolade. Ara is undoubtedly a true Nigerian diva.

I have spoken about Angelica before but she definitely deserves a mention on this list. The ‘My Naija Guy’ singer has Nigerian showbiz impresario, Kingsley Ogoro backing her and she is not looking back. Her debut album is filled with various hot songs that will surprise you. Angelica is one to watch out for.
Angelica’s Myspace

Weird MC is no doubt one of the most accomplished women on this list…She has been in the game for over a decade with hits such as ‘Allen Avenue’ and her recent banger ‘Ijoya’. She is multi-talented who breaks the rules…As her name dictates, she is not a cookie-cutter musician. Weird MC moved back to Nigeria about 2 years ago after several years in the UK and has been churning out great music since then. She is a pioneer and definitely a great talent.
Weird MC’s Myspace

There are also some other upcoming Nigerian female musician such as Kemistry, Blaise and Nnenna. A collective of Nigerian females musicians namely Amaka, Zeal, Blaise, Sasha Niyola, Ashionye, Kemistry & Amina are releasing a song called 'I'm A Woman' soon… Great to see these ladies working together. See Pic.


There are actresses such as Omotola and Genevieve who have pursued musical careers but the women mentioned on my list are the hottest ones in Nigerian right now.
So let us know…who is your fav? Do you think any of them have a chance of becoming the Onyekas of the new generation? Why are the men doing better than the women on the Nigerian music scene?

Let us know!
Ciao!

34 comments:

Bee said...

I AM FIRSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT....YIPEEE!!!
OK ..LET ME GO BACK AND READ NOW.

BOBBY said...

OHMIGOD i am 2nd...sniff...i never thought i would see this day.

I need a stiff drink.

Let me go back and read.

truth said...

I think they all have a fair chance of staying in the art for decades.I particularly love Asa;she's like our native Lauryn Hill.lol.Sasha is really cool and i sense bold,but 'truth' is i'm not into rap as much.Till now i'd never heard of Ashionye and Angelica.I'm glad to Weird MC make a come back though i'm not a big fan.
Asa and Ara are definitely in an elite league in regards to the audience they generally cater.They'll be my picks as the Onyeka Onwenu of our time.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!we get to see said True Love magazine:)
cover looks interesting and i like that sasha is notconsidered too young to be on the cover.
I thnk asa,sasha and ara are ny faves- they have a sense of being themselves- cant saythe same for the blondies...

Kofoworapepper said...

BOUQUI!! rocks, i like people who aint 'shamed to praise da Lord sombori!
her video was also very gbegben especially when they all start dancing on the stage, y'all need to see this.
can we get the youtubes of all these videos?
i saw a sasha video on naijavixen's site and they also interviewed her-she came across as humble and smart-go shawty

BOBBY said...

Just visited BOUQUI's website and i am in love. Her lyrics "MAKE SENSE" (we have a lot of rappers, rapping jibberish), Her voice is clear, nice, she flows very well and i am just impressed.

We dont have too many Christian Rappers out there so this is great!!!

Out of the lot, i am loving this girl here.

Nilla said...

Bella,

your the 3rd blogger today (myself included) that has to make some major life decisions....Goodluck with that, I know I need that too.

I'll check out the links of the divas, I've never heard of some of them before.

Have a fab week!

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

it is a man's world...lol..
i like sasha....will check out the rest ..
nice post as usual...

azuka said...

Weird MC is a woman? I'd never have guessed, but then I haven't listened to any of her songs.

Looking at the pictures, Weird MC and Asa seem to be the most comfortable with their self-image.

bibi said...

weird MC a woman...never knew that...

Chude said...

Asa ... is not of this world.

Sasha... I can't wait for the full album; I am So feeling her Adara at the moment.

I wonder why you don't have Yinka Davies on this list though? She's still as relevant as ever and her ability to re-invent is amazing.

Bella, I still insist you reveal the secret of your ability to be more 'current' than those of us who actually live in Nigeria!

Cheers!

yankeenaijachick said...

Angelica and Sasha rock for me right now but that yeye girl wey de call Achrinye. l no know wetin she de sing.

tatafo! said...

@ azuka just bcos a woman doesn't wear make up and has locs doesn't mean she's the most comfy with her self image. You are taking the bohemian thing to new levels haba!
I wear weaves and rock braids and I'm very comfortable with my self image as a girl's girl. Nothing wrong with loving to dress up. Some of us do it to look good for ourselves not necessarily others i.e men!

sorry for my ranting epistle. Does anyone know where I can get Asa's muisc and does she have an online presence. I love love her music.

@ bella don't worry your head over these things, you know that God will work it out! take it to the Lord in prayer!

Tayo said...

Oh My God!!! Bella, this is the exact topic I'm working on for my next blog post... and these are the exact musicians I was featuring!! Well, I'll still make my post. The more the merrier, I always say. Excellent write up you have here. Personally I think Ladies find it more difficult to pursue music in Nigeria. Guys are more likely to give it all up and hustle to the last to raise studio funds. Eedris lived under bridges and begged for money for 2 months. Most ladies won't do that. Styl plus despite criticisms decided to pursue music instead of using their degrees to seek employment. Well, Bouqui did that as well, but i have friends who didn't. Hopefully, the ladies are now coming out, and are out to say.

