SUPERSATURDAY STORY

The hitherto France-based Nigerian artiste, Veronique Adaa, believes it’s just a matter of time before her music gets in the minds of Nigerians, writes Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Having Veronique Adaa talk about her music career on a Sunday evening exposes the other side of her which is hidden from public glare. But it took a while to have a one-on-one chat with her, following weeks of exchange of messages that eventually culminated to the meeting on New Year’s Eve.

Appearing effervescent with a fashion sense that exudes a cosmopolitan mien, Veronique once represents beauty and brain. A momentary stare at her will reveal the glaze in her dreamy eyes, leaving one to drool as she walks by. She is no stranger to public admiration – especially from men – both home and abroad.

But she’s married with a daughter. This aspect of her she often doesn’t want to talk about.

Like some songstresses in the industry, at the back of her mind is a word that covers all what she has done – hustle.

“I have done a lot of things. I have modelled. . . I have been a hustler,” Veronique disclosed.

Months after meeting the former Miss Port Harcourt contestant at a gig, she had travelled back to her base in France on a casual visit. Today, she’s back home in Nigeria squarely for her music career – to find time to push her music into the consciousness of Nigeria’s music lovers.

But with no intent to put out an album yet.

“It can come anytime,” she stated confidently. “Only God knows. For now I’m just trying to push my brand in the minds of music lovers in Nigeria.” 

So far, she has churned out four singles and three videos amongst her many works. Veronique had stormed Nigerian music scene in 2015, with her first single, ‘Took My Heart Away’.

Then followed by, ‘Do Me Like This’, produced by Fliptyce. And then another one, ‘Itoro’, rendered in her dialect. Buzzing right now is her latest single, ‘Fimisile’, which video she just shot.

From Omoku in Rivers State, music, professionally, for Veronique, started three years ago. That was years after she dropped out of school studying Economics at University of Port Harcourt. Her inability to study music remains a sour point in her narrative – no thanks to the stiff opposition she got from home. But she would forge ahead to follow her calling, beating the odds along the way. Eventually, she got a degree in French.

Introducing herself as a singer, songwriter, and fashionista, Veronique said she believes in herself. And that her wish is to be where she always wants to be. That has seen her travel to France at a young age, where she lived, having entered for a talent show contest upon arriving France sometime in 2007.

Then when she got to France, Nigerian music was not that much popular in the country she recalled.

“But for now it has developed a lot. There people are beginning to love Nigerian music they enjoy it. Like when I go to events or club there even if they don’t understand it they just love and dance to it,” Veronique said.

Her musical odyssey in the European country, compared to her tales in Nigeria, has left her with novel experiences different from her unfortunate exposures in the hands of some supposed publicists whom she had related with.

“In France, I have given my songs to radio stations. You go there and you just drop your song. You don’t see the person. And if they love your song they will call you. That was exactly what happened: I went to four radio stations and three called me,” she narrated. “And those were the main people that inspired me.

“I started like three years ago. The first time I went to France I went for a competition called Nouvelle Star,” she says and to be sure, spelt it out in English as ‘New Star’, emphasising each of the words with her soft voice.

There in France, her little chance in the competition was met with communication barrier. “I went to that competition, then my daughter was few months old, with my husband to Paris,” she continued. “But then I wasn’t speaking the language (French) it was a little bit hard for me.” Nonetheless, she was left with an encouragement. “They told me, ‘you have a great voice, but you have to work on it’.”

The cultural nuances she had imbibed living in France. Like having to relate freely and easily, even without speaking the language, at the initial stage, with a potent mix of great musical influence of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dione, Missy Elliot and Michael Jackson.

“I sang all their songs when I was a teenager,” Veronique said with her dreamy eyes brightening up.

Little wonder she has chosen the R and B/Afro-pop genre, infused with a little of Afro-beat.

Music to her is passion; a dream she nursed as a child in the church – and she once sang at inns.

“I have always loved music,” the delectable songstress said with nostalgia.

Veronique also enjoys listening to gospel songs, even more than secular music. This, she admitted, has helped to shape her lyrical prowess as a singer and songwriter.