In Conversations: Onyeka Nwelue speaks to J’odie
She sings straight from the heart.
Her name is J’odie, Nigeria’s Dolly Parton.
Kuchi Kuchi, her debut single stole our hearts. Her album, African Woman has charmed many souls, even 2Face declaring it ‘authentically the best album of 2012’ after Y!Naija rated it Best Album of 2012.
Now, she is set to release the video of African Woman. An electrifying music video, it is surreal and refreshing, which is we decided to speak with her.
I am very age conscious. How old are you?
In my late 20s.
What have you been doing with your life?
I’ve been growing, learning, having fun, giving…living!
It is very interesting how passionate you are about music and you are becoming well known in Africa! How did you get to where you are today? What is the voodoo?
Even if there were a magic potion to achieve greatness, I’d always take the stairs and sweat it. It’s more fulfilling. Hard work takes a large chunk. Friends and family who support you helps to make it smoother…and of course, MY TEAM! 🙂
Who produced your single, Kuchi Kuchi? Tell us about it. I mean, if you can give us details.
“Kuchi Kuchi”, a playful sound that connotes love and affection towards an infant, was produced by Phat-E.
Many young people in Nigeria know nothing about what they want in life. I mean, how do you think they can discover themselves?
Search, tirelessly, for knowledge and break the limits. After a while, the picture will be clearer and you’ll simply “know”.
For some time now, I thought that university education elevates man to the highest order. I mean, I still find it appalling that many graduates haven’t even invented themselves and have nothing to do. What is your take on this?
Formal education gives a framework for individuals to learn, but the rest is up to them: to either build on it or to passively go through the system.
Are you an emotional person?
I know how to “feel”, but when I need to numb the feelings, I can.
Nigerian music has a long way to go. The market is not that healthy as we find more people in the entertainment industry. How do you make yourself unique as a musical artiste?
I believe we are all unique. The challenge is “expressing your uniqueness even when you seemingly appear odd against the backdrop of the crowd” – I do.
I may need to get personal with you. Are you in a relationship? If not, why? If yes, is it distracting?
I have a choice – I can answer a question or not. I choose not to.
I hate to ask people this, because it is very cliché. What advice do you have for young people who want to be like you?
Embrace knowledge. Be Inspired. Live Healthy.
What is your take on the political system of Nigeria?
Do you see yourself as a youth activist? Just like others?
No, I am not. I am a singer, songwriter and jeweller. I am a joy to my family, friends and community. I help when I can.
You’ve met quite interesting people. Do you agree that Nigerians should co-exist in one nation?
A man and a woman (married) sometimes fight and think they should break-up. A lot of times, they are wrong. How much more a group of over 160 million people? Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need each other.
Who is your favourite Nigerian musician?
Right now, Asa.
How do you unwind?
Having loved ones within reach, yet alone in my space, making jewellery and fabulous music. Thank you.