The Los Angeles, US born singer also told CNN in a chat that she chose to do her music in Nigeria rather than in her land of birth because of the irresistible pull of her roots.
She said, “When I first moved to Nigeria, I got a lot of people discouraging me about being a female artist, and a lot of people didn’t want to invest money or time because they didn’t think I was lucrative, female artists are huge in other parts of the world. It shouldn’t be different in Africa.”
She also noted that her talents were already well appreciated in the US and UK before she returned home, giving her confidence that she could cut it. She said that people would ask her, “Where’s that from?’ I’d say it’s Nigerian, West African, and they would say, ‘You’re African?’ and fascinated that I was straight from the Motherland… This was a lightbulb moment.These people were interested in Africa, and here I was running from it.
“It’s overwhelming, as well. My family is from here… It’s a great feeling, but sometimes you really just want to run, get something and go back home.
“Believe in yourself, and believe in Africa,” she added.
She is currently in the United states where, ahead of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, Essence Magazine held their annual Essence Black Women in Music event on February 9 at the NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.