After winning the hotly contested MTN Project Fame West Africa in 2010, Chidinma has remained highly sought after with her songs topping the charts.
In this interview she talks about her early years, music, fame and lifestyle.
BackgroundMy name is Chidinma Ekile, the sixth of seven children and last of three girls, with four other brothers. I come from a very strict background, where everything has to be done properly always.
I am also in the choir at the church. I attend the Four Square Gospel Church in Lagos.
How old are you?
I am 22 years old and would be 23 on May 9.
Your Kedike video is hot. The chemistry between you and Dammy Krane in that video is steaming and has gotten people curious. Is there some reality in that chemistry?
The only thing is we acted the parts so well that everything seems so real. But like I said it was all pure acting.
But are there dating prospects between you guys?
(giggles) He isn’t even asking me out, we are just work colleagues and friends. That’s all. No plans on dating each other.
Are you schooling?
Yes. I am in my first year in the University of Lagos (Unilag).
How has it been combining school and your career?
It has been crazy combining my career with school but I have been pulling it off, thank God.
How do you deal with the stares and distractions you may cause in the school environment as a public personality?
No unnecessarily attractive dressing. My classmates and lecturers are very used to me already. So no big deal about that anymore. I am just like a very regular student.
What is your major source of inspiration and what is your support system like?
My siblings have also been extremely supportive too.
Do you have a best friend?
I don’t have a best friend because I don’t believe in stuffs like that. But I have a really close friend, am not sure I can call her my best friend though, she is married now, and has to concentrate on her family. So, no time for hang outs.
Your spiritual life?
You could get lost in all the many distractions in the industry and life generally. I have a bible on my phone and Ipad, so I can have access to it anytime and anywhere.
Also, when I’m in town, I go for weekly activities in church. I don’t miss my Sunday service, except I am not in town.
Even my pastor gets angry with me whenever I disappear from church without telling him previously. All of these are aiding my spiritual life and have been keeping it strong.
Plans for the year?
Plans on future collaboration with any foreign artist? That seems to be the in thing in the Nigerian music industry now.
That is definitely going to come and will come at the right time.
First of all, I want to work my way round Africa. Until I went out there I didn’t realise how big my music and personality was outside Nigeria. So I really want to take my time.
How will you describe your brand of music?
It all feels good because even aside from my music, people love me as a person and I am called the African princess by some because of the way I showcase the African culture.
A lot of people really express their appreciation for that Africaness in my music and that really feels good and encourages me a lot. So I don’t think I am going to be doing anything different from that in a long while, I am just basically African.
How did you discover your talent in music?
I was member of the choir in my church.
What defines style for you?
I just come up with design in my head that I can work with, I explain to the designer and she works it out. So style for me has to do, first of all, with being comfortable in whatever you have on.
I don’t have a favourite. Right now I am using a Jennifer Lopez’s perfume though.
What is your daily schedule like?
I grant interviews, go for shows, rehearsals, studio sessions and classes too. It is really crazy, because I am on the move most times, going from one place to another, at times I can’t even foresee what my day will be like. Unplanned things come up often.
Have you been criticized about your hair cut?
I am growing it back now though. The long hair was getting really tiring and this low cut has afforded me a lot of freedom when it comes to hair. I don’t have to bother myself brushing and prepping my hair in the morning. I just comb it a little and that’s it. With the haircut I get to sessions earlier now.
Being in an industry dominated by men, how have you been finding it, any harassment whatsoever, so far?
It has not been easy but God has been very helpful and I have never had issues of harassment from anybody.