Anonymous said...

Thanks once again Bella - If it were not for you, I would not know about these Musicians. Will check them all out.

Peace

sphynx said...

Bella, I need some advice on prenups. My boyfriend and I plan on getting married by year end. He wants me to sign a prenup as a condition for us to get married. What do u think of it? What do people think? Will you do an article on the subject. Ciao!

Ronnie said...

ashionye is terrible.angelica tried sha. the others are class a acts

Anonymous said...

Ashionye is wack as ever! Not only is she a bad singer, she's also a liar! She's on the cover of this month's True Love talking about she lived in the US for 9 months when she was 9yrs old so the American accent has stuck since then.

Refinedone said...

. Sasha and weird mc are the only 2 i could call Original( all trying to sound like beyonce)...all the rest are not very good singers and really should not even try and be put on the same level as Onyeka Onwenu (ok except Asa how is an artist)

Anonymous said...

I like Ara and she's also an Ambassador for Down Syndrome association Nigeria which i think is amazing.

Calabar Gal said...

Havent heard about a lot of them or their music except Weird MC. Guess I'm out of touch with whats happening in the music scene and had better sit up. LOL!!

Uzo said...

I adore Asa. I have seen her perform twice and i am simply blown away by her. Cant wait for her debut album. Ara is one AMAZING performer. She made Wesley Snipes move his body in some amazing ways when he was in Nigeria last year.

The others - not to my taste but they are doing good things.

There is a concert labeled :Girl Power Reloaded that is taking place this weekend i believe. It is being promoted by Orangotan records and has most of the performers you have profiled except Asa and Ara on the bill including Princess (the comedienne)...Its worth checking out if you want to know more about these ladies. I think the venue is the National Stadium and the game fee is N1,500

Excellent post Bella

Naijadude said...

I just realised Weird MC is a woman eh!.... Well I do love Ara and Asa, just like you said, people dont really know her music because she is a stage performer.. she's just awesome!!

chainreader said...

ASA IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just had to scream that. I feel better now.

yankeenaijachick said...

l love wierd Mc especially the song called "African woman".

Mona said...

Lovin this post to the fullest! Love the fact you put Asa and Ara - love them both.

See NV's blog for interview with Sasha...check out me blog too hehe updated, you're becoming me oh - madam MIA...I hope the issues get resolved soon by God's grace.

Who are the ppl in the last group pics? Can't really see....pls respond

Ayoola said...

I hope they can last as long as they make music that's true to themselves and aren't trying to imitate some other western acts out there for the sake of it.

koshie said...

Bukola needs devine intervention + that oroko nose of hers requires urgent trimming.

Ashiong is more my type. she comes off acrross as a genuine artist/musician

Ara needs to discover her true identity. I don't know how that bleached horse-hair is helping her image

Angelica, Lord have Mercy!!!!. she reminds me of one of those under-paid, forever-hungry, muscle-less policemen in 1950s ghana with a british police cap on. she really needs to take a difference cource if she plans to stay in the music industry for a long time.

Uzo said...

Correction - the concert is called Girl Power - Unleashed. Its on March 23rd at the Expo Center - Eko Hotel and Suites

dezhare said...

asa, I like her already...guitar strings always getme....

racquelle-cutie said...

i luv ASA and ARA dey r both so talented n they've got their own style of music jus like lagbaja.WEIRD MC is a really gud rapper but y does she have 2 be so manly honestly she also luks n sounds like a man

chioma said...

The person that I am really impressed with is BOUQUI.I mean not only is she good she has character. How do I know? she was in my fellowship in school years ago and the girl was always performing.She had a group of three girls but they didnt last.Inspite of her academic background she kept working on her dream and today she is living it. i also admire the fact that she is still singing gospel..a lot of christian artists trying to get popular,sing songs they wouldn't normally sing, and wear clothes they wouldn't have ordinarily worn.In other words they sell out(hear d'banj was a worship leader in his fellowship..lol)
She's Born -again and proud of it.You GO Girl!

I also like asha she is differnt and has such a strong voice and persona.Very Talented.

As for sasha, ashionye(beyonce ko beyonce ni)..can't say much cus I havent heard anything they have done, which means they are probably overhyped.They look good though

Ara we hear about her so much but its almost like she is overhyped cus I have only seen one song!She seems to have a strong stage presence.

Weird MC is definetly back!

Anonymous said...

hey bella did u read Ashionye's interview in trulove last month? i think they babe really fancies herself..saying she is Nigeria's beyonce or something.To top it all of she said her 'AMERICAN accent' has helped her succeed..how shallow is that.. and she refered to the nigerian accent as Local..I mean the babe lived in america for 9 months when she 9 years old and she is still clinging on to the acent..Na wa o..i thot she sounded horrible when she was still with Cool fm.
Weird Mc is cool...i like her
Sasha..y is that girl popular i mean for life 4 years she had only one song which is performed at every concert she was invited to..

Chineze Osayi said...

i think the others still have a long way to go - except in my opinion, asa, weird mc, and sasha p, that can hold their own.

the rest needs to find out what exactly is expected of them, in all sincerity, seriously work on it, and then present it to the music world.