I first heard of Adaorah a few days before our conversation. I was excited, of course. I love talking to women about the things that bring them joy. I almost always have a positive and relaxing time. However, the introvert in me was, as usual, screaming. As relaxing as these conversations end up being, they usually start with a lot of nerves.
On the day of the interview, with my heart racing, I waited for her face to pop up on my screen. When it did, I took a deep breath. There she was, all bright, with a grin stretched from ear to ear. I said Hi and she was like, ‘Hi Princess! It’s so nice to be talking to you.’ I was instantly calm. You know when your body or soul just feels safe?
My conversation with Adaorah was all laughs. She is such a charismatic, fun and funny person! She’s incredibly easy to talk to and even though it was my job to keep her calm, the reverse was the case. We talked about why she got into music, what she’s done so far and what we can expect from her next year. She also shared a fact her fans don’t know about her and her go-to comfort food!
Keep reading to gain more insight into who this singing sensation is, why she’s doing music and when to expect her first album!
If this wasn’t an interview, and we met maybe at a bar, and you had to introduce yourself to me…
What Would That Look Like?
Oh, I’d probably start off by singing or something.
I would probably just introduce myself I guess. I am actually from Onitsha, but I grew up in Chicago and I have been going back and forth between LA and Lagos. I am an international Afro-pop artist. And I’m really, really excited to be in the space and just sharing music with people and sharing my love for Afro-beats and Afrofusion with the world.
Can I Ask – How Old are You?
No – Just kidding. I’m in my late 20s.
I read that when you were six years old, you went to the carnival, and that’s when you knew you wanted to start singing.
As an Adult, When and How Did You Know You Were Ready to Make Music?
When I went to that carnival, it was the first time I got to be on stage and really share my talents and feel the energy of the crowd and everyone cheering me on. It just felt so good. I didn’t realize that was going to be the moment that kind of catapulted me into this music journey of mine. So I think the first time I genuinely took my music seriously was when I auditioned for a visual performance arts academy. When I went there, I was like, oh, I’m going to sing Beyonce. I’m going to sing Britney Spears. And they brought sheet music for me to read and sing- it was in Italian. I was like, ah. I don’t know o. What’s going on here?
So I had to get a vocal coach. I had to do training so I could prepare for the audition. After my training, I got into the academy, and it just kind of blew up. I started singing in French, Italian and Latin; telling stories, performing across the U.S. and competing with other people who sing opera and classical music. From there, I was like, I love this genre, but I just don’t think it’s very universal. I think opera is an acquired taste sometimes.
I agree. But what’s life without eventually acquiring a taste for something you thought just wasn’t for you?
So I wanted to merge more into pop and R&B. That was my passion at the time. But at the same time, I also wanted to be part of the Afrobeats space. I wanted to do Afrobeats because I loved it. It’s so fun. And I grew up listening to Flavour, 2 Baba, you know, all those guys back in the day. I was like, I want to be part of this. And so I took the leap of faith last year and joined. And I’m like, this is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m so happy to be here.
We’re so happy to have you here; such an inspiring journey. Thank you so much for sharing.
What Did You Do Before Music?
What did I do before music? I don’t even know. I don’t know who I am. Oh, no, I’m kidding. Before music, I used to be more of a theatre kid. I used to act a lot; a lot of stage plays and musicals and things like that. So it kind of was perfect. You know, doing music and then doing theatre together was just like the perfect recipe. So some people will call me dramatic or, you know, ‘a lot’. But I don’t care because that’s me and that’s how I’m able to express myself and my music.
I Love That! What’s a Song that’s Been Stuck in Your Head Lately?
Honestly, I just finished boot camp and one of my songs is actually stuck in my head. It’s constantly on replay. It’s playing right now in my head as I’m talking to you. It’s so funny. But before then, what song was stuck in my head? Honestly, I think everyone can agree with this. Water was stuck in my head. Almost unwillingly, too, because I was like, I don’t know any of these songs.
I mean, it was everywhere. That’s fair.
Oh, my God. Right?!
