Eniola Akinbo popularly known as Niyola discovered her affinity for music at age 8 when she attended a Funmi Adams concert with her father.
A true enigma, Niyola is a bundle of mysteries with many sides to her persona.
In this encounter with Weekend Groove, The EME First Lady opens up on her person, music as well as setting the records straight on a number of issues:
Can you tell us how it all started?
I actually had no idea that I could sing. I just like to sing. Each time I did my chores I would sing and dance while at it and the whole time my Dad was actually noticing.
So we had a convention in church that year and I said I was going to sing and my Dad said he wanted to take me somewhere because my sister was always performing for her school and won awards.
So one of the concerts he took us to was the Funmi Adam’s concert back in the days, there I saw young people like me performing and I saw Funmi Adams herself. That was where I decided I wanted to sing. Then he started giving me books that taught me how to write songs.
How did you get into EME?
Well, I have known Banky from way back when he first returned to Nigeria. We were friends and we always had conversations about the quality of music that came out from Nigeria and the kind of music that we really wanted to do. That day, I was just at the EME’s house to do a remix of a song.
I was trying to feature Skales in one of my songs called “Unpredictable”. So I saw Banky at the EME’s house and we got talking, then he asked me “Where have you been, what have you been doing, what happened to that song you tried doing?”
I told him I have been busy but now is the time to come back. He said we should work together and address the ills and challenges of the society, because back then if you were an artist you would be seen as a school drop out or someone who had no ambition and then it was worse as a female because they feel you don’t know what to do with your life.
So we worked on it together, he knew where I wanted to go with my music so I agreed to work with him.
Would you say you are satisfied with where you are right now looking at how far you have come?
It’s a work in progress, that’s all I can say. Everything we do in life can be better.
Who is Niyola behind the camera?
It’s really hard to put that in words because there are many sides to me. I can be very playful, very reserved. I can also be outspoken but the basic is, I like acquiring knowledge and impacting it.
What stands you out from others?
I am very passionate about women. There are over 50 million women in the world but God created me to affect the life of people in one way or the other. If I had to do things with my songs I would do it from a woman’s point of view. Beyond singing I would love to do stuffs that will stay relevant years after.
Like Sade Adu, King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, their songs are timeless. Those are the types of songs I would love to do.It’s not just about being beautiful or having a nice voice,the important thing is being able to reach out to people.
How would you describe your kind of music?
I can do any kind of music but my trend is RnB pop.
What is your definition of sexy?
I think sexiness is something that is innate than physical. It’s something that is inborn. Sometimes it’s the physical things that make people say you are sexy, but I don’t agree because it’s more of something from inside. It could be the way you talk, your charisma, the way you walk, it doesn’t neccessarily have to be about all the