Vocally blessed singer and songwriter, GOODGIRL LA, is a self-pronounced Afro-fusion artiste who weaves Pop, RnB, Reggae and Soul into her own peculiar and unique sound.
If you’ve met LA (as she was previously referred to before the ‘GOODGIRL’ appendage), you would agree that graceful, eclectic, expressive and intentional are some of the words that generally describe her personality and music.
A good example of this assertion would be her signature pink braids; a style she wears only when a new music project is about to be released.
In this interview session, GOODGIRL LA talks about her life as a female independent artiste in Nigeria, her challenges, what she loves most about being a Nigerian artiste, her favourite directors and producers, the plans she has for 2019 and of course, the backstory of her latest single “Bless Me“.
- When did you start music?
Well, I started to sing since I could talk, I used to disturb the neighbours and all but I’ve been singing professionally for three years now.
- What are the challenges you face as an independent artiste?
This is what I believe, yeah? Firstly, being a woman in the world at large is challenging and controversial but I feel like there is nothing that is too hard to overcome. I think as women in the industry, we shouldn’t focus on the noise and what the status quo says, I feel like we should keep doing what we know how to do and if it is good enough, it will open doors for itself and as time goes on, there will be more of us at the frontline. There isn’t any major challenge, we just need to keep going.
- How would you categorically describe your sound?
I am an Afro-Fusion artiste. I fuse Afro with Pop, RnB, Reggae and Soul. I am very versatile.
- What’s your take on the success rate of female artistes in the industry? Do you buy the idea that the men are purposely bringing female artistes down?
Like I said, being a woman in the world at large is challenging and controversial. Controversial in the sense that women say “oh yeah, there are obstacles placed there particularly for women” and men say “no, it’s a lie. You are not that good or maybe you are not just working well, or something”. It all still boils down to women continuing to do what we know best and very soon, the future is really near and it is a very great time to be a female artiste in Nigeria.
We have the likes of Teni coming out to show that it is possible to grow in a short time, Tiwa Savage who has worked for so many years and is at the top of it, Yemi Alade, Seyi Shay, Niniola, all these beautiful ladies, and it is so inspiring to see new ladies pop up every day. We have Bella Alubo, Tems, GOODGIRL LA…. So, it is basically a great time, the success rate is getting there with the work and we’ll just keep going.
- Outside music, who is LA?
LA is fun, very real and hospitable. There is something about me, I like to care for people. I am basically a simple person.
- If not music, what would you be doing?
Probably medicine or hospitality, one of those though. Anything that helps or heals people.
- Who do you appreciate most in the Nigeria music industry?
2Baba, 2face Idibia is my number one.
- What’s your favourite part of being an artiste in Nigeria?
I love the fact that our music is very special and different, nothing like it has been heard in the whole world, so whenever they hear it, they want to jump on it. There are so many dance videos from Los Angeles and New York to ‘far away’ and other of my songs. Most of the time I get messages from really excited people and if you look at what is going on right now, the whole world screams Afro-Beat. Everyone is looking for how to come to Nigeria and work with our artistes and stuff. The fact that we are special everywhere you go is amazing and when you see a Nigerian, you just know.
- What inspired your song ‘Bless Me’?
You know, in life we sometimes have worries, we have dreams and there are so many things we want to do. We have set goals, maybe to rent a place or do something and as a musician, we wish to maybe be on Headies, Soundcity MVP or be a household name but sometimes, when these things are not working the way we expect them to work, we get so worried. That feeling always comes to us, so I was like “when will you bless me, Lord, please let me know”. That uncertainty drives you crazy sometimes and that was what drove me to write that song. It was only a melody in my head at first, then I performed it severally until I recorded it.
- Who are your favourite people behind the scenes (producers/directors)?
Wow, Okay… I love Sarz, Leriq, Fuse, Tekno, I really want to have a song produced by Tekno. I love Syn X and QueBeat.
- If you had to change 3 things in the Nigerian music industry, what would you change?
Firstly, I’d make it more acceptable to all genre of music. I think that is the one thing that will basically settle most things in the industry. If there was a structure that allows everybody to get paid, the managers get paid and if you had just one hit song, you could make money off it. If I could put that structure in, just to make the Nigerian music industry more lucrative, even though we are gradually getting there. Nigerians are becoming more conscious, buying music legally, watching music on YouTube, making sure they pay for stuff and not downloading from illegal sites. I don’t need to change three things, I’ll change just that one thing and a lot will be fine.
- Why aren’t you signed to any record label?
This is a very funny question because a record label basically disrupted my year, last year; when I dropped ‘Far away’ and it was crazy. I had like 10 deals and I took none because I got the offer that was best for me, I got a management deal and that was what I wanted. I got the management company I wanted, the Zone agency. So, I am good.
- What would you advise young artistes in regards to record deals?
What works for me won’t work for someone else basically. I have plans for affiliations and I’d be working with some record labels soon. So, what works for me won’t work for you. You can be independent and it works, you might need to get signed to be seen, or whatever. Just go for what works, any opportunity that knocks on your door, look at it carefully and know what to and what not to take.
- What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?
The craziest thing that has happened to me so far was taking a record deal that almost killed me.
- Where do you see GOODGIRL LA in 5 years?
In five years, I see LA as a household name in Nigeria and a very ready international export.
- What’s the plan for 2019?
2019, I basically want to double everything I’ve done in my career. I am already starting to get everything right for the rest of the year, I want to release a project and it’s already in the works, and I have a lot of surprises for you guys. I have my first video out and I am so excited. I’ll be shooting other videos too, to ‘Far away’ and ‘Fantasy’. Watch out for this year, it’s going to be great by God’s grace.