Ezi Emela MOBO interview

Meet Ezi Emela | The female boss who runs her own clothing line by day, whilst waving the UK Afrobeats flag by night

We love your video for ‘Chineke Meh’. Can you tell us what it means?

Chineke Meh basically means 'Oh My God'. It's a form of expression. 

The accompanying visual for "Chineke Meh" is quite sexy. Being the daughter of a pastor, how did the video go down with your parents? 


[Laughs] Thank you. Well my mum has already told me that she will listen to every song I put out and support me, but she can never watch my videos again after being traumatised by my previous ones [Laughs]! In all honesty, I’m not sure if my dad has even watched it yet as he hasn’t said anything. They are both supportive of my music career and of me wanting to follow my dreams as much as they may wish that I did some things differently.


You are a female boss! Tell us about you clothing line?


Thank you! Well I love fashion and I love shopping. I constantly have females asking me where I get a lot of my clothing from. I came up with an idea to make something out of that. So I decided to start my own line which basically lets females into my everyday closet. So I would get a limited amount of stock for certain pieces that I personally love on a first come first serve basis. The items change every couple of weeks and most things are not restocked, which creates a huge spike in demand.


How do you balance the clothing line with doing music?


Well it’s definitely not easy I’ll tell you that, as I already have to put so much of my time into my music if I really want to get to where I want to be. But I’m Igbo (Nigerian tribe) and I love money [laughs] So, I make it work. Sometimes my store is put on the back burner but I’m looking for employees right now that will make it easier for me.


The Afrobeats scene is very male dominated. Do you face any struggles being a female?


I face a lot of struggles due to this, to be honest. It just seems to be easier for men! They put out a hit and that’s it. With females It’s like so much more goes into it, you need to look like a star, brand yourself well, you actually have to know how to SING unlike the boys, who can just talk on a track and it blows [Laughs]! People take you less serious being a female.


How would you describe your music to those who don’t know much about Afrobeats?


I would describe my music to be more of a mainstream sound with African influences. Afro Indie is the name I came up with for my style of music


What do you hope for people to get out of your music?

I want people to be inspired my music, I want my music to give people confidence, and to make women feel grown and sexy. I’m quite a strong willed, feisty, independent woman and this is what I try to give off in my music.


What did you do for Valentine’s Day?


I stayed in bed all day watching the arrow and the flash!! [Laughs] it was a motive!


You travel to Nigeria quite a lot. How has your music been received there?


Yes, I do. It’s received quite will there! I realised Nigerians love the different sound that my music brings. I still want to connect with them a lot more though.


Will you be putting out an EP?


Yes! I will be putting one out this year and I’m quite excited about that.


What are your goals for 2017


MY main goals for this year include releasing my EP and my headline show! God may have bigger things instore for me also, who knows?!


Who would you like to see win Best African Act at this year’s MOBO Awards?


I would say Tekno would be quite deserving of it this year.


Lastly, Ghana Jollof or Nigerian Jollof?


NIGERIAN! [laughs] 


Connect with Ezi Emela on Twitter: @MsEziEmela