Women have come a long way in Nigerian music. From the days of Comfort Omoge, to Christy Essien Igbokwe, through Evi Edna Ogholi down to today’s Chidinma. I have continually watched very keenly their successes and indeed their failures with a prayer.
However, in recent times I have developed a keen interest in a few and they have emerged my all-time favorites. In no particular order, here are my favourite Nigerian female artistes that have continually impressed me.
This sultry crooner has a voice that sends me to eternal bliss. Her smooth Anita Baker like voice is so melodious that I do not believe that any Nigerian song writer can write her a song for that voice. When she sings, I cannot even begin to count the goose pimples that emerge on my dry skin. Its no wonder I single handedly made sure she was the artiste of choice at the last Total Professional Woman event. Even though she performed below her usual stellar self, I could still forgive her. I pray that one day she will find that song that would finally launch her to the peak of superstardom where she belongs.
Although I have not really enjoyed a pleasant personal relationship with her, she still makes my list. I hear she can be very haughty and once was the brunt of her ‘pushdown’, her great talent can still not be discounted. Her strong point beyond the voice is in her elegance. She to me remains one of the greatest beauties in this our obodo Niger. Her patch of gray hair, the low cut, the wonderful skin colour all added to the allure. Her monster hit One Love still rankles me. Recently, I watched her in church and ashamed to say that I had some naughty sensation run down my body. She is a legend and a classic.
Waje mesmerised me at one of the Butterscotch concerts. It was the one that had Johnny Gill and Praize on the bill. The smoothness of her rendition and the clarity of her voice evoked the voice of Regina Belle. Regina belle is the one on Beauty and the Beast with Peabo Bryson. I was walking around the hall, looking for food when I was suddenly stopped by that VOICE. It immediately held me spell bound as I looked up the stage with awe. My fear is that, like Yinka Davies, she may not find the kind of songwriters or songs that would do justice to that voice. But don’t miss it, she is raw talent. I swear.
She dropped a notch when she got married. Or how I go dey yearn for another man wife. She comes with a rich experience of work. Her latest song Eminado with Don Jazzy has become an anthem in my house. She was the only leading light at the last Butterscotch concert, where she held her own against run down and recycled artistes that were on parade that night. She is our own Beyonce and I see her going very far in her chosen career.
This na my girl. Although suddenly gone quiet, I hope she re-emerges o. That her album, the one she with Tuface, Wizkid amongst others has no song that I hate. I went to watch the concert heralding the album and was completely mesmerised with her command performance. How she got all the artistes that collaborated with her for duets was quite remarkable. Her voice, her reliance on folk songs and her Afrocentric incursions all add up to her essence. She has my 5 star any day.
I neva hear any of her songs o (on CD or digitally), but I read about her a lot on various blogs. So when my good friend Abubakar Tafawa Balewa invited me to one of his events at the Radisson Blu Hotel, I took notice. She took the mic and held the small audience spell bound. The voice was powerful and deeply penetrating. She caught my attention then even though I still haven’t heard any of her songs, that voice and the personality is enough to put her on my list.
THIS is my list.