Amongst the new female artistes doing quite well currently, Niniola has been able to find a top spot for herself churning out great melodies for our listening pleasure. In an interview with Tush Magazine, originally published here; Niniola shares her journey so far, upcoming plans and her side projects. Read excerpt of the interview:
Whenever a new artiste emerges, they always come with their own sound, a genre, most times a bit far apart, but with you it is apt and couldn’t be more precise, you named your sound AFRO HOUSE, tell us about it.
First of all my name is Niniola; I am a proud Yoruba girl from Ekiti but I was born and bred and Lagos. The love for my culture has influenced my music, that’s where you have the Afro, so I went into the studio and I did a song and people named it, they gave the genre life.
So the people named your genre?
Yes, I think so. They classified it. The Afro sound was there in me already.
Your voice can literally BRIGHTEN anyone’s day; tell us how you groom it.
Thank you. Loads of vocal exercises that I use to warm up my vocal chords and just keep my muscles in shape.
Can you tell us a bit about the vocal exercises?
You have the, voice thrills, the bubbles, and then there is the working your facial muscles and general body exercises.
Can we say Project Fame was a career defining platform for you? Tell us about the journey thus far?
Of course everybody always starts with Project Fame when I go for interviews because that was a big stage, the platform that introduced me to the world. Before then I was harnessing my skills, I started singing in the bathroom, my house, by the stairs. Also in school, singing to my mates, then I progressed to going for competitions, I remember my first ever competition was a gospel competition. I didn’t even come top 5, but it was an experience for me and I loved it. And a couple of other auditions, the month before Project Fame, I did X Factor and I think that was it for me. I was dropped so I told myself that’s the last! No more, I’m done with music!
What changed? Why did you then decide to go for Project FAME?
Hmm, nothing changed really. I just told myself if I don’t get to the end then I know music isn’t for me. Then I went on, scaled different levels, got to the end and in the house I learnt so much with fantastic tutors. Each of them taught us so much, being able to perform on stage, it was fantastic.
How many singles do you have out officially? And which one do you regret putting out?
I don’t regret any of my songs, because each single is a part of me. It won’t come out if my management team, that’s Naija Review, who by the way has been with me from day one, doesn’t feel that it is worthy to be listened to by people.
My debut single is IBADI. That was released in 2015, then after we released GBOWODE based on request, because I did an acoustic version of it on Ndani TV and then I dropped another one for the lovers titled SOKE with the video already out.
Do you have any big plans for the Nigerian Entertainment Industry?
Oh yes I do. To keep churning out good music and be an inspiration to others. Stay true to yourself and be happy. What I want to do is give world class entertainment, beautiful performances and I know the industry is growing and I am new to it, but with time I want all the performances to be live band.
Is Adopt a Child a personal project to you? Tell us why you chose that route?
This project is something I inherited from my father, my late father was an advocate for education and educating a child, so I just stepped into his shoes. My manager is also for the cause, we have been talking about it but didn’t know how to launch it; we were in traffic and saw kids by the roadside, not properly dressed and the likes. So we decided to launch it. We went to about 4-5 schools in my neighborhood – Isolo and an exam was written with over 30 children, we picked the best 2 and they are currently in Apata Memorial School. The scholarship is a 6 year scholarship; it covers everything: tuition, books and uniforms. We are looking at expanding to colleges when we get sponsorships by God’s grace.
The school is called Apata and your surname is Apata, is there any connection?
Oh yes, my parents’ school.
How old is ADOPT A CHILD?
ADOPT A CHILD is very new; we kicked off in August with 2 children. The children started school in September. All the information you might need on the program is on my website, www.officialniniola.com
Are you single?
No I am not o! (General LAUGHTER)
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
I would be involved in education really. I grew up helping my parents and it is something I am passionate about.
In 5 years where do you see NINIOLA APATA?
I see Nini the world philanthropist and a name to be reckoned with in general entertainment and being able to start my own music village.