Nini Mbonu is a gospel minister, singer and songwriter. Nini has always loved singing; while growing up she always showed an amazing voice control and body movement in dance that were way beyond her age. It was inevitable that she was going to end up in music someway, as music has always been part of her life.
Her brand new single off her project, titled “Onye” which was produced by Skytimz, talks about the goodness of God, His mercies and loving kindness in our daily lives, waking up each day to new mercies and new blessings. This sensational song is the kind you sing to daily. In an exclusive interview, Nini shares her inspiration behind her current single, her journey so far while shedding light on her upcoming projects.
What does ‘Onye’ mean and represent?
In the context of the song, ‘Onye’ means ‘who’. A simple translation of the song is “Who does these good deeds for me? It is God, the Great King”.
What’s the inspiration behind ‘Onye’?
I woke up one morning singing the song in my spirit and absentmindedly started singing it in the physical while going about my business without realizing I was actually doing an original piece. When it dawned on me, I had to pause to check that I had not heard the song somewhere else because the flow was too seamless. This is a very usual experience to me – it happens a lot. I have lost many songs because most times I don’t record them. But the strange yet interesting bit of this particular experience is that, I had never received a song in any other language but English. So it was quite fascinating for me to have received both the melody and the lyrics in Igbo at a go. However, I will not claim that it was 100% all me because I got the help of a couple of my Igbo friends to do the finishing touches on my pronunciations, modulations et al.
Onye came during one of the darkest times of my life. I had realized that I had been so focused on the negatives going on around me that I began to lose sight of the blessings I enjoyed. I had stumbled into an article that talked about focusing on the good things in your life and developing an attitude of thanksgiving. So it was in the midst of all that, I received the song.
What effect do you expect ‘Onye’ to have on listeners?
My expectation and heartfelt prayer is that everyone that listens to ‘Onye’ will transition from gloom to an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving. I desire a shift of perspective that would translate to an outburst of appreciation to God for the seemingly little blessings. Depression…sadness…gloom is a huge weight. I have been there. Once you go down that path, things never get better. Worse things keep happening to you. The law of attraction is infallible – it is the things you focus on that comes to you. So I really do hope that ‘Onye’ stimulates a shift in my listeners’ perspectives to bring about better days ahead for them.
Growing up, who influenced your music taste? Who are your current music influences?
First of all, I grew up in a family of singers. We all love music and we all can sing, but my Dad. Being one of the youngest in my family, I basically towed the path of my elder ones particularly my second sister who had a huge music library. I learnt to buy CDs, listen to music, mimic what I hear and all of those stuff from her.
I guess that is the reason it will be tough today to point at one person as an influence. I learnt to listen wide and have always listened to all kinds of music and vocal styles. But I have my preferences.
What genre do you think your music falls under?
I am more of an R’n’B person than anything else, with a bit of Soul, Gospel, pop and alternative music. So my music generally will fall under these.
What challenge have you faced so far in the music industry?
Okay this might sound weird but most of the challenges I have had so far is me. I had this huge expectation of myself that I know I am yet to meet. I always think that my work could be better. ‘Onye’ was many months of back and forth with the producer (God bless his soul for his patience with me) until he stood his ground and insisted we work with what we have now. People call me a perfectionist but I don’t like to look at it that way. I believe in excellence – if you are going to do anything you might as well blow minds with it.
Secondly, again this is another funny one but you get to deal with a lot negative energies even from people who have been in the industry much longer than you. You would think that they will encourage and build you up but disappointingly, there is a lot of competition, politicking, slandering, people trying to stand in the way of your progress, people trying to put you down. That makes me wonder the reason they are in the industry in the first place. It should not be about fame or fortune. It should be about following your calling, fulfilling your purpose here on earth, blessing humanity with the gifts God gave you. So day by day, I pray for more of God’s love in my heart for everyone and for the grace to guard my heart with all diligence, stay focused on the course, and not be swayed by the happenings around me.
Listen to ‘Onye’ by Nini Mbonu
Should we expect an album from you soon?
To be honest, I do not have definite plans for that yet so I will not say soon. I will like to do a few more singles and perhaps two music videos before launching an album. So I will say it is more of a 2017-2018 project for me.
What are your general expectations from the song ‘Onye’? How far do you see it going?
I expect ‘Onye’ to be an everyday thanksgiving song on the lips of both young and old and reach far beyond the country. You would notice by the tempo that it works for every age. It’s not too fast for the old and it is not too slow for the young.
CLICK TO Download MUSIC: Nini Mbonu – Onye