Remember R&B sing-er and Accounting graduate from Craw- ford University, Dan- iela (Orji Tochi),
who was one of the last eight standing at the 2014 edition of MTN Project Fame?
Beyond the contest, the pretty lady continues to pursue her first love and has dropped a couple of singles including her latest effort, I Do, which is currently on mas- sive rotation. In this chat with En tertainer, Daniela opens up on the journey so far.
Are your parents in support of your career?
Of course, yes! But they insisted I go to school first, and after gradu- ating with a degree in Accounting they have been supportive.
What were the lessons you learnt at Project Fame that you are bringing to bear on your career today?
Wow! Singing is one thing and music business is another. Project Fame made me to merge both. There are a lot of talented musi- cians in Nigeria. Project Fame is just a platform that showcases you. Project Fame really groomed me for the music industry.
After Project Fame, what was the first project you em- barked on?
It was my hit song, Waka Waka. It was all over the airwaves and people started calling me Waka Waka Queen. The production was done by Royal Priest. Beyond that, I did a couple of covers and early last year dropped Amagemo, which means ‘I don’t know’ in Igbo. I got signed under Phat 101 Music En- tertainment Company and recently dropped my latest single, I Do and the response has been mind blow- ing! God has been taking me to new heights.
What’s Waka Waka all about?
It is a love song that tells the sto- ry of an experience I had. The song is saying ‘yes, you broke my heart but I have moved on’. It was a sad experience but what doesn’t break you only makes you.
Who are those you look up to in the music industry and hoping to work with?
Asa all the way, Anyone who knows me very well knows I love Asa; I am an unrepentant Asa fan. I just love her. I also love Omawumi.
What should we expect from Daniella in 2017?
AlotofstuffisgoingonbutI am still pushing the new video of IDo.Itisaweddingsong;Iamall about love. Talking about marriage, when are you tying the knot? (Laughter) I don’t know-o. That one na God-o; waiting for God’s
Where will we see you in a couple of years?
I see myself all over Africa. We are already working on taking I Do to the African market. So, I see myself touching lives everywhere as much as I can. I will try to reach out to everybody who loves to lis- ten to my kind of music.
What do you sing about?
I sing about love, life, nature and its beauty. I sing about hope and a better world. Despite the fact that so many things are going on, we still have to hope for a better coun- try.
What are the major challenges you have been facing in the industry?
This industry is not easy in Nai- ja-o. We have a lot of talents but what kills some of their careers is poor publicity. Sometimes, OAPs will not play our songs but if your song is good it should promote itself. I would say the major chal- lenge for people like us is promo- tion, and to promote an artiste is very expensive. In short, music promotion is very expensive in Nigeria, but if your music is good it should promote you. And then, the competition is tight!
Has Project Fame opened doors for you?
Yes, in so many ways. The sup- port has been overwhelming. You know, life is not all about money, there are some jobs you get that are more than money. MTN has been very supportive and it has broad- ened my horizons.
Are you dropping your al- bum anytime soon?
Well, not this year. I still have to make people know the kind of music I do and also make the name Daniela known.