By Christian Agabide, Saturday Sun
Top Nollywood actress Jennifer Eliogu continues to entrench herself into the music space.
Determined to survive in her new career, the Anambra State-born thespian recently dropped another single from her forthcoming album entitled, Lullaby.
In this exclusive interview with Christian Agabide, Eliogu talks about life as an actress and a musician.
What are you currently working on?
We just completed post-production of the two movies I produced early this year. And a few days ago, I released another single from my forthcoming album, Lullaby. It’s a beautiful blend of highlife and zoukus, the lyrics, instrumentals and rendition will make you press your repeat button.
How do you combine acting and music?
It is very easy because I love what I do. When you are passionate about what you do, you find fulfilment. In spite of the demands, I couldn’t be happier.
Many of your fans think you have abandoned acting for music; how true is this?
I love my fans and appreciate their loyalty to my brand. I have no intention of leaving one for the other. I love acting and singing, and I’m good at both. I always knew I was going to come back to music. I have a band called, The Silk Band, and I’m living my dream.
When did you start music professionally?
I started doing music professionally in 2012, with the release of a single, Ifunanya. That year, the song was nominated for Best R&B Video at NMVA. I was overwhelmed with joy. It was a re-confirmation that I was on the right path. I haven’t looked back ever since.
What are the challenges you face as an up and coming musician?
Not so much of a challenge, but the realisation that music is a totally different terrain from acting.
What steps are you taking to reach your goal as an artiste?
It’s by identifying my audience and carving my niche. I am also reinventing myself by always making evergreen music. I equally work with a team that understands my vision and shares my passion.
Which artiste would you say influenced your career?
My parents are music lovers. While dad loved highlife and reggae, mom was a lover girl who played Skeeter Davies, Dolly Patton, Everly Brothers and all, and then as a young girl, I loved soul, ballads and R&B. So, I grew up listening to different genres of music and that has influenced my style of writing and rendition, it’s evident in most of my songs.
Describe your type of music?
My music is a fusion of different genres – Afrocentric with a blend of jazz, Afrojazz if you like. Whatever the genre, I stay in touch with my roots.
What is the positive message in your music?
Love… Love of God, self and humanity, as you can’t give what you don’t have.
What kind of response are you getting on your new single?
Since the release, the feedback we’re getting on social media is overwhelming. The single is already making impact. Lullaby is very soothing, almost sensual. Anybody with ears for good music would fall in love with it instantly. I make evergreen songs.
How has art helped you to evoke music or lyrics?
Music is just like art. And both talents are innate. You must be artistically inclined to be creative. So, it’s the art in me that has found expressions through music.
Have you mapped out your goals in the next five years?
I have a mapped-out plans and goals for the next five years, and it’s right before the only one who can bring them to manifestation – the Almighty. Just wait and see them unfold as the years roll by.
How do you cope with friends and family members who never believed in you becoming a music star?
When you are confident of your game, you don’t allow distractions. My family believes so much in my music and I’m enjoying their support. As for the rest, it’s gradually dawning on them that I’m not joking.
How do you handle your male admirers?
Naturally, I appreciate them all but I know where to draw the lines.
What is your unique selling as a singer?
I’m unique in my style. I do songs that suit my personality. I think of longevity, I write songs that people can relate to. And the fact that I perform live allows me to express my best.
Who is your celebrity crush and why?
I appreciate a whole lot of them for their individual talents.
Aside showbiz, what are the other things you do?
I compere events. I also do public speaking. I’m the founder of Initiative for Development Empowerment and Absolute Stability (IDEAS), a non-governmental organisation that does prison visitations and reaches out to the physically challenged and IDPs. We also organise youth summits and empowerment programmes.