FOR BIGMA, LIFE'S BEEN GOOD
The memory of musician and philanthropist, Jaiyejeje Aboderin, who died five years ago is being kept alive with a talent hunt show tagged, Jay's Search. His siblings believe that the best way to immortalise him is to continue what he loved so much – recognising talents and helping to nurture them to be whatever they want to be.
Jay's Search finals featured six shortlisted raw talents - Holy Gees, BigMa, NB Squad, Samuel Kettle, Snatch Moore and D'priye. At the end of the day, it was Bigma that went home with the grand prize of a recording contract of a single tract, video recording and N150,000.00 cash.
Since that night, Bigma's life has changed in many significant ways. She is still a student of the Lagos State University, but the show has given her a boost and she is confident that she can make it. She has sworn to pursue music for the rest of her life.
The 200 level student is studying English but it doesn't seem she wants to do much with the certificate considering how much she has fallen in love with singing. Interestingly, she wanted to study theatre arts but backed off when she could not cope with the rigorous dances it entails and settled for English instead
'Life's been good so far. Music's been good. I got into the contest with information I got from Facebook and I decided to go for the audition. I saw it as an avenue to get on the public sphere. Now, I want to do professional music. Three years ago, if you asked me what I wanted to do with my singing abilities, I would just have preferred to do it only in the church.
'For a while, I have been fighting it and resisting getting into the limelight. When you are in the limelight, there are lots of things you will have to do. For instance, if you go into the canteen to eat, it gets in the papers. I didn't want that to happen but I told a few friends who told me 'you can still be you.' I prayed about it and I know God heard me. He has made it easy for me too. The people I have met so far are the ones that I need to meet.'
Being in music and in school at the same has not been so easy for Bigma. Her father didn't really like the idea of his daughter singing at the expense of education. According to Bigma, he saw it as a mere waste of time. Her mother, on the other hand, was quite supportive of the idea that she would sing. Bigma had to promise her father that she would sing and attend school side by side. He eventually gave in when he saw she was not doing too badly. The cash prize she got from the contest also went directly to her parents.
'That night, I was so nervous,' Bigma recalled. 'I had never been to a contest. I once did a gig on a comedy show - Lafta House. There, I had a performance. It was recorded and was well accepted. Apart from that, I sing in church.'
She added that the night was a very competitive one.
'When they called me for the first performance, I was shaking backstage. Then I got up there and forgot myself. The first song I did was written by me. Its titled, Dance for the Lord, jo fun Oluwa'
Even though the song has some religious tag to it, she insists she is not a gospel singer. She would rather call the song R&B with gospel intonation.
For the next song, she did Asa's Bibanke. By the time the contestants were trimmed down to two, she felt that whoever won at that stage deserved it. Then, her name was called as the winner.
She is currently working on her eight track album which she says is composed of R&Bs, rock, soul et cetera. It is still untitled but she has already found a promoter in Wunmi Obe, the singer.
Prior to the event, Obe promised that as raw talents, they were going to package them for someone who would appreciate and want to invest in them fully.
Interestingly, the name Bigma, did not come as a result of her volumptous body. It came because of her attitude and 'no-nosense' disposition. She acquired the name while in secondary school because 'it is one that commands respect like a first lady,' and later adopted it as her stage name.
She sees herself going very far with singing and intends to let the world know she has come to stay and she enjoys what she is doing.
'I want to develop more than this. I will sing to my grave. Nothing else beats what I am doing now. It is about making sacrifices. Sometimes, I am torn between the choices of going to the studio or school to write a test. I make sacrifices. I know my tests can always be re-written or I can use exams to make up for it so I just choose.'