Eva Alordiah. That is one name that has jumped into the scene head first since this year started. For those that have been following, I mentioned her as one of my 6 artists that will blow in 2011, and so far so good. She has been all over the place, especially after her hit, I Done Did It, where she put her stamp on the Naija hip-hop history wall. With tunes “Make Em Say”, “Down Low” etc, it looks like we’ll have to get used to seeing Eva for a while.
I was able to catch this multi-talented lady while she was working on an overnight session in the studio. Talk about putting in the work. You gotta respect the hustle. I no go give too much gist, but check out my one on one interview with her, and find more about her, her music, and what she finds attractive in man (she told it like it is lol). Check it out.
Aribaba: For the people that don’t know who you are (I’m sure not many), tell us a bit about yourself… A little introduction if you will.
Eva: Well my name is Eva Alordiah. I’m from Delta state. I’m a graduate of computer science. I’ve been doing music pretty much since I was 16… on and off, on and off, but I’m on it now for real. I’m trying to do as much as I can in the time that God has allocated for me.
Aribab: So your first name is Eva right?
Eva: Actually my first name is Elohor. Elohor is my delta name. Eva is my English name. Coming into the industry, I just decided to stick to my English name.
Aribaba: Besides music, You’re also a make up artist right? How did you get into that?
Eva: Umm… I got into fashion. I’m actually a tailor as well… I sew. Fashion designer if you will. I fell into fashion designing when I was in secondary school. I started sketching my little designs here and there, and one time I ran into this beautifully made up girl, and I was “wow… how did you do that on yourself?” So I started researching makeup, and all the other aspects of makeup that we don’t know about.
It pretty came from the love of fashion, and makeup and all that stuff. I think I started buying makeup when I was 15 or so, and I started practicing on myself and my friends. At some point when I was in the university I went for a few weeks course, and realized that I was actually better than a lot of people that were “professionals.”
Today I own my makeup business. I run a makeup school and do makeup training. I have makeup artists that have graduated under me, and have started their own businesses. So I feel very proud of myself right about now.
Aribaba: How did you get into music? Like at what time did you just figure, I can actually rap. I can do this, and I’m gonna take it seriously.
Eva: *laughs* You know that time when we were young, and we would listen to hip-hop, and play back record on cassette tapes. I think I recorded all my favorite hip-hop songs over my momsy’s gospel tapes. She would go into her car and play her gospel tapes and she’ll be hearing this very slick Eminem, and Jay Z coming from it, and she’ll be like “What?”
I think it was when I was 14, that I was like “Yo I can rap” and then I started writing, and here we are.
Aribaba: Your first official record which was on straight butter’s mixtape, was “Make Em Say.” How did that come about?
Eva: Yea that was supposed to be my first official record, but the first record I put out for people to hear was on Lil Wayne’s A Millie instrumental, “I Dey Play”… that’s the one that came out first. That was actually the first time I ever recorded anything. I listen to that song today, and I’m like “Jesus… Did I do that?”
Aribaba: I saw the video for Make em say, and heard the song before I heard the A Millie track, and I was like “Ah… who’s this babe?”
Eva: Make em say was extra-ordinary though. I got to work wit Str8 butta, and it put in that very hip-hop grimy setting. I really loved working with him, It was fun.
Aribaba: So how did you feel about the reception of your first record? A lot of artists don’t know what to expect when they release their first record, and for you a lot of people were like “Ah Ah this babe”… You had the swag and everything going for u also. How did you feel knowing that the reception was great?
Eva: You know with my first record I didn’t even know that people would like it. You know Nigerians now… I thought people were gonna be like “who’s this one copying MI?” But the first time I performed the song was at the beach, and there were so many people, and girls were screaming my name, and I was “wow… ole boy it be like say I don blow o” *laughs*… It was crazy, and they were singing back. It was nice. I swear to God I will never forget that moment. It was just beautiful.
Aribaba: So being a female in the industry, and more especially the rap game, how is that like? How have you been able to get to the point that you’re at right now?
