Award-winning musician, brand ambassador, mother of two and diva it is clear that she has worked zealously to get to this point where she has categorized herself as without competition.
Appearance is truly reality with Omawumi, what you see is what you get. She moves swiftly between proper English and Pidgin English as she answers questions. She is passionate about empowering women and this translates to the passion of her songwriting and singing as everything about Omawumi is synonymous to her lifestyle. She has made music with Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo as well as Salif Keita, best known as “the golden voice of Africa”. She is also using the platform she has to encourage people with building what we might just begin to call the Nigerian Dream.
Below are snippets from her interview:
Do you think becoming a mother and building a family has made you look at your career differently?
Yes! I won’t lie. It is a very difficult choice to make but you have to make that choice. Most people find a beautiful balance, especially when money dey many and I pray that God gives me the room to get that kind of balance. As a mother, it changed my reasoning, there are some people that will disagree with what I am saying and say “No, because you are a mother doesn’t mean that you should cool down, you should go twice as hard”. See someone like Beyoncé, it doesn’t stop her from being a great mum but I am of the opinion that at some point music is as I feel it. I put it out, so technically I have not really changed my sound. I have one or two upbeat songs that will put you in that place but Omawumi will always bring out songs that will make you ask, what was she thinking? Where was she going with this? It is always songs that will make you question yourself and definitely good music that can stand the test of time. So yeah! It did change me with sense of my honesty with regards to my music, I decided that I can go into the studio and churn out hits all the time but the ideal thing to do is to make sure that your fans know the truth about your style, about your music, what you feel inside and then you put it out there so that the honesty of your sound will shine through.
There is a ton of backlash for mothers in music here, do you think that motherhood changed the perception of your brand?
Do what you feel, bottom line. Like me now I used to wear questionable outfits before, sometimes once I bend like this bum-bum don show. To be fair, I still wear these things and I still climb on stage with them but I have to look at my body shape and make sure it is beautiful and flattering because there is a thin line between sexy and trashy. So, that is what I am trying not to be, I am trying to be sexy, I’m trying not to be trashy. It’s not like because I am a mother and I am a married woman I will now cover my whole body, it doesn’t have to be that, but at least you go do with self-respect. Not because of what people are going to say about you because no matter what you do they will always talk, but because of how you feel about yourself so even if you want to be trashy and you feel good about your trashy omo carry on! No hating, do what you want to do.
There is a lot of competition in the music industry, who do you see as your competition?
There is competition in the sense of popularity, what some people regard as “success”, that zeal and the desire to be called number one. Been there done that, I have the T-shirt ironed in my house and I am looking at it. I have come to find out that it is not as fantastic as it is made out to be. I would love to be number one if there is any such thing but at the same time no be because of say I wan chop meat I go come call cow egbon. Sometimes it just boils down to what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and if you are happy doing what you are doing because every month, I can keep churning out hits, pulling that kind of force which is very good but there is also a downside to it that most people don’t know about, the demand is more, the attention on you becomes more and I wish there was a way that I could get that attention without all that backlash involved. In order not to digress from the question, there is competition but technically, I don’t really have any competition.
To add to that conversation, I say kudos to the female musicians in the industry. Some people will ask, “Do you think this person is your competition,” and I will tell them something I got from Waje. She said, ‘”The thing about it is that everyone is interconnected and now because there are so many of us you can now hear Seyi Shay, Simi, Omawumi, Waje, Tiwa Savage, Niyolato mention a few and this has brought about diversity with the females in the industry. I think that it is a wonderful thing, I feel like more females should come out. Like with the young ones, there is this artist called Ayo and she is impressing me with her sound.
There is no such thing like this genre of music, this type of mature music, music is music as long as you enjoy it and as long as you can understand it. Nobody should be listening to what people perceive as competition. Everybody has somebody to compare their sound with and it makes the conversation grow.
I love her songs. And yes! Her Afro hairstyles are kinky and cute. Nice one Omawumi.
Credit: Guardian Life Mag