Your song that’s been stuck in your head, which one is it?
It’s not released yet. It’s coming out on my EP next spring, I’m really excited. It’s a fire song for the baddies. You know what I’m saying? And all the girls are going to love it.
We’re excited to hear it! If You Could Collaborate With Any Artist, Dead or Alive, Who Would it be and Why?
Haha! I love Beyonce. I think she is a musical genius and I kind of modelled my artistry around her, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson- all these greats. You know what I mean? Also for the culture; Flavour. I love me some Flavour. I would love to do a song with him. These people just know how to bring the energy to whatever space they’re in and they will leave you with your jaw dropped. And that’s all you ever want as a performer.
Could You Share a Fun or Interesting Fact About Yourself that Your Fans Might Not Know?
I am a coloratora soprano. That’s the highest vocal range of a soprano. So it’s like, you know how Mariah Carey, she has this whistle note? That’s the level that I can hit. There was one time I was training really hard with my coach back in the day and we did the wine glass test and we got a little crack in the wine glass.
Oh My Days. Wow.
What’s Your go-to Comfort Food Before a Big Performance?
So funny enough, I don’t eat before I perform. Probably not the best idea, but I try to avoid anything that can mess up the ‘element’ of my voice because once I warm up, I’m ready to sing. So once I start eating, then there’s phlegm. I’m like, I’m going to eat- You start choking on the puff puff you’re eating and now your voice is rough, you know?
There are just too many factors. I don’t eat. And sometimes it’s not the best because I can go a whole day not eating. Um, but you know, my nervousness and excitement fill my stomach up. But afterwards, I usually like to eat- I will literally smash like something greasy or hearty. I could just eat some maybe some egusi soup and pounded yam after I perform. I don’t know, something to reward myself.
Do You Have Any Pre-Show Rituals or Superstitions?
AC: I don’t have any superstitions. However, before I perform, I like to be alone. I just like my solitude for 15 to 20 minutes before I go on to do my breathings, run through my lyrics, run through the song and just zone in on what I’m about to do on stage. So that is my go-to. I also started doing a little meditation, but it’s very hard for me to meditate, especially backstage because there’s so much noise and chaos but I’m trying.
What’s the Most Memorable Fan Encounter You’ve Had So Far?
AC: Oh my gosh. I’ve had so many cool ones. There was one guy who saw me perform. I opened for the cavemen and he saw my performance and he literally has been my biggest fan since. He shares all my stuff. Anytime I’m posting, he’s the first one there. He’s like, I’m starting a podcast. I want you to come on. Even though it’s like his iPhone. I was like, let me develop this song. I’ll come!
He’s just one of my biggest cheerleaders, which is awesome. Honestly, I always just get so happy when I see people vibing to my music. One person just tagged me recently and they were vibing at the pool with their friend and they were playing Rock My Borry. And I was like, oh my gosh, like you guys are still vibing to it after, you know, a year or so after its release. It just makes me happy.
And then someone today was showing me their Spotify… Uh, what do you call it?
Yeah, like their top five artists or whatever. And I was one of them and my heart just melted.
I was like, “Omg, you really listened to me!”. So, it’s things like that, that make me really happy to be doing what I’m doing.
If Your Life Were a Movie, What Genre Would It Be and Who Would Play You?
That’s a great question. I think it would be a mix of a dramedy maybe? Like a drama comedy? Um, who would play me? I don’t know if I would have someone who would play me. Let me come back to you on that.
I mean, you could also play yourself.
I can play myself! Yeah, I think I’ll play myself. A dramedy for sure because my life is chaotic. There are a lot of serious moments, a lot of lighthearted moments as well and there are just some moments that you just have to sit and laugh cause it’s like, welp!
What’s a Hobby or Interest You Love that has Nothing to do With Music?
So, I really like taking classes. And what I mean by that is things that I would never normally do? I would do it. So I went to a pottery class recently. and made a bowl. And I just think it’s so fun to like channel other artsy, craftsy parts of me. Because one thing I can’t do is draw. Like, even stick figures look horrible.