Eva: I think I have a strong head. I’m just generally stubborn and strong headed. It puts me in trouble sometimes tho. On the flipside though, it keeps me going. I just have to keep going, and I think God helps as well. There’s so many times I just drop the pen and go “F it, I ain’t doing this anymore,” but somehow God finds a way to pull you back up, and tells you “you’re gonna have to do this, whether you like it or not.” I think it’s the strength from God to be able to push when you don’t want to push anymore.
Aribaba: So what are you influences in music? Both in and out of naija?
Eva: From the beginning it was mostly Eminem. All his old stuff, Marshall Mathers LP etc. Then I started going back to hip-hop before me. Dead Prez, KRS one, Rakim, Common etc. All those people that are much older than I am. Listening to all these poets etc. I think I take a lil bit of this and that from everywhere. Oh yea, mos def also.
Aribaba: So some peeps have said you sound like Nikki Minaj, or that you’re trying to sound like Nikki. What do you have to say about that?
Eva: You know seriously, I think it’s a psychological thing. It’s just psychological for a listener or a fan of music to listen to Nikki from over there, and listen to me from over here. The first thing they want to do is compare, or connect the dots. It’s just a human psychological thing.
I try as much as possible not to let that affect me. I mean I know I don’t sound like Nikki. I don’t think I do.
I mean Nikki has been around for a long time. I’ve known of her from way back. It’s just that she’s blown mainstream now, and Nigerians are getting attached to the whole Nikki frenzy, but I’ve been rapping now. I don dey hear since. So I think it’s just a psychological thing. People just feel the need to compare what’s in vogue over there with what’s happening over here.
You know it’s good now sha, cos when I came out with “I Dey Play” I had people saying I sounded like MI for a long time. I mean it’s good now that I don’t sound like MI and I sound like somebody else *laughs*
Aribaba: Your joint I done did it (which is like a daily tune for me) has been majorly successful, and you’ve been buzzing from your other singles & features. So what’s next for Eva?
Eva: We have GIGO coming out. GIGO is my baby. One thing I like about GIGO is the fact that I’m gonna be so many different Evas in one cd. You’ll listen to me and I sound like Terry G, another time I’m singing, and you can probably hear some fuji in GIGO. That’s what GIGO is about. It’s a lot of Evas for the fans to enjoy. I hope… I really hope the fans love it. Please pray for me *laughs*
Aribaba: So Do you have a date for that?
It’s actually ready now. I’m being held back by one track. Just one track. You guys are going to remember this. I’m saying it now, the track is “Never Say Goodbye.” It’s holding me back cos it’s a very deep song, and I’m putting myself in the 3rd person singular persona. It’s just been difficult to write. The EP will come out soon sha.
Aribaba: It’s been about a year since Da Grin died, and you had the opportunity to interact with him, and even share studio time with him, How did his passing affect you?
Eva: You know it’s funny you asked that, cos I’m actually in the studio where Da Grin worked a lot. I’m with Sossick right now. I was sitting on the same bed that Da Grin used to sleep in, and it just felt like he was there. Anytime I get in the studio where Da Grin worked, it’s crazy the kind of energy I feel. It’s crazy, and I’m not just saying this, it’s actually the truth.
I cant believe it’s been one year already. It went by so fast. It’s good to see that his fans are still there and keeping him alive through his music. His death is just something we shouldn’t have to witness with anybody else again. It really brought a lot of people down. It brought me down as well.
I really don’t like talking about it. It was something pretty hard to get over. I had to make “Tonight” the Da Grin tribute, cos writing is one of the ways I relieve. It was probably the easiest way to get over it.
God rest his soul
Aribaba: We’ve come a long way when it comes to hip-hop in Naija. Where do you think the Nigerian/African hip-hop industry will be in the next 5-10 years?
Eva: I think that we’re not even half as ready as we should be for what’s coming up. So many people are inspired by what we do, and by what people before us have been doing, that it’s becoming crazy. I was speaking to someone the other day and he was telling me how he was quitting school for hip-hop, and I’m like “yooo… that’s not what it’s about” *laughs*.
I mean it’s good that people want to be part of the movement, but quitting school is a bit too much.
In Nigeria we’ve come a long way. One time we were trying to sound like everybody from Yankee, but now we’ve able to infuse our talking drums, our fuji, our “dimkpa dimkpa” into our music. I mean right now, hip-hop as a genre is still like we borrowed it. As much as I hate to say it we actually did borrow it, but I believe 10-15 years from now we would’ve been able to curb to where it sounds like it’s us… like it’s our thing. It will sound like our own kind of music. When you listen to our hip-hop it’ll sound like our fuji.
