•ADUNNI NEFERTITI Tells City People
Adunni and Nefertiti is a multiple award winnig all female singing group established in 2006 by Orobiyi Motunrayo Abiodun, a.k.a, Adunni, based in Lagos, Nigeria.
They bring to their performances a passion for the rich catalogue of raw and undiluted African music. The groups vision is to project the culture of Africa in its totality through music. Adunni and Nefertiti has performed on large and small stages throughout Africa, Europe and the U.S. The group’s performance entail songs that embrace African myth, history, culture, tradition, proverbs and idiomatic expressions peculiar with the various ethnic groups from the continent.
The musical group has used their depth of knowledge of a variety of local languages across Africa to promote womanhood, African culture and music, in a satirical manner, and to communicate morals.
Their genre of music helps to educate listeners more on the nations culture and morals. It is folkloric. It is spiritual, irrespective of tribe and language, it is about morals in all forms especially to heal the ills of the society. What makes this genre of music unique and classy is that they maintain original lyrics and tone of the music which is known as characterisation and their appearance is strictly adhered to.
Orobiyi Motunrayo Abiodun is the first child in a family of five, she had her primary and second education at Ayetoro, Ogun state.
She worked brief before she was admitted into the university of Lagos to study Theatre Arts at the department of Creative Arts and while in the university system she still worked to support herself and her family.
As a professional performing artist, she has worked with a lot of noble, humble and experienced music and theatre directors home and abroad.
In an interview with City People, IRETIOGO OLOYEDE, she revealed why she named her brand name after an Egyptian queen.
Below is an extract of the interview.
When did you start you career as a singer?
I actually started in 2006. Adunni Nefertiti started in 2006, but I have been singing before that time.
What prompted the idea of a singing group?
Well, everyone cannot be hip hop singers,all of us cannot sing Whitney Houston, we cannot all go the contemporary way. We decided to do the folk songs and the so called archaic songs that people feel is primitive. They are not archaic, they are not primitive, its our language, so if everybody is going the contemporary way, who is going to tell our own story through singing? Nefertiti who is going to do that? So we cannot let that just go down the drain like that. We need to take it up the sophisticated way, that is why we decided to go into this our style of singing
Why did you decide to choose the name ‘Nefertiti’ as your brand name?
Nefertiti was from Queen Neferneferuaten Nefertiti of Egypt who was associated with woman who portrayed the African culture.
Adunni means pleasant while Nefertiti means the beautiful one has come. The combination of these two powerful names has served as a driving force which brings out the aesthetic and artistic values of the talented women in us through music.
Was the group formed mostly out of talent or business?
Of course both, I cannot be doing it and I would not have profit, its not worth it, because if that is what I do for a living and I don’t have any other business and that is what I read back in school. I am a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Lagos, so definitely there should be profit for me. People appreciate me. They call me. They give me gifts. They do lots of things for me, they contribute. They call us to give us costumes, some will give us fabrics, some will give us money. Some make references for us, they introduce us to clients and all that. And at the same time if you are talented, it doesn’t matter even if you are educated, talent is not all about education. So far you have the talent and you can deliver, we tush you up, we make you look good and you know, you step up the game.
You can see all these Ibadan, Oyo, all these Oriki chanters, we have lots of them on Instagram, some of them are not educated but they have their raw talents and they are doing real good, so being talented is not about education, its about money. We need money to look good, we need money to be presentable. We need money to maintain the ground .
How has the journey been so far, has it been encouraging?
Ah, sure, we have ups and downs and all that, we have some challenges. There’s no business that doesn’t have its challenges. With the help of God and people, we do what we can do and we keep moving.
What advice do you have to give those we also want to venture into your type of music?
They should expect both good and bad oh,they should expect challenges. They should be prepared so that when it comes it will not take them unawares. Just be prepared for both and then focus and be dedicated. That’s what I will tell them and they need money too.
For those that want to join your group, how do they contact you?
I used to, but for now because of the state of the nation for now I don’t train, but I do seminars. I do workshops, people invite me to train and brush them up. I do training, I do all that. For now, myself and the management are not re recruiting. We have a particular number that we work with.
– Iretiogo Oloyede