Fast–rising Nigerian singer-cum-beauty entrepreneur, Annjay Chioma in this interview shares her story as a female artiste, her style and the betrayal she will never forget among other interesting issues.
What does life as a musician mean to you and what is your typical day like?
Life as a musician-cum-beauty entrepreneur has been quite challenging. So far, I have produced a lot of songs and still counting. I am not going to quit music because of the passion I have for it. My fans would hear from me soon. I always find a way to strike a balance between my two worlds; music and business. Talking about my typical day, it starts from home before I move to the office and once I get to the office, I am off to different business meetings. Sometimes, I wish a day could be extended beyond 24 hours because it is just too short (laughter).
What gives you inspiration to do the things you do?
God and myself. My hard work inspires me a lot. Looking back to where I was coming from inspires me to forge ahead and never be a failure. I like beauty products too and I can spend a whole fortune on them. As a teenager, if I wanted to buy any beauty product and my money was not enough, I would pay in installment and once I fulfilled my financial obligation, I was handed my purchase. I use quality and expensive beauty products on myself and that is why all my products are top-notch.
You come across as a woman who knows her onions. What were some of the challenges you encountered along the way?
So far, it has been good and challenging but thank God for everything. These days music or modelling can’t pay all the bills. That is one of the major reasons I do other businesses by the side.
How do you cope?
I just try not to let the challenges that come with my businesses weigh me down. I have a vision and a mission which keeps me on my toes. If it gets too tough, I present it to God on bended knees.
Tell us about your music career?
My music career has slowed down a bit but slow and steady wins the race. I am not done with music yet but just taking time to do things right. I am not in a rush to release unpleasant songs. My fans should expect more cool songs and good music from me. However, I am yet to experience that banging turning point in my music career. For my business, my turning point was when my Abuja outlet was opened for business. We have been growing daily ever since so most definitely, the need for more branches would arise and we are looking at Port Harcourt, Asaba and the likes.
What lessons have you learnt on the job?
Dishonesty and pride does not pay. I can’t deal with anyone that portrays any bit of these attitudes. Even the Bible says pride goes before a fall.
Let’s compare when you started and now, what has changed?
I am proud to be a Nigerian but even prouder to be a Nigerian entertainer. We are going global; from Beyonce featuring our artistes in her album to other countless international collaborations, it has been just amazing! And last year, Burna Boy got a Grammy nomination. We are getting there. I love the vibe. It is very impressing.
What are some of the changes that you would like to see in the entertainment sector?
It is so sad that majority of Nigerians love wacky songs but with good beats. They don’t care what the musician is singing as long as it is a danceable beat. So, if you are doing good songs, Nigerians wouldn’t look your way unless you join the trend to sing unpleasant and morally deficient lyrics. However, we need more evergreen songs like that of Tuface Idibia, Sound Sultan and Onyeka Onwenu and the likes.
How would you access Nigerian designers?
Although I haven’t worked with any Nigerian designer before but that doesn’t mean we are not going to work together in the future. I like Lanre Da Silva, Zizi Cardow and Mai Atafo. I have international designers who’s clothes, shoes, bags and perfume I wear but haven’t met them personally before.
Tell us about some memorable moments working in the entertainment sector?
I have had good and bad moments but I thank God I didn’t let some people’s negativity stop me from moving on. In an industry where few people want you to prosper and many don’t want your success, it could be very challenging. Many years ago, when Morgan Entertainment boss, Chief Emeka wanted to sign me on, someone close to me went to him and tried to tarnish my image. I felt so hurt but I thank God for my life now. The same guy sees me at events and we exchange pleasantries. He can never be close to me again because I can’t forget that heartbreaking betrayal. After that ugly encounter, I stopped having friends in the industry. The Nigerian entertainment industry is something else o, but it still fun.
What are some of the items that you treasure most in your wardrobe?
High heels, jean trousers, wristwatches and sunglasses. I like skinny dresses – skinny jeans, pants, sneakers, shorts and shirts. I always want to look very smart and simple despite being on the slim side.
How do you relax?
I drink water every morning, eat a lot of fruits to keep my skin radiant and beautiful. I also exercise regularly to keep fit. I love listening to cool music and reading motivational books.
Let’s talk about the people you admire and role models?
For simplicity and humility, I like Shan George and Kate Henshaw a lot. I also love the boldness of Tonto Dikeh, they are not my role models but I just admire them.
If you had to advise young people, what would you tell them?
Be you. You have all it takes to excel. Don’t be bamboozled by what you see on social media because not all that glitters is gold.