Aribaba: So *clearing throat*… Time to ask some other questions. So not only can you rap, you can ….
…Eva interjecting: Yes, Yes, I’m single *laughs*
Aribaba: Well I guess I can go into the next question *laughs*… Eva After Dark. What’s the inspiration behind that?
Eva: *laughs… Well when I was 12 or so, I actually thought I was going to be a writer. I was in secondary school at the time, and I was writing in my little notes and I’ll pass it around the class, and my friends would be like “Oooh it’s good. It’s a good story.” I gave it to my dad, and I really thought I was going to be this successful writer. I really thought I was the sh*t. For some reason, I stopped writing stories and I started writing rap.
Right now, writing, as much as it’s something I’d like to do, even if it’s for a magazine or anything, is therapy for me. It helps me heal when I’m down. It helps me get up when I’m losing inspiration.
As for why it’s always sexually oriented on twitter *laughs* …it’s because for now it’s my way of getting people. These days if you put anything sexual in the midst of the youth today they’ll gravitated towards it. Let them fall in love with it now and think that it’s going to be sexual all the time, and then we begin to give them all the other aspects of Eva After dark.
For now it’s just to get em to love it and keep reading. The replies every time I post em is humongous.
Aribaba: So tell us, what is your most attractive feature in a man?
Eva: Seriously let’s start with the physical cos that’s what we see first. People like to be very modest and say “oh it’s not all about the physical… Na Lie!!”
Basically he has to be all manner of sexy. Big, strong, and handsome. Then after that I can begin to say “oh he has to be nice… and he has to be caring, and he has to sweet.” But yo, he has to be big, and handsome, and built. You know… 6 packs and shit. Muscles and all
Aribaba: So you’re pretty much saying all that personality things nah story for tortoise be dat? *laughs*
Eva: Nah just for modesty jare. I have to talk this kind ting now. If I ask you now, what’s your kind of babe, you’ll tell me “she has to have a big African ass.” *laughs*.
So when he comes to me he has to be able to wear a really nice tee-shirt and make the tee-shirt look beautiful. Even if the tee-shirt is pink, I’ll let it pass as long as he’s wearing it right.
Aribaba: So give your top 5 songs… currently or ever
Eva: Well I’ll give you the songs, and the story behind them or why I like them.
Need You Now by Lady Antebellum – This song I share with someone special. You know how you share a song with someone and anytime it comes on you think about him, or her.
Sossick ft. Da Grin – Jor oh. This song I heard in the studio last year, and I went crazy about it. Absolutely loved it. I really loved it, and it was just released recently and it just brings back that Da Grin spirit anytime I hear it.
Imogen Heap, Goodnight and Go – I love the whole album, but I really love this one. I share this song with someone too… ewww… I’m just a romantic freak. *laughs*. God help me.
I Done Did It, by Me – I really didn’t like this song initially. From the studio I didn’t like it, and Sossick would beg me like “Eva this song is dope”, and DJ Neptune called me and was like “Yo… Are you mad? You have to release this song.” So we put it out and the fans just loved it. Everybody was like “I done did it, I done did it.” Funny enough I love it now.
DJ Premiere’s Instrumental for Squeeze – I’ve been listening to this instrumental for days. Not sure I can count it as a favorite song sef. LOL.
Aribaba: So, when it’s all said and done. When you hang up the mic, what would you like to be remembered for?
Eva: I would love to be remembered for all the craziness, all the stupidity I brought in… all the truth I bring in. It shouldn’t always be about fiction. There is so much life to be talked about that people don’t talk about anymore. Right now I feel like I inspire a whole bunch of people. I hope I do anyways… I hope I inspire girls, and inspire women. Pretty much for the good stuff.
Check out Joints from Eva
*** I Done Did It[audio:Eva-I-Done-Did-It-tagged.mp3]
*** Make Em Say[audio:Eva – Make ’em Say.mp3]
*** Tonight (Da Grin Tribute)
FaceBook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eva/45157032483