I was born and raised in Benue State, which is also my state of origin. I studied Integrated Science at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State. I am the first daughter and the second child. My given name is Imelda Ada Okwori.
I started singing from a very tender age because my mother was into music and she had her own group. It was more like growing up to follow her footsteps. My first song was titled, My Love For You, and I featured the late OJB Jezreel. It was actually one of the songs that brought me fame. Then, I released Bread and Butter. I also did a song with Small Doctor. I have released a couple of songs but the latest one is Money Good.
They supported me because it was not strange to them. However, people advised my mother to stop me from doing music because they felt I wouldn’t get married if I became a musician.
Challenges are numerous. As a woman, you get to meet people that would only offer to help you based on certain conditions. Some people would want to date or marry you before they can help you. You have to be financially capable because the music industry is not fair to women. To promote music in Nigeria, you need a considerable amount of money. As a woman, you have to go the extra mile to do certain things because it is an industry dominated by men. When I got to Lagos newly, I got entangled with a man who said he would help me only if I would be intimate with him. He advised me to break up any previous relationship I had despite the fact that I had money to pay for my song. I walked out on him but he called me back and now we are friends. I also lost a contract because I refused to meet with the record company owner at a hotel.
I don’t know why some people like to interpret things to suit their purpose. D’banj is someone I have always admired. Aside music, he is business-minded and hard-working. He is my kind of person: playful, intelligent and cheerful. I didn’t mean what I said about dating him because it was a joke. However, the rumour got to me because we are good friends.
I never dated Jaywon; we have just worked together. During the shoot for one of our music videos, some people took suggestive pictures of us together and this brought a lot of misunderstanding between Jaywon and I. I didn’t like the way he handled the issue because he didn’t ask me anything; rather, he and his manager wrote defamatory press statements about me.
I have tried not to talk about the rumour of me dating former Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswan. During his tenure, he supported a lot of artistes in the state, unlike what obtains now. I am fortunate to be part of those he sponsored. He treats me like his daughter, yet we are not even close. He and (some members of) his cabinet attended an event I organised in my state. He enjoyed himself so much that he challenged every member of his cabinet to support me. So, it became more like a fundraising dinner. That was what generated the rumour that I was dating him because some people felt it wasn’t possible for him to do that for me if we were not dating. I have grown a thick skin to comments about me dating anybody because I am a single lady.
I am working on an album. I have recorded a lot of songs but it will take some time for me to choose the right ones to put out. Hopefully by next year, I will release my album. I also have a Non-Governmental Organisation that empowers women and persons living with disabilities.
I admire a lot of female artistes in Nigeria, especially Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Seyi Shay, Omawumi and Simi. When it comes to male artistes, Davido, Tekno, Flavour and Wizkid are people I look up to. When I want to do an inspirational song, I will like to work with 2baba because I think we blend in that area. Internationally, I look up to Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jlo and Nicki Minaj.
I don’t like slim men because it makes me feel like they will be stingy. I don’t like stingy people because I am a giver. I don’t like men that attach conditions before they do anything for you. I prefer a man who has listening ears to a handsome man.
When I am not working, I go to the beach and the cinema in company with friends and family. But I prefer to stay indoors.
My fashion sense is top notch. I love going over the top sometimes and I love combining colours with a touch of African vibe. I love to dress sexily and classy. I take risks when it comes to fashion.