Aituaje Vivian Waje, popularly known as Waje, is one of the fast-rising singers in Nigeria. Since Waje, a sensational R n B singer, came into the industry, she has recorded some feats as a musician. In this interview, she talks about her music and other interesting issues
When did you actually discover you could sing?
Well, I just knew that I could sing, but I can’t really remember how old I was then. Based on my Christian background, I started quite early from the church. I was a member of the Children Evangelical Ministry and I usually sang at our Easter Camp meetings. Also, I used to dance a lot as a youth.
But professionally, when did you start singing?
Professionally, I started singing in 2007 when I did the remix of P-Square’s Omoge Mi, which I called Bobo Mi. Before then, I was with an Eastern-based label called Dome. I met them when I was 19. They were just grooming and nurturing me, but I finally left them this year. We signed a contract, but I did not release any album under the label. I only did two singles, Somewhere and Kolo. However, Kolo was originally recorded by MTV Base. It was my song for the Advance Warning competition that I participated in. Kolo was recorded at SABC Studios, South Africa. Although I did not win, I was the last woman standing. I decided to drop Kolo as a single and the reception has been overwhelming. My debut single, Somewhere, was dropped last year.
You were with Dome Records for a very long time, but it did not release your full album. Do you feel bad about it?
I try not to think about it, but naturally, it will definitely weigh one down. But I‘ve learnt not to blame anybody for my mistakes. If I knew what I was doing then, I would have come out with an album a long time ago. I would have also craved good dividends for my singles. It was not entirely their fault. However, having patiently waited for my contract to expire, I finally left.
So, who are you with now?
I’m doing it myself at the moment.
But the belief is that you have recently hooked up with Sam Kargbo Productions. How true is this?
We are still talking and reviewing the offers that are on the table. Frankly, I am currently discussing with about four labels. They all want to sign me on and three of them, including Sam Kargbo, are very big.
What inspired your single, Kolo?
The inspiration for that song is the womenfolk. I like to represent the girls a lot. In a certain way, I’m a feminist. I was thinking of a good club song that would also represent the womenfolk. I wrote the song with the help of Cobhams. He was the music teacher in the house at Advance Warming while a South African produced it.
What is the central theme in all your songs?
The truth is that in my works, there is really no central theme because my mood changes easily. Today, I could be excited over something and the next day that excitement fades.
As a young girl, I partied a lot, but now, I am tired of such activities. But above all, my songs are full of inspiration. It’s a 10-track album with two skits. One of the singles in the album, For A Minute, is already out. I also worked with Dr. Frabz as my producer on this project. This new single is currently on every top 10 singles count down on air. I’m grateful to God for giving me the inspiration and energy to do this work. I decided to test the waters with this new single. I’ve been getting good reviews for all my works, especially this new single.
You’ve also done quite a lot of collabos with several leading and emerging Nigerian musicians. But your Do Me duet with P-Square was the icing on the cake. How did that happen?
It was when they came to Enugu for a show that we met. When they were recording the Game Over album, they called me and asked if I would want to be part of it and I said yes. So, the rest is now history.
But do you feel bad that you were not given the desired credit?
Yes, to a certain level, I am. At least, as human beings striving for excellence in anything we do, we want some sort of leverage. And when that is not forthcoming, you begin to question a lot of things, especially your decisions. When it comes to the Do Me issue, I usually treat it as a very sensitive topic. Mind you, people always like to hear what they want to hear. As far as I’m concerned, I’m grateful to God that I did it with P-Square. At least, I’ve been associated with a big hit and it cannot be removed from the sands of time. It’s now part of history that Waje was the female voice in Do Me. I went to a show in Sierra Leone and nobody knew who I was. But the moment I did the Do Me thing, the crowd erupted and I was brought back on stage to perform again.
But did you ever confront P-Square about the issue?
Initially, yes, I did; but you know, I have never performed that song on the stage with them. The first time they wanted me to perform with them, they were unable to reach an agreement with my then management. I was in Onitsha then and was caught in the middle of the failed arrangement. I will blame myself for most of these shortcomings. As an inexperienced artiste then, I made a lot of mistakes.
Are you still in touch with P-Square?
We see ourselves very often. They are my brothers and I’m still their lovely sister in and outside showbiz. I look forward to having another collabo with them very soon. We are both good at what we do and they encourage me a lot. I’m very proud of them as great musicians.
Is Waje married?
So, when will you get married?
I don’t know o! The Bible says he that findeth and not she that findeth.
So, who’s the man in your life now?
Sincerely, there is nobody or any man in my life as we speak.
What happened to your last relationship?
We are still friends.
Are you ready for marriage now if the right guy comes?
If he comes my way and he is the right person, I will give it a serious shot.
So, how do you cope with men and their constant advances as a single lady?
Honestly, they’re not around and I don’t see any. My ideal man must be very confident, principled, responsible and God-fearing.
Could you tell me briefly about your background?
I am in my late 20’s. I hail from Sabongida Ora in Edo State. My dad is from Edo while mum is from Onitsha in Anambra State. I speak only Igbo very well. I grew up in Benin, Edo State, and went to Word of Faith Group of Schools. It was while I was there that I developed interest in music because I was in the choir. It was owned by the late Bishop Benson Idohasa. I got a scholarship due to my singing prowess. I’ve always loved singing and my dad used to beat me because I was always using screw drivers to drill holes in our walls and turn that into my imaginary microphones. From Benin, we moved to the East with my mum when her marriage to my dad broke up. From there, I went to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I graduated with a degree in Social Work. I sincerely believe that there is a lot that I can do as an entertainer with what I actually studied in school. When the time comes, I will definitely practise it.