BY KEHINDE AJOSE
Emma Chukwugoziam Obi a .k.a -Emma Nyra transformed right in front of our eyes from being just another female act to becoming one of the sexiest damsels in Nigeria’s entertainment.
Armed with an unquenchable passion for her craft, and a soulful voice, the award winning singer opens up in this interview about her contract with Tripple MG, her relationship with the sensational Iyanya, the sexiest part of her body and her celebrity crush.
Was it difficult breaking into the Nigerian music industry?
My experience has been memorable. I noticed that when I was in America pushing my music, it was difficult for the music to now move to Nigeria. When you are Nigeria it’s easy for the music to now move to other places, because even in that is where everybody is paying attention .
Even in Africa most countries pay attention to Nigeria, that’s why entertainers in Nigeria are big in other African countries. My most difficult point was when I now realized that I had to move to Nigeria in order for my music to just move.
I had to relocate from America because if you are singing Afrobeat, Afrobeat isn’t in high demand over there. Even if people know your music, it’s only those who are familiar with Afrobeat genre in America that will know you. Today, I am relevant because I returned to Nigeria and now did a big feature with Iyanya .After that feature people had their eyes on me.
I moved here March 2012 , so March 2014 will be my second year moving to Nigeria. When you want to penetrate the market in Nigeria, you need to move back home in order to understand the sound.
Do you engage in music for passion or for business?
For me, it’s more of a passion but you cannot do your passion without the money. You need money to fund your projects .I don’t know if its 50-50 but the passion keeps you in it. But you need money so that you can do more videos, do more stuffs for the poor. You need funding to push your music as well as all other stuffs you desire to do, like opening a daycare or any business.
Music is definitely business, but the passion is what keeps you longstanding. People like Tuface have been in the game for over ten years is passion that drives them. They make good money , but it’s the passion that drives them .You cannot make good music if you are not passionate.
What was the best part of 2013 for you?
The best part of 2013 was when I won Nigeria Entertainment Award (NEA) as The Most Promising Female Act to Watch in 2013.I have worked with them twice .I hosted the red-carpet a year before and in the following year I just attended.
It was always a dream to win an award and for my peers to recognize me. When I won the award, I felt like what I am doing is what I am meant to be doing. Also the U.S tour was a lot of fun. We did fourteen cities and that was the most I ever performed in my life.
After I finished the tour, I knew that there is nothing you can throw at me that I won’t be able to do .I met a lot Nigerians who are proud of what we do.
How do you handle stardom?
The only part that is affecting me is dating. Dating is very difficult .Everything else I like it. A lot of young ones need mentorship and one can be a mentor to these young ones. The worst part is dating .Sometimes guys come up to me, Oh yeah Emma Nyra’ and that’s how it starts .
It is not as genuine as it used to be. Since I am a woman, it affects me in a way. Sometimes, you see people coming to you, not because of who you are. It puts me off sometimes if you come to me because you’ve seen me on a blog.
I miss the days when a guy will walk up to you and just tell you I love the way you carry yourself, not necessarily because of a particular image they see.
So are you in a relationship?
No, I am not in a relationship. Music is my everything. It’s not that I am not interested, but right now, I am not dating any one.
A lot of people think you are dating Iyanya, how does that make you feel?
Iyanya is not a bad looking person, but am not dating him we are on the same label. I have known him before the days of Kukere, so if it was a fling or a dating thing I don’t think my career will be as serious as it is.
I am not with Iyanya to date him. Iyanya has helped me in the studio, he is an R n b singer, am also an R n b singer. He thought me to change my style of music to suit the Nigerian market. He has taught me a lot of things. We are not dating , people can be friends without dating.
What part of your body do you consider the sexiest?
My legs, usually if you see my performance outfit the most comment I get is that ’Oh we like your legs’
What defines your sense of style?
I like to be sexy and classy. I work really hard on my body and anytime i am doing anything fashionable I like to show a little bit of skin .I worked hard for it and its my selling point.
I am not afraid to show my body, you know you do it in a classy way. There will be classy ways to be sexy, so you don’t have to show everything.
As someone in the public glare what is the craziest thing a fan has ever done to you?
Everyday I get facebook messages that are out of this world , if I put them out people will be like Emma is wicked .I get a lot of inappropriate messages.
Even this morning I got an inappropriate message on instragram , I can’t even tell you what the person said .I don’t mind reading inappropriate messages but the one that makes me sad is when you read a blog and somebody doesn’t respect the music that you do or have bad opinions about you which comes everyday as well.
You take the good with the bad, everybody is entitled to their own opinion.
There have been different speculations about your contract with Triple MG are you still signed on their label?
The true story is that I am still with Triple MG. There was a time when I was not with them, that was the time when my contract was up , so when I did the interview with the lady she asked me a question :’Are you with them’?
I now told her fully that I am waiting for my contract to lapse, but what she did was that she edited the video and after then I saw a blog post that made it look like I said what I didn’t say. So I am still with MMMG.
But you mentioned in the interview that you want to venture into female empowerment?
Yes, I want to do more female empowerment stuff , but I am still with my label. At that time , I was by myself .It wasn’t as if we had any fight. There was no fight. People wanted to say I had bad blood with them and I absolutely don’t.
What is the one thing people hardly know about you?
I was a professional athlete .I played in college I was on scholarship, I played volleyball. I represented America in the junior Olympics that is what paid for my schooling.
Who is your celebrity crush in the Nigerian music industry?
I always say Terry G.I like people who are their own person. He does his own thing, his own sound.