By Damiete Braide
For up and coming musician, Adaobi Enemuoh, there is no place like home. For her, Nigeria is home, sweet home! Having just relocated to Nigeria from the United States, Enemuoh has no plan of ever returning to Jim Crow’s country.
Popularly called A.D.A by her fans and signed to Lafamilia Entertainment, the graduate of Neuroscience from University of California in this chat talks about her love for music and why she will never go back to America.
I am first of seven children. I am a native of Ekwulobia and Agulu in Anambra State. I attended Hill View Nursery School, Enugu and later proceeded to University Primary School, Enugu, finishing at Creative Minds Foundation, Onitsha. For my secondary school education, I attended Marist Comprehensive Academy, Uturu, Abia State and then moved to El Camino College, Torrance, California for a degree in Biology. I also have a degree in Neuroscience from University of California, Riverside.
From childhood, I’ve loved listening to music and performing with a TV remote control as my microphone. My initial inspiration was from listening to my parents’ old school collections of super stars like Don Williams, my dad’s favourite, Dolly Parton, my mom’s favourite, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Bob Marley. Today, I listen to top acts like Sade Adu, Adele, Beyonce, Emeli Sande, Shakira, and Tiwa Savage.
Coming into music
My genre of music is a combination of highlife and Afro pop. I attribute my vocal prowess to singing in front of the mirror and being a member of my Los Angeles church choir, where I later became the choir director. I auditioned for X-Factor America and made it through the early stages. To perfect my singing and performing ability, I enrolled for a piano and vocal performance class at Santa Monica College of Performing Arts Centre, under the tutelage of Denis Parnell, an award winning composer, vocal coach, and voice technician whose previous students include American idol finalist, Chikezie.
My vocals impressed Parnell and my classmates, and I was made the closing act for the end of session show hosted by the college for the voice and opera students. I closed the show and got a standing ovation after my rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘I Drove All Night’, backed by a pianist and bass guitarist.
Relocating to Nigeria
I came back to Nigeria because of my family and music career. Being the first child of my parents, I believe it is better I stay close to my people in order for me to learn our culture and heritage.
Armed with a degree, a powerful voice, enhanced performance skills, and big hopes for the future, I relocated to Nigeria to answer the call of my destiny. After months of blending local content into contemporary style, I am set to pleasure the audience with my tunes. Life, friends and current affairs inspire my lyrics.
My single, Headmaster
Apart from my love for music, I also love to talk about social issues that hinder the growth of our society. Sexual abuse especially in primary and secondary schools is one of them. My first single, Headmaster, produced by Chimdy, mixed and mastered by Jay Stunt, centres on a young girl challenging the inappropriate sexual advances of her pedophilic school principal. I’ve always wanted an avenue to address such issues. However, Headmaster came effortlessly in the studio. It confirms the biblical saying, ‘out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh’. I am working very hard to release my album soon.
My music is targeted at the old and young at heart. They are the victims.
It also targets the adults in our society. My song sheds light on what is happening in our schools today. We are called to educate children about sexual abuse so they do not fall victim.
Today’s happenings and yesterday’s mistakes inform the message in my song. I have heard and read numerous stories about child abuse. In some cases, the kids were not properly educated on what to do or they were too scared to speak up when they became victims. When I was a kid, I experienced some adults making inappropriate advances at me. Today, I have friends who have been abused by adults.
Operating in male-dominated profession
More men are into the administrative and creative sides of the entertainment industry, and they have access to more funding. As a result, they seem to have more opportunities than women. But, with the new wave of females like me joining the industry, over time, we hope the gap will be bridged and equality becomes equity.