My love for music almost ruined my education— Azeezat
She is one musician who believes so much in love. Azeezat Niniola Allen (popularly called Azeezat) does not only stand out among her peers because of her creative energy but she is equally admired for her sonorous voice.
Having performed in various shows, Azeezat narrates to http://nollywoodgists.com how she managed to survive academic rigors at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta with her love for music.
She also talks on her love life and passion for creativity which reflects in her hair style.
The singer who came into limelight with her debut single 'Hold On' speaks on her career, challenges, vision and new album billed for release soon.
Let's check out your love songs...
I've had course to be put on interview on that question over the years. Undoubtedly I love, love and I believe that love is the basis of life and the only way we can better our lives is through love which is good for this country. With my song, I tried to preach better love in order to make our lives better.
What kind of love are we talking about here?
Love means a lot of things to different people and there are different categories of love; mother- children love, husband-wife love, family love and the rest. So, I preach about love in all these categories. In this life, you find all sorts of love and you have to make it better.
Have you ever fallen in love?
I'm a married woman, so I am in love.
What easy is it juggling singing with the home front?
I always relate it to a banker who has to work late at night sometimes. There is no difference between the profession and the home front. And the peculiarity with my profession is that my husband works with me, he is my manager, so we often go everywhere together. It is not easy, because we are usually absent from home. But with the understanding from my husband, my house-help and other support system like my family and all the other people around, life is easy.
How old is your marriage?
How did it feel when your manager came to propose love to you?
Mine did not happen like that. I'd been working with my husband for a long time before he proposed to me or talked about marriage. We'd become so close that I was his best friend. I was his confidant who was on the verge of helping him to get a wife. So he didn't just ask me from out of the blues. If he did, I would have slapped him the first time he said it.
So how did he say it?
He said it so shockingly. I wasn't thinking of that at all. He said it conversationally. So, I was like, 'okay, it's alright' and that was it. In my mind, I was like 'okay' but I didn't say it out. In stead I said 'let's see'. But then he said, he wasn't asking me out but that he only revealed what was in his mind. And at the point, he said, “I love you so much”.
Were you that strict?
We had a working relationship and that was enough reason to snub any other thing outside of work. Although, he was going through a lot of things at that point in time, so having a relationship was the least of our priority. He also lost his mum that period. So, starting a relationship with a girl was the least of his problems. But when he finally said, 'I love you', it was like telling me what he has been conceiving for a long time even though I was standing by him all the while.
So how long did it take you to come together as husband and wife?
It took like a year and half.
That means you just proved right that artistes fall in love with themselves.
Anyone out there who decides to marry his or her manager because somebody else has done it will have to prove that marriage is not just about having an idea but being 'truly meant to be together' and being compatible.
There are stories of managers and artistes who married and broke up, so it is not all about marrying anybody. People should be able to see the two sides and make up their minds. It has to be a right decision and not because somebody else has done it. Left for me, I never wanted to date any manager let alone to marry him. That was also part of the reasons why it took a long time before we could seal the relationship. I wasn't interested in being owned by my manager. But time has proven that this is what God has decreed for me and I'm happier now.
What are the challenges like?
It is easier now. I've learnt lots of lesson about marriage. Marriage has better meaning to me, and I now have a better understanding of marriage and how to handle it. For the unmarried ones, there is little understanding about marriage. Marriage has a lot of deep spiritual implications. You truly have to be one with your spouse in spirit, mind, choice, prayers and everything but when there is no such understanding about marriage, a lot of things go wrong. So when people are talking about marriage, I pray that they know what they are saying.
What actually brought you into music?
I've always known its what I wanted to do.
But something must have inspired your desire to take on music?
A lot of people in the past had praised me on my voice and my writing skills. Although before then, I was a student who loved playing campus shows, club shows and that was all I was doing before taking music professionally in 1999.
What was it like playing in clubs?
One of the greatest gift that God gave to me is my single mindedness. I knew where I was going and so, I didn't allow anything to disturb me. Although, there were a lot of distractions and risk at that time. There was hardly any female artiste then, so it was challenging. I used to be the only female among so many men. It was really risky but I was determined.
What kind of risks particularly?
I remember I used to go to shows alone in the middle of the night encountering all sorts of spiritual forces. I was also opened to rape but to the glory of God, I scaled through. Night waka generally was risky.
So, how were you able to manage those days?
It was not easy. My single mindedness also had its disadvantage. Since I concentrated on doing the music, I did not pay much attention to my education and so my education suffered. I managed to pass.
While you were doing those things, what kind of lifestyle did you put up?
The long and short of it was that it was rugged. I was ready to present myself at any show anyhow. I never bordered what it was or when it was or how it was, I just have to be there, so it was a rugged lifestyle and you can imagine what it means to mix with guys.
It was just a lifestyle that people wouldn't wished their relatives to be involved in. But I thank God for good parental upbringing given to me by my parents. I had a strict Islamic training which had warned me on the risk involved in alcohol and drugs.
Although, I was in the midst of wolves (guys) but I was focused, so I stayed off drugs and the rest of them. But it was too challenging because I can't imagine dragging all the other males back complaining about headache, or leg pain, you have to be a man. So, I was as rough and upright as any man.
What informs your hair style?
I think it is the passion to stand out and be unique.
How long does it take you to make a particular hairstyle?
It used to be tough and long but now, it's easier due to the level of practice and all that.
How much does it cost?
It used to be more expensive than any other hair style on the street because it takes a lots of more genuineness, creativity and skill to make it perfect but not anymore.
How did you come about your initial hairstyles?
It started with a picture of Onidiri, although she is not well known. She called herself 'hair architect'. Before then, I'd been in search of something unique and by the time I saw that picture, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It was a combination of weaving and threading. It was uniquely African and that was how it developed. I also show pictures anytime, they are not getting it right.