Nothing is bigger than my music – Niniola

Ekiti State-born Niniola Apata, better known by her
stage name, ‘Niniola’, broke into limelight shortly
after emerging third runner-up in the 6th edition of
MTN Project Fame. Renowned for her electrifying
display of stage energy, vocal power and stage
craft, she has been able to create a world of her
own in the Nigerian music industry through
hardwork, resilience and consistency. As our Star
this week she takes on how she developed
interest in music, career success so far and
more. Excerpts…
How did you develop interest in music and not
something else?
My interest in music was as a result of
boredom as a child (laughs), it’s funny but
true. My parents didn’t take me out and I had
to get busy, so music occupied my time.
What influenced your repertoire of songs during
As a child, I got my repertoire of music from
my parent’s records and that of my older
siblings; whatever records they played I
listened to.
Which artistes have influenced your style of
Wow! I have an endless list of musical
influences; to name a few, there’s Dolly Parton,
Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion,
The Beatles, Shakira, Toni Braxton, Brandy,
Beyonce, The Cranberries, Angelique Kidjo,
Funmi Aragbaye, King Sunny Ade, etc.
Many would say your emergence as third
runner-up of MTN Project Fame season 6 was
what shot you to fame, do you agree?
In as much as it gave me a great platform (of
which I am forever grateful for), I won’t say it
was a major reason, because I had to get a
management team, release my debut single
and the follow-up singles, learn a lot about the
music business, etc. I had to work hard on my
own to achieve my life-long dream as an
entertainer; which is still an on-going process.
What gives you the kind of energy you usually
exude whenever you perform on stage?
That’s the grace of God. The stage is my
playground, so to say and I basically have fun.
That is the time my inner “extrovertish” nature
(permit me to use that word) comes out to
play (laughs).
Within four years of breaking into the music
industry you have been able to drop some hit
singles currently enjoying massive airplay,
featured on the remix of Eddy Kenzo’s ‘Mbilo
Mbilo’ , and performed at major shows. How
were you able to achieve all of these?
Well, I will say I’m barely three years in the
industry because I dropped my debut single
“Ibadi” in March 2014. It has just been the
grace of God, hard work, supports from family
and friends, the media, my management and of
course the fans, whom I call family.
How were you able to get Sarz to produce your
first official single ‘Ibadi’?
All I did was google up the “Best/Top Nigerian
Music Producers” and his name popped up on
all the lists. I checked out his work, loved it
and contacted him to produce my debut single.
What is that one thing you hate about the
Nigerian music industry?
Well, I do not hate anything about the industry.
I just pray for steady growth/structure in the
music industry.
Are you in love?
Oh yes I am baby.
What is the greatest price you have paid for
Time, because my love for music has taken all
my time
Can you quit music for your relationship?
That’s not possible! Not for anything/anybody
will I quit music. I won’t be in such an
unsupportive relationship in the first place.
What is the most embarrassing moment of
your life?
When I farted in the midst of people.
To you, what is the place of sex in a
Sex is over rated.
You were nominated for major awards in 2016
but won in only one category, how do you feel
about this?
Well, a nomination itself is a win; nominations
and actual winning is a big deal/recognition,
but it won’t stop me from working harder. The
fact that I was recognized did it for me. The
awards will come my dear.
How do you feel to have won the Best African
Collaboration award at the last AFRIMA?
I feel so blessed and elated. Best African
Collaboration, not Nigerian or West African. I’m
thankful to God, my East African brother, Eddy
Kenzo, Naijareview, and of course the fans that
Do you feel threatened by the likes of Tiwa
Savage, Omawumi, Yemi Alade, Seyi Shay and
the likes?
Ah! (Laughs), Oh no, they are my seniors o! I
met them in the industry, they paved the way
for females like me, and I respect their craft. I
can only admire them but will never ever feel
threatened by sisters; there is enough space
for everyone.
What is your take on the credibility of music
awards in Nigeria?
Award bodies recognize artistes who have had
outstanding performances in the year under
review which is a great thing and it’s up to
them to make it free, fair and transparent.
When are you due to drop an album?
By the grace of God it’s dropping this year. As
we speak it’s been worked on.




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