Amina… Homegirl in love with music, fashion
Based in Los Angeles, California, United States of America, Amina Isa, the only daughter of her parents Mr. Abdulrazaq lsa, the Chairman/CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited and mother, Mrs Kate lsa of Katchey Company Limited, is proudly Nigerian. A graduate of Public Relations from the Syracuse University, New York, with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California’s renowned Film School, she opted to mark her 25th birthday in her fatherland. The celebration, which also coincided with her graduation from school, created a platform for the launch of her music and fashion brand.
Speaking to showbiz reporters at the event, Missaei, as she’s fondly called, spoke on her love for music and fashion and plans for the future.“I’ve been singing for as along I could remember, but actually getting the courage to get into the studio and recording a song started five years ago. Ever since then, it’s been just going to the studio, recording music and becoming more comfortable with that whole experience,” she said.
Though now going professional, Amina’s relationship with music actually started a passion.“Definitely not for the money, if it’s for anything, it’s for the love. Just getting into it professionally was just a natural progression because I have been doing it in private for so long. And it is also something that I can utilize to get my name out there, meet people and network. It’s not for the cash,” she harped.
On how she plans to sell her brand of music in Nigeria, she said, “I honestly believe that if you do what you love and you are honest about it and you are genuine, things will fall in line to work for you. That’s how it has been with my life. Anything that I 100 per cent put my heart into, I always find the way to make it happen for me. It might not be the way others would want for themselves, but it always work out for me.”
Though she acknowledged that the Nigeria music industry is very competitive, the singer believes breaking into the mainstream is a matter of creativity and hardwork.
“I believe that though it is competitive and a lot of people have a lot of disappointments, I know that I will find a path that works right for me in this industry and I believe that there is room for my kind of sound; I haven’t really heard any other artiste or a team of artistes that have done the kind of music that I’m trying to do. So, I’m confident that there’s a place for me in the music industry. Competitive or not, I think people need the kind of music that I have to offer,” she said.
On the inspiration behind her music, Amina explained, “I listen to a lot of different kinds of music; I get influenced by different kinds of music. But I’m more of the kind of person that likes listening to easy listening music; kind of music that you can just put on when you are getting ready, when you are driving. So, I’m inspired by things that I see, what I feel when I go to certain places like when I’m on vacation, how I’m feeling when I am with my friends… those are the kind of vibes that I try to recreate in my music. I really get that sort of feelings when I listen to some Sade’s songs. As well as well as Mr. Eazi.”
On the challenges for far, she said, “I think it’s a little premature to really see how it is in the industry for me per se because I just graduated from my Masters at USC in California. Prior to that, I wasn’t really 100 per cent into music; I was focused on school. But now, it’s turning into something that is more on the forefront of my energy. So, we would see how it goes and God willing, everything goes according to plan. You know people plan and God laughs; who knows what will happen? But so far so good,” she enthused.
According to the artiste, the party is to create a platform for people to know her music, adding that album will come later.“I’m still trying to let people know who I am; be aware of the brand, be aware of the kind of music, and just basically know who I am. The album will follow shortly after; I’m working on some new stuff.”As part of her homecoming, Amina dropped a new single last year titled Flex. She followed up with another single Tell Me, with a video that will be released soon.
Aside music, Amina is also a fashion designer, working under the label Koy and Victoria.“I sort of come up with the concept, may be three to four years ago, but prior to that, I have always been in tune with fashion. I was taking fashion classes while I was in the university and even in secondary school; I used to draw sketches, I customised my school uniform. I would get into trouble but I was still doing it; it was just something that was always a part of me. People always told me that I had great fashion sense and that I should start a fashion line. So, it was like a kind of natural progression for me as well until I came up with my fashion line, Koy and Victoria.”
A women’s wear brand targeted towards women aged 18 and above, Koy and Victoria is a lifestyle brand for people that love to feel good, feel free and sexy as well as being able to explore travel. A lot of the pieces are transitional, and you can use them for parties or just casual.“Right now I am based in Los, Angeles, USA and some pieces are being produced here in Nigeria too. We have the adire pieces, the silk adire collection, which is made here in Nigeria. We got the fabric here in Nigeria and made it here in Nigeria but it is marketed globally,” she said.
On how she copes with combining fashion with her music career, she said, “I think they go hand in hand; I can use the music persona to help elevate the fashion. But I think that this is something that a number of successful artistes have done; this is something that I’m passionate about. It is a natural thing and I enjoy doing it. I have been singing all my life, but I just started recording. So, that’s how I have been able to deal with that and I have enjoyed every minute or should I say opportunity that came my way.”
She continued: “In 2019, we would officially be launching, that means you can go on our site and actually buy the physical pieces. This is just a pre-launch. In 2019, you would be able to shop the brand and see it on your favorite blogs and be able to buy these pieces as well.”Asked where she’s taking her brand to, Amina said, “In the next ten years, I would be an established brand globally but known as being a Nigerian brand catering to women of all sizes, all shapes and making them look beautiful, as well as working on my music consistently.”
To young people, she said, “Don’t listen to that voice beside you that says that you are not good enough; that you don’t have what it takes and so on. Just do what you love, do what you want and stay true to yourself. You know what if you don’t; you are going to see other people doing the things that you know you could have done.”
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