Why I did my video in a stripper's club —Timi Chris
When Orangootan unveiled some artistes on their label last year, she got the eyes of many with her daring dance steps, sexy eyes and a track that burst lose on club houses. Timi Chris's did not only shake the roof tops with Eberemole, she gave ladies a phrase to use in accusing their buddies that were trying to be smart with the track Liar Lair. In this chat with AHAOMA KANU, she discloses why she has not been seen, her reasons for choosing a strip club for her music video and comes out clear with her surprise about the rumours linking her to some society gossips.
Since after your album launch you have not really been seen what is happening?
I just did a video which is right now on music television stations so that is the reason I had been somehow behind the scene. But I have been getting good airplays on radio stations and I have been on charts for weeks. Eberemole has been on the charts. It has been on MTN Top 10 and other charts for weeks, I have also been on the Nigerian top 100 songs. It's just that a lot of people have not really seen the video.
How have you been coping considering the fact that your video is coming almost one year after the album launch and also you have been in one of the much talked about music label in the country?
Well it's not easy and I wouldn't say it's in my powers. One thing with artistes under music labels is to do your part and to that extent I have done my part so the label is delivering now. It's all about the video and it has been done now though I would say it came a little bit late considering the demand. What caused the delay is that the label has its strategies and you have to allow them work according to the plan they have laid out.
Tell us about your video and where it was done?
I did Eberemole, just one video and it was shot at Club Unique, a stripers club and it was done there to get a feel of a club because the song is a party song. There is no reflection of what goes on in the club. It is a party song for people that love to party and groove; it's about people having fun. What stands the video out from other music videos you have been seeing is the uniqueness in the sense that since it is a party song you will be expecting people in the club and all that razzmatazz but it's just me and my dancers and we still achieved that party, groovy environment.
One year after releasing your album on the Orangootan label, what special value have they added to your career as an artiste?
I will say that I am now a better artiste. A couple of years back, I could not boast of an album but today I not only have an album but a video also. I was part of a group that did not last but today I am already working on my second album and people now know the brand Timmy Chris.
Let's go retrospect to that couple of years back, how did you get into entertainment?
I had a friend and we formed a group which consisted of Vivian in the present Eban, her younger brother along with me and my younger brother. We formed the group in 2003 and we were scouting for labels, someone directed us to Nation Africa which later became Orangootan. They listened to our demo and agreed to work with us. One year later we got signed on and did a couple of tracks but then, the group split due to individual differences. It was like a family thing and we were coping on well. The label was having some re-branding challenges and some members of the group could not wait for them to sort out what they were doing but I persevered and stayed back and here I am today. I actually started singing through the efforts of my mother; I am the third in a family of five and my mother used to gather us and play tapes and CDs for us to listen to. We later formed the group called Living Praise and performed in churches, birthday parties and concerts. I later got into Ambrose Ali University at Ekpoma, Edo State to study Criminology and met a friend that I formed the defunct group with.
You went in for Criminology and became a singer what led to that?
I loved the course because it was unique and I had the intention of getting a Law degree after the Diploma program but my passion for music took the better part of my plans. I still have plans to become a lawyer.
How has music affected your life?
I will say that music has exposed me to a lot of things I didn't know and I have met people that on a good day I wouldn't have met; I have done shows and I will say it has expanded my way of thinking.
How much of your personal experiences are reflected in your music as many of your songs depicts partying and having fun?
My social life is 100 per cent active and I mix with people a lot. You know when girls meet we talk about a lot of things and from some conversations you pick a lot of things. So I wouldn't say that some of my songs reflect on my personal experiences. Sometimes it's easier to compose songs when you put yourself in someone's shoes and I will say that has worked for me. I get inspired early in the morning but I will not say I wait for that time to write. I put down my line any time the inspiration comes for example, I wrote Naughty Girl in the studio while recording another song. I get inspired by my environment, people around me and so on.
You seem to represent two entities, Timi Chris the good girl and Timi Chris the Naughty Girl whenever you are on stage, how do you switch into these two personalities and still keep your head cool?
When I am on stage I feel I have control over my audience and I will become Timi Chris but when I am off stage I just become Timi. I like to be crazy on stage and dare people and go to the extreme but when I am off stage I am a laid back person though not quiet but shy.
What shows have you performed in since your debut into the industry?
Well I have performed in the Nigeria Fashion show, the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, NTA Moviefest and a couple of other shows.
So will it be right to say the money has started rolling in for Timi Chris?
Well artistes have to pay their dues so right now I am not after the money, I am about the fans; I need the fans and their support. So even if I don't get paid, I still perform, it doesn't stop me from doing my beat.
There have been some rumours making the rounds that Carl Raccah, the MD of your record label, Orangootan and Ashionye, one of the artistes in the label split because of you. How true is this allegation?
You call it a rumour and I don't know how I would be in the picture. I am surprised to hear this and why should I be in the picture. It is not true. I can't talk about anybody's life or relationship and these side talks should not be brought into my career. I am in a relationship and my boyfriend is music.
So music satisfies you emotionally, psychologically and sexually than the warm hands of a man would?
I do it with music with all my heart, with so much passion because it is what I love to do right now.
Are you a lesbian?
(Laughs) That is very funny but I am not.
Who then is the man that pampers after sweating it out on stage?
Music pampers and I can have him anytime, anywhere and at any place.
I will really like to know how you make love with this your boyfriend called music.
Oh really, I will tell you, I just close my eyes and think about him, his hands caressing me and his lips kissing me.
Five years from now where will Timi Chris be?
I must have gotten a Grammy and be more popular as well as launch my clothing line.