Nnena Omali was accosted by GbeduNation sometime ago. Giving a heartwarming expose plus rich insights on what embodies the Lady Omali, this interview was my window into her eyes. Ought to have shared it with y’all long ago folks! But don’t bite me just yet, Lol!
We had the pleasure of interviewing this lovely lady who has created a delicious blend of different genres to produce a slew of long lasting songs that touch the soul. If you haven’t listened to any of her songs yet, you really need to visit the TOP 100 playlist and listen to “palava” or scroll down and listen to “kissed”. She will be on GbeduNation in the coming weeks so you can all go to her music page to check out more of her work. We look forward to that. So here is the interview with Nnena Omali:
Folks may or may not know you well enough give them some background into who you are.
I was born in Enugu in the early eighties. Music had always been in me as a child. I was about ten years when I wrote my first song and began participating in a music group in school. However, it transcended from a favorite hobby into a profession in 2002 when I took the bold step and recorded my first work. I had some singles out on radio and they received quite some airplay in the east. I even had a video that got a bit of attention from my region of origin. However, the true taste of limelight came when I performed the song CRY with Modenine in 2005 which thankfully scored a hat-trick at the 2006 Channel O Awards in South Africa. A while later, the video of my track OLUCHI was released and by God’s infinite grace it also got a nomination at the SoundCity Music Video Awards (2008) in the best female video category.
2. With all the competing forces out now, what is unique about your music and style?
One thing I’m grateful for with my music is where it comes from – from deep within – and it is not dated. More so, I’ve grown musically to a level I’m comfortable enough not to have to look at others or the prevalent trend for a dictate on where my music should go or what it should sound like. It is not R&B, pop, soul or hip hop but not to say that these elements don’t find their way in controlled measures into my music. I’m into world fusion music with a deep sense of the afro. In writing, I pick up where others stop not fearing whose ego is shone or ox is gored. My music in my honest opinion is both of substance and appealing to a wide range of audiences.
3. What is your take on the state of Nigeria’s music industry?
Wow! We’ve truly excelled ourselves in terms of great visuals. Most Nigerian music videos these days can compete with those of their foreign counterparts. There has been a massive invasion of creativity and talent in the field of artistry. And music connoisseurs have quadrupled in number. Even the government has recognized the value of the industry; the power music can wield on the masses; showing an avid interest in the nurturing of this grand employment opportunity for our youth and hence embarking on the usage of our ‘influence’ to further their cause. We don try… but on the contrary I’ll also be brutally frank; the Nigerian music industry may have improved in these aspects but lyrical content has been dismal for all I know. People are selling out on who they truly are just to sell, which to me is pathetic for I believe you can have commercial value and still make a whole lot of sense. You can strike a balance on both and not be burned but most acts are soooo desperate to be famous they don’t even care. Mindless lifting of other artistes lyrics, productions and melodies, mimicry of vocals and persona and so on and so forth. To make it even worse, cash-driven ‘hype’ has made a mockery of genuine demand. A load of labels are scattered around the country but only a handful understand the ABC of the music business. The problems are plenty but with a proper system which hopefully will blossom over time, they will be surmounted.
4. There are millions of Nigerians away from home. How are you reaching them?
Well, that’s why we have the internet and jolly good sites like yours that help to disseminate Nigerian music to our people in Diaspora.
5. GbeduNation is providing a home to Nigerian artists around the world that want to be heard. Do you think this concept can bring artists one step closer to their fans?
In Gbedunation I see a distinct avenue; homebred and marinated in Naija culture, where we can celebrate who we are, market the brand of music we create, receive and give appreciation to them that love our craft. And of course, there is delicious ‘gbedu’ in this nation served hot for listener’s tastes worldwide.
6. Do you find a lot of unity and cooperation from other industry players?
Yes, I see pockets of musical enthusiasts working together in their own limited scopes for a common goal – success; but I can’t say for certain whether this co-operation is widespread.
7. Any plans to join the nation so your music can be heard right here?
Precisely. My management is on that already. My bio and more updates coming up.
8. I personally love your music so i need to know what are you working on right now? An album in the near future?
Mighty glad you asked that question. My album has been ready for a while now. I had gone through some challenges on the part of getting a distributor hence the delayed release. Timing is now a factor that cannot be neglected. We are making efforts to promote it extensively so we’ve shot videos of my songs; PALAVA and KISSED. One of the videos will soon be out on screen shortly heralding the entrance of my album into the market. Believe me I am eager to get it out so that I can plunge my energies into rounding off the next one and the more to come Insha Jehovah. I am always thrilled when people tell me they love my tracks and that they are dying to buy my album. It’s exciting really. The love keeps me going. Recently my song PALAVA made number 2 on the GbeduNation Top 100 charts for some time and I was like ‘Yaaaaaaaaaay’!
9. Anything you want the global audience to know about you?
I’m Nnena Omali and good music is where I live.