Lola Rae is a Nigerian British born actress who shot into limelight when she came tops at the Britain’s Got Talent and when Iyanya featured in her single, My Twingle which recorded 200,000 views in one day. In an exclusive chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, she opened up on her career and sundry issues.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Lola Rae aka Funmilola Ray, I am a Nigerian-British musician.
It started when I did a programme in UK called British Got Talent and I got to the semi-final and I got signed to Simon after which I left the label to study. Later, I told my parents I don’t want to be in school I want to do music.
And they said I could start. They also told me if I wanted to move back to Nigeria, I should make sure I do African music.
Like how many songs have you done so far?
Actually, I haven’t released any album but I have three single; My Tingle, Fimile ft Iyanya, and You Know What My Name Is.
Your experience so far in the music industry?
It has been a tough experience, especially for the female artistes, but it’s becoming easy because now I am with a new record label, Twenty Twenty Media unlike when I was alone.
What’s your kind of music?
My kind of music is afro-pop, because it has a lot of pop influence but it is still African in-terms of the language I use which is pidgin English.
When did you start music professionally, and what really inspired your first single, My Tingle?
I started two years ago, and the story behind the song was when I was working in a club in London. I used to admire girls and their shapes so when you listen to my song you will hear me saying 17, 18, 19.
How would you say working with Iyanya was like?
Iyanya is a veteran in the game. He has done so much and he was the one that said he wanted to feature in the song and surprisingly I was like have you heard the song and he said no problem. So Iyanya is more like a big brother to me.
What level of influence would you say Iyanya brought on that single?
It brought a positive influence on the song because after releasing the audio, the song got more that 200,000 view.
What would you say you love about Iyanya?
I love his music, and I love his crazy way of twisting waist.
Who do you admire most among the male Nigerian artistes?
In terms of who has been doing it in the music industry, I think I admire Davido, Wizkid and 2Face.
What will make you different from top female artistes we have in the industry?
My sound, because in my new single, it sounds as if I am rapping but I am not a rapper. So, I am trying to rebrand myself in other to stand out and be unique. Also, I’m going to be doing more of stage performances and not just the normal studio recording.
What has actually kept you going?
I will say God and a lot of prayers. Also, my kind of music I make sure I give my fans the best and not just anyhow song.
What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge was actually last year when I came to Nigeria to do a show. Before the show I found out that my dad had cancer and before I could get back to the UK, he had already passed on. So, it was really horrible.
Your educational background?
I schooled at Saint Saviours in Ikoyi, Lagos and I went to Lekki British International High School. I also studied fashion in the UK.
Why did you leave fashion for music?
I have always wanted to do music but I had no confidence, and I always felt that in the long run, fashion will only help my music if I have the confidence to get there. Now, I make my stage performance outfit myself. But in the long run, I would like to open my own fashion line for Nigerians
Who do you admire among Nigerian female artistes?
I love Tiwa Savage because she was the first person that actually started afro-pop and she did it well. I also love Waje because of her vocals.
How was your growing up?
It was a very normal background, though my dad was a foreigner, he worked in Nigeria for about 45 years. But my main base has always been Nigeria and it was fun.
How do you handle your male admirers?
Actually, I am a very shy person and always surrounded by guys but what I do is to mingle with them.
Are you fulfilled with where you are?
I am very fulfilled in terms of where I am. I’m going somewhere and I know there is more to come.
What’s your view about nudity in music videos?
I don’t accept nudity in the industry and it is exactly what has taken over the entertainment industry, all because they want to sell their songs. But it is just a way of making a difference. I am not saying one should get naked but you just have to give your fans the best.
What is your greatest asset?
I think my physique, because I remember a lot of people usually say they love my stature that I am petite.
What do you look out for in a man?
I like guys that can make me laugh, genuinely kind and God fearing because my family is very religious.