by Rachel Ogbu
“I am single but not searching. My mother is working on that. She is going to get me a husband from the village.” These straight forward words from female rap artiste, Eva Alordiah, show there are other priorities for her at the moment.
“My major priority is to be focused on necessary things. I don’t see relationships as unnecessary but I see sex as unnecessary. I am not a married woman, it is not something I would wake up in the morning and say I would indulge in it. It was created for married people. It is seen as a part of relationships by this generation because people are influenced by what they see on television and read in magazines. The youths are getting very enlightened,” she said.
In a recent interview, Alordiah expressed her first love is music. “I love to do music and when I am held back from doing the music I love to do, my body cringes. Soon as I have the opportunity to do the music that I love to do, I I cannot stop myself, I do it. Releasing musical tracks is what I love to do,” she said.
However, just like many African parents, hers were skeptical when she announced she would be going into music, specifically rap. “…they did not like my career path. They did not exactly tell me to stop doing music. My father just told me that I had been serious with school for a long time and he hoped that I would not come back home and say I wanted to drop out. He advised me to ensure I finish school. I love school, I have always loved school, I was one the best students in some courses. It was entertaining to me. I just was not on the path of dropping out to do music. Because he understood that, he let me do it, knowing that I had always been good with my grades. I don’t think he really had problems as such. My parents are very sweet and calm. They would let you do what you want. I know that my father cannot stand tattoos. That is the one thing I know he cannot stand, not that I want to have tattoos.”
Coping with my academics and music
I was a science student. I was not a book worm but I knew I had to get out of school with good grades. It has been like that for me since primary school. There was a time in primary school that for four straight years straight I was between the first and third position. In secondary school I was in science class and I had very good grades in the subjects I did. The only problem I had was with further mathematics. I did not enjoy that subject at all. It was at Bowen University that music really kicked in and it happened in my final year. That was when I really wanted to start doing rap. It was a tough year because it is a year you have to get out of school without any problems. Luckily for me when I started in school, my CGPA was on a first class basis. I started out with a first class and in school it is either your CGPA increases or drops. It was difficult to increase so I made sure I had a Second Class Upper Degree. The kind of school I finished from doesn’t let you do anything. The only time I could express myself in terms of music was in the school shows which happened like once a year. I never had the temptation to drop out of school. The kind of house I grew up we don’t get things on a platter. We did not have everything that we wanted but we had what we needed. My father would go out of his way to provide for us so we would not be envious of other kids. Knowing that my parents went out of their way for me made me know I had to be my best in school.
On artistes who drop out of school because of music
I would not be a judge of anybody but I do not think that music alone is a good excuse to drop out of school. I personally think that education is very important. I am not saying that education is going to make you be the great person you are going to be. I don’t think that is correct. But I know what is correct is that education is very important and if you have the opportunity to be educated, grab that opportunity. I think there are some people that were not born to adapt to school. There are some people that are so wise that they do not need to go to school for six years to become the great human beings they are supposed to be in the world. That is from a spiritual point of view. I was in school with friends that did not have parents providing for them; I was in school with people who got thrown out because their parents could pay their fees. Knowing that my parents were going through a tough time providing for us, I made it my priority to finish school and with good grades. Not to say that I passed through school because of my parents, I did because I started out well in my life. Why waste all those years of being brilliant in school and then when I get to the top of the ladder I decide to stop? What happens to all the chemistry I have been reading? I knew I would be doing myself a favour finishing what I started.
My early years
I have four siblings, I am the second girl. While growing up, I was a tomboy majorly because of my brothers. By the time I was two years old, I was already cutting my hair. I wore jeans and sneakers all the time. I remember growing up in the North, back then the region was peaceful. There were horses, camels, Fulani herdsmen, lots of mango trees to climb and fences to jump over. I had a lot of male friends and I used to climb trees a lot. I had cuts on my thighs on several occasions while jumping over a fence. There was this fence that blocked us from getting into a compound that had so many mango trees. In the mango season, the mangoes would fall to the ground and we (children) would want to go into the compound to get the mangoes because they were wasting. The North was so rich that everything was everywhere; fruits, meat, they were all everywhere. Because the mangoes were just lying there wasting we would help ourselves with some. I got hurt few times during that quest. I once broke a tooth.
My reaction to the happenings in Northern Nigeria
I lived in Bida, Niger State and it was so safe, so peaceful and warm. The Fulani women would bring fura di nunu in the morning for you. I learnt how to make tuwo. The mallams would guard our houses. When I came to Lagos, it was the first time I saw fences everywhere. Everybody’s house in Lagos is covered up with a high fence. That joy of neighbourhood love is not felt in the city, like I felt it in the North. In the North, we did not have fences; everybody’s house was open to everybody. I was so much fun especially during Sallah. It used to be the best, the kids would run after horses, we would go to the Emir’s palace and he would give us money, lots of coins. It was so much fun, I miss that life.
The issue I have with Eldee
It is difficult talking something I do not know anything about. I actually do not know anything about me getting dropped by his record label. I can not talk about things I do not know about. It happened in 2012; this is 2013, I am moving on, working on my album right now. I can not talk about things that did not happen because if I do, I would be telling you lies.
Allegations that my song promotes drug use and abuse
That is the misconception people get from my song titled high, which is one of my father’s favourites. If that is one of his favourites, it should tell you that older people understand better than the younger people. The younger generation does not like reading anymore, nobody reads. Everybody is shallow which is one of the reasons why the music we have in the industry is the way it is. I am not surprised that the song is being misinterpreted because that is what the younger generation keeps talking about these days, getting high. If you listen to the lyrics of that song, it is not about using drugs, it was about going through struggles in life. Which is what I was going through and at the end of the day what I really love to do which is my music becomes my getaway. It becomes my high. That was what “High” was all about.My music does not promote drugs and drug abuse, I am not a fan of drug usage. I do not smoke and I do not drink. My music promotes love, unity, peace, I am all about love and happiness.
About my other businesses
My life started as a writer. I was writing stories in class; these stories were in my notebook. One of the notebooks fell into my father’s hands and he thought it was a good story so he was trying to help me get it published. I really thought I would become a superstar writer. It did not happen because I got into school and music came in. When music came, the writing part of me delved into writing music. I was listening to a lot of Eminem and I fell in love with rap. Writing then became writing rap music. After secondary school, while I was waiting for JAMB result, I began to take pictures of myself and kept telling myself I was cute and could model so I got into modeling. That’s where my love for arts and pictures came to the fore. Because I wanted my pictures to look like those of the models on television and in magazines. I began to find out what make-up was and I began to buy make-up products. I taught myself make-up artistry. Now I own a make-up company, Make-up by Orsela, I just really love to paint and paint faces.
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