- Title: Nigeria's "Rock Goddess" wants to change people's minds
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROCK MUSICIAN, BIANCA OKOROCHA, SAYING: "People tell that, when they hear my song on the radio and they heard the English part, they thought it was an American song and next thing they heard Igbo (language), They are like my God she is Nigerian, so me doing that has sort of like broken that divide that would have said, she is one 'oyibo' (white) artiste and make them feel like yes they have someone in Nigeria doing stuff like this."
- Embargoed: 27th March 2020 11:08
- Keywords: Afrobeat Bianca Okorocha Pidgin Rock music
- Location: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- City: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human-Led Feature,Human-Led Stories,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA003C4VYEDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Singer Bianca Okorocha, aka Clay, is something unusual in the world of Nigerian music.
In a nation dominated by Afrobeats, the 26-year-old who calls herself the "Nigerian Rock Goddess" is trying to change long-held perceptions that rock is something alien to her country's music scene.
Dressed in black with a crucifix sign on her cheek, she gives her alternative rock style a hometown vibe with lyrics in local languages: Igbo and Nigerian pidgin.
Okorocha's new single, "Wetin you want", which translates as "What do you want?â€ tells her story of defiance in a city full of crooks and hustlers with the pidgin catchphrase "This is Lagos".
"People tell that ohh, when they hear my song on the radio and they heard the English part, they thought it was an American song and next thing they heard Igbo (language), my God she is Nigerian, so me doing that has sort of like broken that divide that would have said, she is one oyibo (white) artiste and make them feel like yes they have someone in Nigeria doing stuff like this," Okorocha told Reuters Television.
Okorocha says her musical style is heavily influenced by her father's love of rock.
"Rock music choose me, because even when I was young without any idea or plan of going into music at all, I was already writing songs on the side and they were all rock songs. When I had to pick my own TV channel, I was picking channels that play rock music so this is something that I always liked when I was growing up as a child and my dad too influenced that because he used to listen to Bon Jovi and the likes.â€œ She says.
Okorocha began singing in a church choir then moved on to perform in bars and at concerts.
She released her first single in 2011, "Ogadisinma", or "It's going to be well", which went down a storm.
Musician Jazz Atta is a fan.
"I loved it, I loved that raw thing, like you could feel were she was coming from, you could feel the music, you could feel the soul so that's why I loved the performance." she said.
"Sometimes it gets dark but not dark in a Satanist way, like I try to touch on people's emotions like depression, sadness, losing someone. Yes, I try to make, whenever I am writing, usually like my songs they usually like direct stuff that's happened to me, and has happened to other people as well," Clay said.
Okorocha collaborates with other alternative artistes, to push these growing genres, for a space in the country's vibrant music scene.
(Production Credit: Nneka Chile, Seun Sanni)
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