Ada Menakaya… Sonorous Voice Goes Beyond Limit
After a week of working in the studio with her production team, Nigerian gospel artiste Ada Unoma Menakaya has kicked off the second half of the year with the release of her latest praise and thanksgiving single, He Has Done It.
Produced by the veteran A4 Jeazy (Afo Ogidi), the song was written from a place of deep thanksgiving to God and it evokes the emotion and spirit of Ada Menakaya’s live ministrations.
“He Has Done It is a song of declaration and prophesy that God can do all things if we believe in our hearts without a doubt. This song was written from a place of deep thanksgiving to God for what He has done in my life; it’s a song anybody can relate with,” she said in a chat with Guardian Music.
While the song is gradually gaining airplay, Menakaya is currently working on a music video to support the promotion.
“For now, the audio is out and I’m happy with the reception we’ve been receiving so far. Meanwhile, plans are ongoing for the video; we will get that done as soon as we can,” she said.
Born into the popular Menakaya Dynasty of Umunya in Oyi lo Anambra State, Ada has been thrilling audiences and ministering to congregations for over two decades. At the age of 5, she was already in the children’s choir and later progressed through the teens’ section, then youth choir before moving to the main choir.
“I will say it was my upbringing; I lived in a house filled with music and love. My mother was a sonorous singer, and even though she didn’t take it professionally, she was a major force in our regional choir as a community music lead. My aunty, Lady Linda Menakaya is a singer and played with popular Nigerian stars, while she worked with Radio Nigeria. Today, at almost 90 years of age, she can still belt out some real good soprano. So, I think it came natural,” she said.
Sharing her experience as a young chorister, Ada said, “It’s widely accepted that being a chorister as a child is a privilege. I joined the children’s choir at the age of 5; I joined the Teens’ choir immediately I turned 13 as well as the New Covenant Family (NCF) Choir, the campus fellowship of Dominion City, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, though I was a junior secondary school student at that time. It wasn’t long before I started leading the main choir in church.”
She continued: “Over the years, I have participated in many national and international choir competitions and I am still a member of my church choir till date. Being a chorister has its ups and downs, but it has taught me to always feed my focus and starve my distractions. I enjoy being able to share my gift with the congregation as part of our worship.”
Growing up in Enugu as the third of six children, Ada lived in a house filled with music and love. She listened to everything from gospel legends such as Cece Winans to Ron Kenoly, Don Moen, the Clark Sisters, Shirley Caesar, and pop/R&B queen Whitney Houston.
“Those different styles of music, as well as a strong presence in the church, helped to shape me as a singer as well as a person. There was no time I was left with options of the message to carry. From the start, I just knew it was gospel and gospel alone. I represent Jesus Christ and all I want to do is fly the banner of Christ.”
Asked if there’s a possibility of going secular someday, the powerful vocalist said, “No, I write and sing songs that embrace every sphere of life. It is strictly gospel that speaks to everyone regardless of tribe, race or creed, with the sole aim of bringing them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. My mission is to authentically touch and impart lives and people of all ethnicities and generations around the globe with my music and see the word of God transform and change their lives, binding up the brokenhearted,” she said.
With a couple of singles out already, Ada is currently working on an album, which is likely to hit music shelf later in the year.
“I released my debut and sophomore singles in 2016 and to my amazement; they were well received and there were so many downloads. I started receiving invitations from different people and churches both home and abroad; that was when I knew an LP was needed and by God’s grace, I have been in the studios recording and putting together songs to make up my debut album. There would be soul-lifting tunes coming your way. I hope to release the album before the year runs out,” she said.
Over the years, Ada Menakaya has performed on the same stage with some of the most prominent voices in Gospel, such as Frank Edwards. Her biggest dream is to authentically impact lives and people of all ethnicities and generations with her music even much more than the gospel music greats have done so far.
Describing Cece Winans as her role model, Ada said, “ She’s the best-selling female gospel artist of all time. From childhood, I’d listen to anything that has Cece’s name on it. I like Sinach too because she’s a true worshipper. Singer Onos Ariyo also inspires me; she’s a worshipper and I’m always happy listening to her. American Singers, Tasha Cobbs, and Jekalyn Carr are great women of God I admire and they inspire me too,” she hinted.
Later in the year, Ada plans to go on a music tour tagged Beyond Limits.
“We plan to do so in the third quarter of the year and I will round it up with the release of my debut album. I already have a few known gospel singers willing to join me on the tour. So watch out for that,” she assured.