Lady Donli returns with new song and music video corner
The smooth, highlife-tinged song, contains a bold message that addresses several of the issues currently facing Nigerian women, including the recent #SexForGrades scandal, which exposed lecturers at various universities, who were sexually assaulting their female students.
Directed by Shaun Kalu, the video opens with a group of women leading a protest in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and later showed them taking part in several subversive activities to defeat male perpetrators.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Abuja and now shuttle between London and Lagos, Donli grew up with a record producer brother and a house ringing with the sounds of Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Styl-Plus, Azadus, and The Funkees.
Commenting on a journey into music, Donli said she started putting out music in 2012 when she first moved to England fresh out of high school, but I wasn’t really making great music then. It was there that she first heard Little Simz, an artist who, along with the likes of Aṣa and Erykah Badu, has played a pivotal role in her musical journey.
“I’m a superfan,” she admits. “Listening to her opened me up to a whole underground community. It really affected the way I create.”
England may have influenced her soundscape, but music has been a stalwart presence in her life since day one. It’s no surprise that the young artiste has managed to carve out her own hybrid sound that fuses hip-hop with alt-jazz, neo-soul and psychedelic funk, and make it work.
“I was always writing poetry as a kid; my dad still has them. So that aspect I think has always come quite naturally. Evolving my sound was a slower process. I have a lot of African influences, like Oumou Sangare. I’ve always found the soundscape of African music very interesting —how we’re so similar and so different at the same time,” she stated.
Commenting on her album, Enjoy Your Life, the University of Surrey law graduate said it is about spreading the message of happiness and love —in the way that it should be, could be—and about treating people better.
“The song came from a place of frustration. It actually came from a really stressful place; I’d graduated from university, I left my home in England and came back to Nigeria. I was staying at my dad’s house and travelling back and forth to Lagos because that’s where most of the music is.
“One weekend I decided not to come back; I was sleeping anywhere, in a studio, on a sofa. My band and I were in the beginning stages, trying to get used to each other. We were jamming, and I was like ‘guys I’m so frustrated, and I’m so broke!’ We decided to make a song about money and the quest for having cash. I’m always happy seeing people vibing to it.”
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