By Christy Anyanwu
US-based Nigerian singer/songwriter, Jemeriye Adeniji has performed across the globe. Recently, she played at the 70th birthday shindig of Mrs Nike Okundaye, proprietress of Nike Arts Gallery, which held at Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Adeniji, whose Ewa Global Initiative showcases the beauty of Africa, in this interview dwells on her kind of man, among other issues. Enjoy it.
What is the difference between being an artiste in the US and an artiste in Nigeria?
I live in Pennsylvania. So, between the United States and Nigeria, we have some similarities and we have some differences. Music in Nigeria is different from music in the US. Their experiences and struggles are pretty different from each other. If you are not sure of yourself, or you are confused of your art, you’ll get lost in the American system. For music, the more original you are, the better for you. The more original you are, the more they appreciate you. Americans celebrate what makes you tick; they embrace you when you are real. We have access to some things (in America) that we don’t have access to here in Nigeria. As an artiste, you don’t need to be a millionaire to own a stage. If you are good and you know what you do, you will be celebrated and appreciated when you stay true to your art. You will be seen and noticed. It is not about ‘man know man’ as it is here. Americans appreciate originality and sometimes you can have access to grants that could take your work to different level if you have good network.
You dress all covered up unlike most American artistes, what informed your style of dressing?
For me, you dress the way you want to be addressed. Dressing for me depends on how I feel. I want some respect and if I feel like dressing up, I dress up.
What would you say about female artistes who show cleavages?
The truth is sex sells. Sometimes the struggle is real. Some of them believe if they are not dressed like that they won’t be noticed or even heard. If your art has to do with the way you dress, be creative about it. Keep some decency to yourself, if you can. I don’t want to knock anybody’s hustles because I don’t know what works for you. If exposing your body has helped you get to where you are going, merry Christmas and good luck. I don’t like to knock anybody’s hustles; it’s a big market. If you think what you do is pleasant, keep it up. Like I said, I don’t want to knock anybody’s hustle.
What’s your kind of guy?
I like smart men. Not too smart, though, not the type that wants to be in my nose that I can’t even breathe. I like a man who is smart and disciplined. I like a God-fearing man, a man who appreciates and feels confident in his own woman and also in himself. I don’t like a man who tries to control me and judge everything I do, and act like he owns me. As an artiste, you will not get to wherever you want with a man who is so domineering and possessive. I like a God-fearing man and a man who is understanding.
Do you prefer a black or white man as a spouse?
Black is very sweet. White is sweet too. I’m about the heart. If my heart connects with you, I can be younger or older; it doesn’t matter to me. As far as you have a good heart, you care for me and I care for you too. Love has no colour, no age. Only you know what you feel. Others can say whatever they want.