In a new interview with Barbie Edonia of Chunedesk, Nigerian singer Princess Ella talks about how she got into singing.
Princess started singing professionally when she was 10 years old. She says that singing in church and writing songs for her brother made her love of music grow.
She likes a lot of different kinds of music, but she mainly listens to Afro-pop, Afrobeat, and Afro-R&BS. She enjoys listening to up-and-coming Afro musicians as well as regional performers like Victony, Tiwa Savage, Davido, and Wizkid and she hopes to work with well-known worldwide musicians like Chris Brown and Shensea.
When questioned about her newest EP, “Inception,” she asserts that it marks a turning point in both her music and how she wants to be recognized.
According to Princess, she frequently sings about love since she feels that it is vanishing in a world of suffering and hatred. She therefore seeks to spread messages of love to her listeners because she believes in the power of love.
She faces challenges in promoting her music as an independent artist but acknowledges that technology has made it easier for her to reach a wider audience.
Princess Ella spends time with amazing people, reads and tries new things to stay educated, and takes advantage of new opportunities to stay inspired. She is aware of the problems the music business faces, like hate, jealousy, competition, and taking advantage of people. But she’s happy when she can share her joy through music with other
She is working on new projects and has big plans for the future. She tells people who want to be artists to keep going and pray. Her main goal for the next year is to make more people’s lives better through music.
What initially inspired you to pursue a music career?
I realized my singing talent at the age of 10, I wrote a birthday song for my grandmother’s party and performed it. Everyone loved it. I also sang in the church choir for many years (all my teenage years). My elder brother was a rapper in the University of Lagos and I used to write his choruses (I was 13/15 years old then). All these led to my love and passion for making music.
Can you tell us about your musical background and any formal training you’ve had?
I learned how to sing in church. I could sing but I learnt Tenor, Alto, and Soprano in church.
I also know how to play drums, guitar and a little bit of piano. I attended the same high school as the popular TENI and NINI and we were in the same band.
How would you describe your music style or genre?
I do not have a particular genre, I’m versatile. Of course, my style is centered around Afro…Afro-pop, Afrobeat, Afro house, Afro rnb even Afro rap lol. I am very versatile, my creativity wouldn’t let me be boxed in.
Who are your biggest musical influences and how have they shaped your sound?
Internationally, Chris Brown!, I love Chris Brown I hope one day I get to do a song with him, Amen. Lol. I also love shensea…I feel we have a lot in common. Locally, I listen to a lot of Victony, Tiwa, Davido, wizkid, Rotimi, and a lot of uprising Afro artists.
Could you share the story or inspiration behind your latest EP ‘Inception’?
So Inception means Genesis, it means the beginning, the start….although in 2021 I released an Ep titled Wonder Woman, to me Inception is like defining my sound, how I want people to know me. Wonder Woman was an experiment to see how people would react towards my different styles and capitalize more on the more favorable ones.
What is your creative process like when writing and composing songs?
My best songs were written while I was driving. Others when I was sleeping (in my dream) or resting. I love to write about love simply because I feel the idea of love is slowly fading away, there’s so much hate, so much pain, so many broken hearts, and gradually most people don’t believe in love anymore. I write more love songs because I know the power of love and I do not wish for it to be forgotten due to the conditions of this world.
Are there any specific themes or messages you strive to convey through your music?
Yes, Love, love, and more love. Share love, love love, don’t forget about love, embrace love. There’s too much hate in the world, let’s continue to love love.
How do you approach live performances and connecting with your audience?
I love performing on stage, maybe because I was in the church choir for a long time lol. I do not have any issues whatsoever with performing in front of a crowd. I’m really an introvert and very shy but when it comes to performing, I wear a different coat…so when I’m not performing I’m Onor Alofoje and when I’m performing I’m Princess Ella.
Can you share a memorable or challenging moment from your music career so far?
Promotions! I’m an independent artist so everything is on me. I write a song and record the song myself( I am also a sound engineer). After the song has been mixed and mastered, then comes the major work …promotions! Oh lord, that part…it is well lol.
What role does technology play in your music production or performance?
Technology has made it very very easy to reach people that you wouldn’t reach normally. Back in the days when I just started singing, it was very difficult to get people to listen to my songs. I have a stack of demos all under my pillow with no one to play them. But now Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc makes it very very easy. Too easy now.
Are there any collaborations or dream collaborations you hope to pursue in the future?
I do not have any major collaboration at the moment, and none in my Ep. But going forward I hope to work with a lot of established artists and even uprising locally and internationally.
How do you stay motivated and inspired as an artist?
I surround myself with positive things and people. I listen to a lot of songs, I stay informed on the internet. I do a lot of reading and experimenting. I am not afraid of trying out new stuff, it makes everything exciting …this is how I stay motivated. Even though sometimes one might feel overwhelmed, I never give up, I keep pushing knowing that soon everything will be better. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
What do you think sets you apart from other musicians in your genre?
My style is very unique. Very positive, very different and I stay pushing. I am also involved in the whole process of making a song and promoting it. I Amy own a distributor and promoter. I keep seeking ways to make it easy as an independent artist.
Have you encountered any obstacles or hurdles in the music industry, and how did you overcome them?
So the music industry is filled with a lot of people that want you to do well but not better than them. A lot of envy, jealousy, competition, and pressure also a lot of people see you as a tool to exploit. It is advisable to guide your heart and your head. I haven’t gone extremely deep into it but I speak from how far I’ve come. I believe I will uncover more as I go.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
Being able to express myself through my voice and my lyrics and being able to make people dance/happy.
How do you balance your artistic vision with commercial considerations?
I stay focused on what my goal was and would continue to be.
Are there any upcoming projects or releases you’re particularly excited about?
I have a whole lot coming soon. I just dropped my Ep so I’m letting that marinate but there’s so much more to watch out for. I won’t let the cat out of the bag just turn on notification lol.
How do you utilize social media and online platforms to connect with your fans?
I am still learning how to post at least 3 times a week. There’s so much going on online and it’s easy to be forgotten so I have learnt to keep entertaining my fans as much as I can.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting their journey?
Consistency, Never give up, and be prayerful! It might not be looking good now but always use your tongue to count your teeth. Talent is good but you also need money & connection, do your best and never rest, it will happen.
Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals or aspirations as a musician?
By the grace of God by this time next year, the goal is to touch many many more lives with my sound.