Believe it or not kiddo(s), there was a time when the radio was one of the coolest things about Lagos. It was a time when names like “wildchild”, “phoenix”, “darey”, “dan foster”, and the smooth talker himself, Sola Thompson ruled the airwaves. It was a time when there was actual competition among radio stations for our attention based only on quality content and deep knowledge of what makes good music. It was also a time when there was a famous queen of talk reigned supreme – Kemistry.
Born, Kemi Olisaemeka, ‘Kemistry’ was a the ying to Ik Osakioduwa (Wildchild)’s yang on the popular night time show, The Danceparty on Rhythm 93.7. But she wasn’t just an On Air Personality (OAP), she also had bars and featured a few hip hop tracks, showing off her rap skills – something not many of her colleagues could boast of. If you’re a true Nigerian of the ‘Generation Cool’ (a term we just made up), then you definitely remember Kemistry with her “antis” and “multis”. It didn’t matter that she’d been in Nigeria for long years, her American accent had nowhere to go. She was the IJGB long before you all travelled for your 15-month long Coventry masters degrees. Just kidding o!
Anyway Kemistry, also doubled as a model when she was off-air. But it was really her job as a radio personality that made her famous – that as well as rumours of her being the wildest human to ever walk the streets of Lagos.
She moved back to Nigeria in 2003 and started out at Raypower. For a week. She then joined the sports radio, Brilla FM before moving again to Rhythm FM where she stayed the longest -four years.
During her time at Rhythm FM, she released tracks like ‘Ijo ti ya’, ‘Shake’ and a did a few collaborations like the hit ‘Too Much’ by Dj JimmyJatt ft Boqui, Blaise, Sasha P and herself.
Kemistry said at some point that music was just a hobby and she never meant it to be a career. She left Rhythm FM after a change in the management which she wasn’t very pleased with and then moved to Inspiration FM which was new at the time. She stayed there only five months. The story (which she later confirmed to Stella Dimokokorkus) is that that “Dan Foster ran her out of radio”.
She just sort of fizzled out after her time at Inspiration FM and we’ve only had the privilege of random low-key interviews since then. But no one really knows where this rap queen/OAP/model really is.
Here’s what we do know though. She’s somewhere in America doing similar things to how she spent her time here.