Nikky Laoye: I was a virgin when I got married

Oyenike Laoye-Oturu, professionally known as Nikki Laoye is a Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter and dancer, renowned for her eclectic musical expressions and captivating stage performances. Her style is an urban contemporary sound with the fusion of alternative rock, R&B, Hip Hop, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz and Gospel. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Nikki Laoye hails from the musical lineage of the talking drum legend – Late Oba Adetoyese Laoye (from Ede, Osun State-Nigeria), The singer, fondly called, “the small one with the big voice”, rose to fame in 2006 with the hit single, “Never Felt This Way Before” from her debut album, Angel 4 Life (2008). It also featured other notable singles, including the Hip-Hop collaboration with Rooftop Mcs and her brother, Rap2Sai. Nikki Laoye was the only female contender alongside top male Nigerian Artistes – M.I, Banky W and Naeto C for the “HipHop World Revelation (Best New Artiste)” category of the 2009 HipHop World Awards and also smiled home with a Headie last year. She spoke to Adedayo Showemimo recently on her career and other sundry issues

Taking a break from music…

I  took a break from music for a while in 2011 when I lost my dad (Prince Olusola Isaac Laoye) especially as he took his last breath in my arms. It was a traumatic period for my mum, myself and my brothers because we are a very close family. It felt like a huge part of us had been taken away and it definitely took us a while to begin to re-adjust to his absence. But God has been faithful and awesome as His love heals us daily.

Winning an award at the Headies last year…

Winning the “Best Vocal Performance (Female) category was just the memorial I had asked God for, to let me know that the tears and the pain I had been through wasn’t in vain. The song, “Only You”, which was nominated for the winning category, is actually dedicated to my dad and I do thank God for giving me the chance to dedicate the award to his memory and also to my Number 1 Father of all, God, who held my hand through it all. Now it’s a new year, my fans and friends should expect the best of Nikki Laoye. With my music, my radio show and my NGO foundation, I am just going to do more of what has been given to me.

Journey into music…

Music and Arts run in the Laoye blood as I hail from the lineage of the late Timi of Ede, Oba Adetoyese Laoye of the Laoye-Ajeniju Ruling House in Ede, Osun State. My siblins, cousins and I all grew up watching our grand parents/our parents sing and display different creative traits which we had no choice but to replicate. My dad was the lead singer of a band; my mum used to be a part of a dance troupe so it was easy for me as I started singing at the age of 2. My parents picked up on this and enrolled me in the church choir at the age of 5 and since then, I have always been a part of choirs, dance groups, drama teams all my life. Professionally, I started off being a part of a girl group – Soul Sistas – with Debola Kester and Aby from 2000 – 2005; also worked with Tosin Martins for a while before kicking off my solo career in 2006.

My kind of music…

With my music, I set out to be an urban contemporary christian artiste, a believing born-again Christian, a worshipper, a lover, a fighter, a survivor, a motivator and above all I am a woman. A human being going through the general motions of life so I want to speak about it all – my faith, my God; speak about life’s issues and experiences and also speak about love and relationships.

The most important thing for me is that music is my vessel of communication and all I want to be is a voice of encouragement, healing, hope, inspiration, joy, straight from heaven’s gates to the hearts of men. People will always tag my music in their own understanding…Gospel, Inspirational, R&B, Soul, HipHop, even recently a new one has been added – “Secular Gospel” (laughs). I do thank God for how far I have come with my music. Of course, Its been good but like Oliver Twist, I need a whole lot more. Professionally, I have been doing music for 14 years.

My other businesses…

I do a lot of things asides music. I run Nikki Laoye’s Angel4Life Foundation, which provides developmental and educational support to visually impaired and physically challenged youths, whom I also mentor. I also host my own Radio Show, “Girls Rock with Nikki Laoye” every Thursday 5pm-7pm on online Gospel Radio Station, PraiseWorld Radio. And at the same time, I am a Project Manager with the management company I am signed to – WaHaLa Media Entertainment whilst I also have my own graphics design company, Scribbles By Nikki Laoye. I certainly do a lot, I must say.

Quitting music…

Music will always be my first love, my first true purpose while I am on this earth. It’s the air I breathe. I will always do other things alongside it but I can never quit music.

Music and being married….

I’ve been married for 2 years now to my friend, Alexander Oturu and our secret ingredients are friendship, love and sacrifice, Understanding and more Love and Sacrifice. We are still a young couple, learning and growing daily. So, Its all about creating a balance. Music is a full time job for me. So, it does require a lot of my attention but my hubby is very understanding and he is a part of my management team as well and loves what I do. But of course, we have learnt to constantly create our “US” time away from everything and everyone.

I got married as a virgin…..

I am a very passionate and loving woman. it’s not easy. It all started as a personal commitment I had made to God when I turned 13 and I asked him to help me keep my word and he certainly did.

Also, it meant a lot for me to keep that very special expression of love for that special person I would get married to. It was a fairy tale ending for me and I made sure I got it. All of this kept my mind together and my legs closed.

The recent anti gay law…

Personally, I am all for man and woman relationships only. I believe it’s the ideal plan by God when he created humankind. I just think the law and the 14 years imprisonment are unnecessary. Nigerians, even before the law, don’t appreciate or condone the gay mode. So, to me, it doesn’t change anything. We have other pending law matters for more important issues we are facing as a nation, still waiting to be addressed. Protection of the Nigerian citizens, the senseless killing of young unarmed students and our electricity issues. All these and more. These should be looked into fully instead. Thisday

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