BREAKING SILENCE AFTER 25 YEARS ON WORLD MUSIC STAGE! Africa’s Queen of Reggae, EVI EDNA OGHOLI ready for international collaboration with AKON, Senegalese born America’s Grammy Award Winner * Europe’s Amazon of Rhythm was the first Nigerian mainstream female reggae artist that took music all over Africa * Remains first female musician to work with Ivorian music legend Tiken Jah Fakoly * New EP ‘Peace and Love’ released has a French track, titled ‘Paris Est Belle’ (Paris is Beautiful) with an Isoko reggae Jazz hit titled ‘Urehe’ meaning ‘It is not Over Until is Over’ * Signed mouth-watering contract on Enorecords LLC in Italy, where she made a record deal, artist management and distribution for five years * Reveal how Nigerian musicians can survive in face of on-going COVID-19 pandemic * “The death of Majek Fashek, was a great lose to Nigerian music industry and Africans at large. I felt Majek Fashek went on holidays because Rastas don’t die”-Evi Edna Ogholi *BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/America Foreign Bureau Chief


BREAKING SILENCE AFTER 25 YEARS ON WORLD MUSIC STAGE!

Africa’s Queen of Reggae, EVI EDNA OGHOLI ready for international collaboration with AKON, Senegalese born America’s Grammy Award Winner

* Europe’s Amazon of Rhythm was the first Nigerian mainstream female reggae artist that took music all over Africa

* Remains first female musician to work with Ivorian music legend Tiken Jah Fakoly

* New EP ‘Peace and Love’ released has a French track, titled ‘Paris Est Belle’ (Paris is Beautiful) with an Isoko reggae Jazz hit titled ‘Urehe’ meaning ‘It is not Over Until is Over’

* Signed mouth-watering contract on Enorecords LLC in Italy, where she made a record deal, artist management and distribution for five years

* Reveal how Nigerian musicians can survive in face of on-going COVID-19 pandemic

* “The death of Majek Fashek, was a great lose to Nigerian music industry and Africans at large. I felt Majek Fashek went on holidays because Rastas don’t die”-Evi Edna Ogholi

EVI EDNA OGHOLI, Africa’s Queen of Reggae music, a-55 year old Isoko lady from Delta State, Nigeria is regarded Europe’ Amazon of Rhythm due to her creative way of song delivery, usually oiled with a scintillating rhythm guitar chord with an outstanding ability to transform words in her native Urhobo mother tongue language into beautiful reggae lyrics. This soul-inspiring reggae icon has taken African brand of reggae to Europe and every parts of the world. In an interactive chat with GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/America Foreign Bureau Chief, she opens up on the highpoint of her career, latest album, her readiness to duet AKON, America’s Grammy Award winner; why she believes Majek Fashek did not die and proffered ways Nigerian musician can survive in the face of COVID-19 pandemic

NAIJA STANDARD: Why are you called Queen of Reggae Music in Africa?

EVI: If you recall reggae was not Nigerian’s female mainstream music then and we were not focused doing reggae like the men. I was the first Nigerian mainstream female reggae artist, all over Africa. The title and honour as the Africa Queen of Reggae was given to me after my albums crossed borders by blessed memory of Majek Fashek, Raskimono and Africans from Gambia, Ghana, Ethiopia and other west African countries.

I was also the first female to work with Ivorian music legend Tiken Jah Fakoly. As we both worked and signed to same record label in Abidjan and proceeded to Burkina Faso. For Example Nigeria’s King of Reggae was used in honouring Eno Osagie Kingsley popularly known as ‘Winning Jah’, because of songs and his philanthropic activities all over Nigeria , Africa at large up to Europe and I acknowledge it.

NAIJA STANDARD: For decades in Nigeria, you have churned out bloc buster hit music. Which of your albums are your ‘favorites’?

EVI: Sincerely responding, I don’t have a specific favorite, I love all my songs because of the varieties of messages in the lyrics.

NAIJA STANDARD: In 1987, under Emma Ogosi then your Manager/Producer, your music seized the national airwaves with hits like ‘Happy birthday, Oghene Me, Look before you Cross’, what were the secrets behind the success?

EVI: Actually, there was nothing secretive about the huge success than the good music I sang which triggered Africans with good ears then.

NAIJA STANDARD: Since you relocated to Paris decades ago, have you ever thought of releasing a reggae album in French and Isoko languages?

EVI: Very interesting question. In my new EP “Peace and Love” which I released recently has a French track, titled “Paris Est Belle” (Paris is Beautiful) alongside an Isoko World music, like (reggae Jazz) titled “Urehe” meaning “It is not Over Until is Over. So I’m on same lane with your reasoning sir.

NAIJA STANDARD: Are there other music projects you are working on presently?

EVI: Of course like I said before, I was recently signed on Enorecords LLC in Italy, where I made a record deal, artist management and distribution deal for five years. Subsequently, I released my first EP of eight tracks under the imprint. The EP was titled “Peace and Love” produced by Nigerian award winning music producer, Ayemere Joshua popularly known as ‘Jossy Joe’, why I featured vocals from Nigeria King of Reggae popularly known as ‘Winning Jah’ in one of my hit songs: “Happy Birthday (remix). He also played the percussion in most of the tracks. The EP is now available worldwide on all digital platforms, distributed by Enorecords LLC

NAIJA STANDARD: Based on your danceable reggae music style, have you ever thought of having a duet with Akon, a multiple, award winning American Grammy winner who originally hail from Senegal?

EVI: I’m always opened for local and international collaborations. It all depends if the song has to do with humanity and not violence or nudity. Why not.

NAIJA STANDARD: As a 55 year old beautiful, Nigerian music celebrity in France, have you any intention of re-marrying? If no, why?

EVI: Permit me to keep this answer for another day.

NAIJA STANDARD: When you heard of the death of Majek Fashek, one of Nigeria’s music icon and eventual burial in New York, how did you feel?

EVI: The death of Majek Fashek, was a great lose to Nigerian music industry and Africans at large. I felt Majek Fashek went on holidays because Rastas don’t die.

NAIJA STANDARD: How do you think Nigerian musicians can survive in the face of on-going COVID 19 pandemic where these artists have no access to live shows or any performance?

This question is very important and delicate. For the very first time since I resumed my music career, I never experienced online streaming live performance, awesome. It was another way of digitalization (Virtual concert) due to the pandemic chaos that has been ravaging the world.

I don’t think professional musicians who knows music business would lack food or water, why? Royalties from companies are often paid to recording artistes. So, Covid-19 can only delay or disturb live performances, not royalties from digital platfoms. On the 5th of September I performed live, directly from my official Youtube Channel and it was successful, new idea and we are good to go.

NAIJA STANDARD: Finally, what is your suggestion to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari on how to make stimulus package available for Nigerian musicians?

EVI: I would say “Build the man, build the community” the motto of Man o’ War. The first thing to work on is the music industry’s unity, good structure before involving the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our amiable President Buhari. For now, Nigeria music genre is limited to only Afrobeat growing wide and like wild fire worldwide, making the youths feels in Nigeria no Jazz music, traditional music, Reggae , Rap and others happen. We have to be well structured before involving states and investors. Thanks for having me.

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