But I’ve been part of a sewing and cooking class. I learned a Cuban recipe taught by a native cuban family. It was great. They taught me how to cook their dish. So just trying new things, you know, to continue to learn. And expand my experiences.
Who are Your Biggest Musical Influences?
Beyonce, Tina, Michael. I really like Burna, Rema and Asake. I feel like they bring this extra spice and badness to Afrobeats that you didn’t really hear before.
It’s so fun. You know what I mean? It’s vibes.
I feel like you achieved some of that in Rock My Borry.
That makes me so happy to hear because the new music I’m releasing in 2024, it’s gonna be, MAD! So I’m very excited to share it.
We’re Very excited to hear it!
Describe Your Music in Three Words (Not Genre-related)
Sexy, energetic, and fun.
You Have Three Singles. Which Is Your Favourite and Why?
Can’t pit three bad bitches against each other like that.
But if I had to choose, I’d say Rock My Borry, because that is a song that was my debut into Afrobeat. So, it holds a special place in my heart. That was kind of like the first step into this world. And when people heard it, they loved it. And it just made me feel so proud. And what’s his name? Andre Vibes produced that track. Andre Vibes is the one. He produced Calm Down for Rema. So, yeah. It’s just- that is my baby. That’s my baby song.
Then Peace of Mind, because I feel like it’s bouncy, it’s fun, it’s catchy, and it’s so relatable to everything going on. And we all just want peace of mind. I remember being in Lagos traffic. I was like, I just want peace of mind. This is too much. I was like, peace of mind.
Then, I love Slow Down. I think Slow Down is a vibe. I think it’s one of those beachy songs that you have. And I think it’s for a moment. I think I ended up listing all three, but you know, Hahaha.
So Far, Have There Been Any Challenges You Faced in Your Music Career?
It’s been challenging navigating between Lagos and Los Angeles, because it’s almost like I’m basically bi-coastal or whatever now, you know? So, I think being in this space is important because you get to be on the ground, ears down, of what’s happening, what’s moving. You meet those important people.
And then, being in LA helps me to reach the American audience and share my music with people who may not know Afrobeats well. So, I think it’s just trying to balance the two that’s been my biggest challenge.
Also, I think funding, too, is very important. I mean your music is great, but who’s listening to it? So, I know that I could reach millions of people if we had more funding. I think those are my biggest challenges so far
Moving Between LA and Lagos…
Do You Think at Some Point You Will ‘Settle’ Somewhere Because of Your Music?
You know, this is the million-dollar question. I have already contemplated just being here for maybe a year and just fully engrossed in the space. But I’m trying to work on that strategy and how that will work. So, for now, it’s possible. It’s definitely… Definitely a possibility.
So Far, What Moments or Achievements are You Most Proud of?
Releasing my music. You know, I think as an artist, you get… you’re very sensitive and protective of your work because you’re creating something. It’s like literally a child. It’s your child. So, when you release something and then everyone has something to say and some say, ‘your child is ugly’. You’re not going to be happy. So, you know, it’s, I guess, overcoming that fear of criticism.
I think at the end of the day, people will love it or people will not like it. But either way, you were courageous enough to put it out. So, I felt very happy that I finally put my music and shared it with people. And to have the reception I had with people just being like, ‘Oh my God, this is so good’. It was really validating for me.
How Do You Envision Your Musical Career Evolving?
Girl, we could be here all night. Haha. I think essentially, I want to be the main opener for a big artist. I want to be able to get a song that goes viral. And I want to start going on my tour and just have a bunch of artists and tour all around Nigeria and Africa. I want to share my music with the world because I think people deserve it! They need to hear these bangers. I’m sorry! They need to hear it.
When Can We Expect an Album?
Hahahaha. So, my next single is going to come out at the end of January- The New Year. Following that, my EP will be released. There will be six tracks on there. The vibe right now is just to have a good time, party, and have fun. So, it’s all going to come and I hope you guys all tune in and listen. Actually, you will. I’ll make you. By fire, by force!
We Definitely Will!