Eva Alordiah – Last Femcee Standing
If you’ve been paying close attention to the Nigerian music industry, one thing you may have noticed is that femcees come and go. There was once a time when we had a good number of them standing strong in the game. We listened to their lyrics and smiled because not only were they good, but we could also relate. Femcees were cool, and admired by many, because the rap scene was seen to be something only men fit into. Sadly, our femcees seemed to fade away and settle into a quiet oblivion. Now, we think of them fondly and wonder “whatever happened to such-and-such?”.
In spite of all this, one femcee has stayed true to the scene and her passion. Eva Alordiah has been around for a solid number of years now. After a number of singles, a mix tape that got people not just talking but interested, and more singles and features, rapper Eva is set to take the crown as Nigeria’s foremost femcee with the release of her very first, full-length album 1960.
Guardian Life sat down with the charming, talented artiste to discuss a little bit about her career.
Tell us a little bit about Eva
I am really a very simple a person. I love nature; I literally bask in the wonders of the clouds and seas, I love when I run in the mornings and my body takes in the air in all its freshness. I am a thinker, in the sense that I tend to live in and out of my head for several moments in time, analyzing, planning, wondering, imagining. I love food but I don’t eat much. I love cats but I don’t have one yet cause I have a dog now, Frankie, and still haven’t figured out how to introduce Frankie to a cat and have them live harmoniously if I do get one. I have a wonderful family and the best moments of my life are the ones they are in.
Some would say the name ‘Eva’ is in itself a brand. Tell us about the Eva brand.
The Eva brand spans a lot of things and is not just limited to music. It is also a beauty and lifestyle brand and I am blessed to be regarded highly by the fans. My fans follow me because they get value. I am constantly thinking of how best to create value for the people who follow me. It is why I create the type of content I create online and why I write the type of lyrics I write in my songs. A large portion of my fanbase is comprised of girls within the age bracket 13-24 and this is great for me as I have lived those wonder years and have a real understanding of what these girls want. It is what inspires me when I create a product. I am always thinking about their needs and how I can serve. What do you want and what can I do about it as Eva?
You’ve been in and out of the music scene for a substantial number of years now, releasing singles, doing features, and you even released a mixtape. Can you share with us why you seem to disappear at length?
I never disappear at length. There is always something going on, sometimes it’s not made extremely public, but I am always in there somewhere. Life itself is in seasons and there is a time for everything. As a business owner and an entertainer, I understand the need to step away a few times to make adjustments, to refocus, to realign with the purpose for doing what it is that I do.
You aren’t known for your music alone, and dabble in quite a number of creative arts. Why is this?
I guess I must say I have been blessed with quite a number of talents, some not yet developed. I am conscious not to get myself into too many things however, as this can rob any creative person of the power to focus. Asides music and performing which is my core, I am also a Makeup artist, a writer and a fashion designer. I love Makeup. I know how to do it and the joy for me is to teach others and this is what I am currently doing on my YouTube page “theEvaAlordiahLife”. The intention is to have connected with at least 1 Million African girls around the world. Writing for me is something I remember quite vividly that I wanted to do as a child and in the past I have written for magazines and blogs, but right now I am also writing books. People aren’t reading anymore, especially younger people, and this is the sect that houses my core fan base. I figured if they followed me then they’d love to read me too and if I can get them to read then I most certainly would keep on writing.
Doing other things asides music is probably how I stay sane you know?
At the listening party for 1960, you shared that you were happy about this album because you were depressed and having the album completed makes you happy. Can you share with us a little bit more about what caused the depression and dealing with it?
Depression is going to happen to each of us at one point or the other in our lives. It is important that we are having these conversations about it, instead of shying away from it like we do every other topic that scares us.
How I dealt, and continue to deal with, depression; Firstly, I understand that I have a choice. I am powerful enough to choose whether to be happy or sad, whether to create or not create, whether to be filled with gratitude or to complain. The dichotomies of good and evil, light and dark, would always exist for as long as the world does and as a human being you are responsible for what’s going on with you at every point. I have found that depression can become the excuse to not create. Instead of sitting in the chair of how badly I might be feeling, I garner strength enough not to lean in the emotional rut too long that I forget my ultimate purpose. I pray.
That’s what I do. It is a calling forth by faith of those things which are not as though they were. It is an expression of a positive attitude and depression fades away when that is present.
Was this phase of your life what resulted in you writing and then publishing your book?
I have always been writing. This phase of my life was more the time where I realigned with my truest purpose and found a deeper understanding of why I am here. I was then able to appreciate the downtime and used it to reflect, sit in the silence and I was able to write and complete my first collection of short stories, “11”. Writing is probably the best thing to do when you are feeling depressed. Reading and writing. When you are depressed, your thoughts are clouded by negativity and fear and doubt. When you read you are able to override these thoughts by feeding your mind and soul new positive powerful information that can even spur you to action. And action is the killer of depression.
Speaking of your book? What has the reception been towards 11?
It has been wonderful so far. Everyone who has read the book appreciates the diversity of the stories and I find that people do want to talk about sex. We do have things we want to say on the subject but don’t because of the society that we live in. I think we have it all backwards if we must continue to go on being hypocritical on the subject of sex.
The book itself isn’t about sex; it just has stories that revolve around the emotions and decisions that we deal with as human beings because of sexual acts.
How would you say functioning as an independent artist has helped your career?
Majorly I have learned a lot about the business, and business in general. I have acquired skills that I by no means thought I had the capacity to handle. I have become a more responsible person, leading teams, managing processes, dealing with people and emotions. It’s a lot of work but I am grateful to do it. I am a music business entrepreneur and the happier for it.
Do you think things would be different (better or worse) if you signed with a record label?
Of course things would be different. Hopefully in a good way. Not much would change however in terms of the underlying structure of things but it will be a step that further enhanced whatever it is that we may have going on right now
What’s next for Eva? What should we look forward to?
We are going on a country wide tour to promote my new album 1960, which is currently available to the fans for whatever they want to pay for it on 1960thealbum.com.
We are touring 13 states in Nigeria and then we would go on to the African leg of the 1960 tour. Asides music I am working on my clothing collection for women; a ready to wear, affordable line that I am hoping my female fans would love. My Makeup show on the channel “theEvaAlordiahLife” on YouTube also airs 2 episodes of Makeup and beauty tutorials every week and my fans love when I do makeup so that’s a big project I am focusing on as well. It is going on TV but not just yet.
What advice do you have for other artistes who don’t exactly fit into a contemporary mould?
Do you. God first.
Listening to the 1960 album is a journey that moves and soothes. To the listening ear, Eva tells the story of her journey, a bit at a time. Admittedly, it’s a new style from this artist, but it’s very reflective of the time she has put into the industry, and creating this album. Hopefully, this really does mark the beginning of greater things for the artiste, and we will be hearing more from her.