Emerging as the first ever female winner of the MTN Project Fame competition, Chidinma Ekile, aka Miss Kedike has continued to steal the hearts of music lovers in Nigeria with great songs earning her different awards across Africa. She talks to Entertainment Rave candidly in this interview about her life and career.
How would you want to describe the state of your career at the moment?
Let me say it’s interesting, though I’m not where I want to be but I’m happy with where I am right now. I have recorded quite a number of achievements, so I don’t regret where I am at the moment.
What are the things working for you and the ones working against you?
I don’t think there is anything working against me; everything is working perfectly for me. I have a fantastic team that ensures everything goes as planned and it has made my life very easy.
What will you say is the best thing that has happened to your brand?
The best thing right now is winning the KORA Award. It’s not even about winning the award but the fact that I have been accepted by other African countries. What I have always wanted is to be seen as that young girl recognized as an African icon because it means a lot to me.
Do you have any winning principle that is working for you?
Yes, one step at a time. I do not try to worry about something I know I can’t change. I just do the best that I can do and leave the rest. I feel very excited because people now look beyond the music. They get inspired when they see me and that alone has kept me going.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on my album right now. I’m working with different producers and artistes trying out new things. A lot of people wonder aloud: “are you sure this is Chidinma”? So I’m just trying out a lot of things and testing waters. I’m moving out of my comfort zone actually.
Why are you on low cut?
First of all, I was having issues with my hair and I went online to check out all sorts of hairstyles. I just told the barber to cut it and I liked the new look. I still wasn’t optimistic about it until we did a photo shoot and the outcome was amazing. It also makes me look different and I have no plans to change it.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in your career?
I used to have challenges as a very young and new artiste. Before now, there are lots of things I don't understand about the industry but thank God for the kind of team I have, they put me through a lot of things. While I was in Project Fame, we used to perform other artistes songs and I didn't know what it was like to write your own songs and the people also accepting it. So I actually struggled to know what people want and it was a big problem while I was recording my first album.
What exactly does 'Kedike' mean?
Kedike depicts love actually. It’s a love song we intended to make commercial. It was hard when we started working on it but we eventually achieved the hit. We actually invented the word ‘Kedike’.
That means you understand so much about love?
I'm not in love, so I don't know. The fact that I sing about it doesn't mean I’m in love. That is why music is an art; you have to put yourself in that position. Like actors, they don't act everything that happens to them. They get scripts from directors and just act. You are reaching out to people and to convince them, you need to act and put yourself in their shoes. So I don't know what love is because I’m not in love.
I guess you want to be discreet about your relationship?
Not exactly. I’m not in any relationship and I’m not in love.
What is the truth about your relationship with Adams of Soundcity?
Yeah, I heard that story but I believe this kind of things come with the job. I have decided to put myself in the public eye and every now and then, there will be stories, but I don't have a problem with that because I know it comes with the job I do and I am ready for it. So far I’m making my money; any other thing does not matter.
What is the greatest thing stardom has done to you?
Everywhere I go; people actually want to talk to me. They want to know me and it feels really good, though it can be really frustrating sometimes but it is the life I have chosen. It’s a good thing that people see you and appreciate what you are doing.
Do you think there is any misconception about your brand or about you as a person?
I don’t think there is any. From day one, I have made it really clear who I am. Though there was a struggle knowing how to place the brand but it eventually happened.
At a point in your career, do you ever think your height might be a disadvantage?
I have always been more than confident in myself. I have never felt there is something I can’t do. I always have that mindset that my size has nothing to do with where I want to be. My mum says to me that you can be anything you want to be. You can achieve anything so far your mind is in it and you work towards it. So I believe I can do anything no matter my height.
What is your greatest inspiration?
God has been my greatest inspiration. Sometimes, I just feel like there is nothing in my head but God always make it happen. My God is the God of all possibilities and he is my greatest inspiration. My mum too has always been there for me.
What is your take on controversy?
Controversy can be a good thing and it can also be a bad one but I don't really like controversy because it just makes people perceive you wrongly.
What was the first thing that came to your mind when you were appointed MTN Ambassador?
I was not shocked because I felt it’s overdue. I was happy nevertheless because it’s a good thing, so I just smile and thank God.
What is your idea of a better Nigerian music industry?
My idea of a better Nigerian music industry is when a lot of people come and accept good music. In Nigeria, we are beginning to forget about good music. We think we have too many problems that we need to forget about and we just dance away our sorrows. I'm not saying this because I think my music is too good but I just think we should not forget to have good and proper music in place.