Gospel muscician, Nikki Laoye, in this interview with Modupe Ahmed, speaks on her background as a singer, her family and her brand of music, among other issues. Excerpts…
You came into the music industry with a voice of change, What is your motivating force?
My music and everything I do are all geared towards achieving one major objective: to achieve my life’s purpose; that specific job God sent me here to do, and that is simply to be a voice of hope, love, change and encouragement, straight from heaven’s gates to the hearts of men. And this is what I strive to achieve daily with every platform I operate from – my music, my foundation (Angel 4 Life), my radio show (Girls Rock! With Nikki Laoye) and more.
Why have you chosen to stick with soft rock gospel
With my music, I am very adventurous and daring; hence, I stick to the urban contemporary style of music with which I make use of any genre such as hip-hop, rock, traditional gospel, R&B, Jazz, soul and so on. With ‘Never Felt This Way Before,’ alternative rock was just the right feel for it. Being one of my favourite genres, it certainly gave the song the exact drive it needed to simply express the beauty of the phenomenon called ‘unconditional love.
How have you been able to remain in the industry?
I am really grateful to God for all I’ve accomplished so far. It’s been a lot of work; and funny enough, it gets tougher. Definitely, much is expected from whom much is given, but I’m up for it all. I love making great music, and I do welcome all the beautiful blessings that come with it.
Having the MTV Base crew come to my house and also cover my album launch in 2008 for the Advance Warning Show was a major thrill for me, and one I would never forget. I also remember ‘Never Felt This Way Before’ hitting the Number 1 spot on charts, and I would stare in disbelief for hours on end and wonder at how fast my career was taking off back then. I do say I have had great blessings and favour since the beginning of my career, and I look forward to so much more ahead.
How has it been working as a project manager with Wahala Media Entertainment?
Working with Wahala Media has been a major learning platform for me. Doubling as an artiste as well as project manager has broadened and developed my managerial and organisational skills. Wahala Media has put me on the world map and this I am totally grateful for.
Give us a peep into your childhood days and how the love for rock and God started.
I was born into the musical lineage of the talking drum legend, the late Oba Adetoyese Laoye, music was a lifestyle in our family. With a father that led a band in his younger days alongside a massive music collection, I had direct influence and access to great music as a child.
Singing with my dad, playing the piano with my grandpa, I totally loved the whole essence of music. My parents noticed my sharp interest early and put me up with our adult church choir at the age of five, and there’s been no looking back ever since.
Music, dance, arts were all an integral part of my life right from then all through my secondary and university education as I joined and performed with numerous dance/music groups.
As your dream to project God is being achieved, how are yo planning to give back to the society?
God has helped me to create the Angel 4 Life Foundation which is a non-profit charitable organisation, that focuses on the development and empowerment of Nigerian youths with emphasis on the visually impaired, physically challenged and underprivileged.
What fond memories do you have of your parents?
My family is the most unique family unit I have ever come across in my life. We have such a fantastic home unit of love and friendship, and that was why losing our father broke our hearts greatly.
My most recent single, the soulful ballad, ‘Only You’, is dedicated to his memory. It was amazing to see a song written in the season of pain, now pulling others out of their own dark void. The response to the song on its first day of online release (April 12th) was incredible, with over 2000 downloads in one day, and the song started trending all over Nigeria on twitter in 24 hours. I had thousands of tweets flooding in on my timeline, comments on different blogs talking about how the song has been a great help and source of inspiration.
It surely means a lot to me, knowing that all I went through and survived would be a point of reference of survival for someone else out there.
What is your advice to millions of talented ladies like you who are having challenges serving God?
I would simply say: stay focused even when the road gets rough. Hold on to God’s promise that He has a great expected end for you. And finally, keep working, keep talking your faith, keep breathing, keep moving and soon enough, your gift will make room for you before great men.