by Ifreke Inyang
A few months ago, Yeka Onka won the first ever Nigerian Idols musical reality show, a feat she credits to her drive and determination. She was turned down twice during the show’s audition before she was finally picked at her third attempt. Apart from the huge cheque she picked up, she also left the show an instant celebrity and a rising star to keep an eye on. YNaija had a chat with her and caught up on some of the stuff she’s been up to and her future plans.
What has life been like for you since you won the Nigerian Idols competition?
I can spend the whole day just talking about the experiences I’ve had since then. I mean it’s pretty interesting, coming from where I used to be, the type of life I used to live back then to a life of fame and little or no privacy. It can be both frustrating and stressful but it’s very amazing too. I love this kind of life better. I mean, all the attention and the VIP treatment you get for being a recognizable face. For instance, when I get to a bank, I don’t need to stand in a queue, I’m attended to very quickly. But sometimes, I wish I could travel back in time and take bikes or go to a ‘mama put’ and order for ponmo N10, beans N50 and rice N70!
What have you been doing since you won?
I have done road shows for Etisalat, Pepsi, Sony, etc. But I am currently working with Cobhams Asuquo in the studio and I can say for sure that we are making a hit song. So watch out for my new single.
What genre are you into?
I’m very a adventurous person and I’m very versatile musically. But for now, I think I am more into R & B and Soul/Pop.
What artistes have you been working with?
I have plans to work with Muna , Eva, Wizkid, MI or Ice Prince. Those are the artistes I have in mind. Nothing is settled yet, but it will definitely be one of them.
Speaking of MI & Ice Prince, there were reports that you would soon sign up with Chocolate City. What happened?
Yes, I was supposed to be on Chocolate City, but things haven’t been sorted out yet. My management team is still working on it.
What other things do you do apart from music?
I love fashion! I do a bit of runway modeling. Also, asides music, I have some investment here and there. And of course, I have school work. I am still a student of the University of Calabar, where I am studying History and International Relations.
What would you say stands you out from other female singers?
I would say my vocal dexterity. I have been told and I also know that I have a strong and deep voice. Even with that, I can hit high notes. I’m not saying there are no other female singers that can do it but it is my major strength.
As another Idols competition is about to start, what would you give to a contestant as a winner’s secret?
Be yourself, believe in yourself and stay true to your dreams. If I am living my dream today, then anybody can leave his/ her dream. Most importantly, trust in God and pray. If you can go on your knees to God, he will answer you. Also sow seeds – they work.
Where do we expect to see Yeka a year from now?
In the next one year, I intend to step up to the global stage. I look forward to receiving awards internationally. I also have big ambitions, such as featuring any or all of Whitney Houston, Beyonce or Alicia Keys on one of my albums.
When is your first album due?
Very soon. It could be anytime. I have four songs ready at the moment. They are all nice songs, but my people are trying to pick one which we will release to the public soon.