Chinyere M. Ugokwe Returns With A Zen-soaked Prayer
FOLLOWING the era of the Sasha Ps, Eva Alordiah and Kel, in the 2010s, there has been a drought of female Afro hip-hop musicians in Nigeria.
However, with the emergence of the young eastern chanteuse, Chinyere M. Ugokwe, it has been a downpour of exciting fast-paced melodies, soothing cadence and vibrant lyricism within that musical style. And in songs like her just-released bop dubbed, “Prayer,” Chinyere M. Ugokwe evolves her artistry, and the rap culture in Nigeria, by extension, taking it to a pinnacle of avant-garde musicianship.
The 3-min jam spins a heartfelt supplication for progress, not just for self; but for the country in general. Chinyere leans to the esoteric in the jam, giving off a bit of despair laced with hope, which is the two-fold reality faced by myriad of Nigerians.
In a chat with Guardian Music, she unfurls the inspiration behind the record, saying, “Prayer was inspired by my most vulnerable moment. I felt things weren’t going according to the way I planned it to be. I was under so much pressure and pain. I fell to my knees and literally prayed to God with tears in my eyes. That moment in its whole unadulterated essence inspired the song.”
The young singer who has also been recognized internationally for her exploits in social advocacy, fashion design and even poetry, also noted that her overall inspiration in life is the free-spirited nature of art itself, as well as her mother’s spirit.
Citing her major influences as Flavour, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Koffee, Lil Durk, Lil Baby, Brenda Fassie, Black Sherif, Ajebo Hustlers, Ugokwe expresses that she doesn’t “ever want to box myself into a certain sound. I just want to be able to feel and convey those messages and rhythms being sent to me by my creator.”
With “Prayer,” Chinyere M. Ugokwe nourishes the heart with hope, entertains the mind with groove and comforts the spirit with zen. And it’s this same high-end effort and commitment to her work that submarines her career growth.
For Chinyere, she dreams of building a “brand that is all about purpose, upliftment, spreading love–positive vibes and being confident in your authentic self. I have a whole movement called “ChinnySoldiers”. Practically, a ChinnySoldier is a person that doesn’t conform to the norm–We are misfits, the unique ones and through everything life has thrown at us we stand strong and do not give up on ourselves. A ChinnySoldier finds an identity in their own personal purpose and journey.”
“Prayer” is available on all digital streaming platforms.