‘Why i left Australia to pursue my dreams at home’
As music industry continues to grow, many Nigerian artistes, who had sought greener pastures in other climes are returning to take their place. They have recognised that they can only shine brightest at home, where they are better understood, with their brand of music rooted in their culture. One of such talents is Blessing Iyoghama, also known as Iyo, who tells how far she has gone up the music ladder since her return from Australia.
Iyo started off as a backup artiste, who wrote songs for some African artistes in Australia. At the time, she never thought she would ever become a performing artiste, though she discovered she had the talent in her. She didn’t think it was something she would pursue professionally until she randomly jumped on a beat in the studio. At the end, a song has come into being. It was the response she got after recording that song that propelled her further. And, of course, she began to enjoy the ride, according to her.
She seems prepared now. According to her, “To approach anything with a negative mindset is to fail even before attempting. That being said, I’m not God and all I can really do is pray, keep doing what I’m doing and pray again.”
Much as Iyo was doing backup work abroad, her career only began when she stepped foot in Lagos: “Except for the fact that I discovered my love for music when I was in Australia, everything about my career pretty much started when I arrived Nigeria at the end of 2015,” she informed.
Iyo left Nigeria to join her family in Australia, where she also studied, saying it was not easy making the decision to return to Nigeria. According to her, “I did not only have to convince myself, I also had my dad to convince; and trust me, that wasn’t easy. But I’m glad that I was able to make that decision quickly and I’m more than excited to be home. Whether anybody likes it or not, home is home; you’re always going to be accepted because that’s where you truly belong. This is where I truly belong.”
Appreciating how fast she has gained recognition in the industry within a short period, Iyo said, “To come from having zero presence in the industry to this level is amazing. At least, I don’t have to introduce myself like I used to. People recognise me now; I hear my songs on the streets and on the radio and for me, that’s amazing. And this is also because I know that it is only the beginning. I know there’s a lot more in store for me. So, yes, I’m grateful for all the support that I’ve been getting so far, but I’m capable of more.”
Considering the plethora of talented around, Iyo said what stands her out is belief in her sound and being true to herself. “There might be a lot of artistes out there but, there can only be one Iyo,” she noted. “I’m really not competing with anybody because I’m just doing my thing and I believe that’s the right way to go. It’s your turn to shine now; when it’s my turn, I’ll shine to the fullest. It all depends on how we use the shine to impact lives. So, I’m very prepared. But if I really have to choose, I’d go with singing.”
Iyo, who has dropped three official singles and continues to work on something new, prefers the Afro pop genre, noting, “Sometimes, I like to play around other genres but yes, I do believe I can pull it off because Afro pop is African sound; it is true in itself. That’s who we are; so all I’m doing is pretty much representing, which I believe is how it should be. I don’t want to fly anyone else’s flag. I just want to fly mine and the only way I can fly that flag is through the songs I sing.”
Iyo summed up her career aim thus, “My career can never get too big; so, it’s difficult to say how big my career can go because I do not intend to put a limit to my achievements. The day you begin to feel like you’ve arrived, that’s the day you start to fall. So, even when you think you’re big, aspire to be even bigger and that’s me.”