Fast rising Afro-Pop and RnB musician, Igbobi Justina Chiamaka, popularly known as Tinachi, has been able to carve a niche for herself in the music industry through her philosophy and style of music. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, the Anambra State-born and graduate of Social Work from the University of Lagos, who is also a craft designer, speaks on her mission and desires in her career. Excerpts:
What is the distinctive thing you have brought to make a difference in the industry?
It is nothing but my music. This is the distinctive thing that differentiates me from others in the industry. I have not joined the industry to compete or copy anyone, but to make a mark and set a legacy with my brand. We do have a lot of lovely talented musicians in the industry, but my type of music is versatile and full of uniqueness and melodies that people cannot resist when listening to them.
How have you been able to carve a niche for yourself to actualise your dream in the industry?
I have always learnt that one only needs to leave a footprint in the sand filled with guidelines in life. So far, I have been able to explore what God has deposited in me through commitment and hard work. I am not relenting to deliver and impact my people positively with my works. My greatest goal in the industry is to inspire people. I believe and know I can change things and impact people with my music.
How did you discover the passion for music?
I discovered my passion for music when I was in high school. I was in a musical group called “Talented Angels”. We were all girls and the experience was awesome. Then, I discovered that I could express myself through music with different emotional feelings, especially when I am let down I turn that into strength by running straight to the laundry looking straight into the mirror with so much pains and sing along. Unknown to me, the co-founder of the group heard me, loved it and I got into the group. This spurred my passion to take up music professionally and the rest is history today. In life, we all need a push to realise how important and valuable we are. I thank God that I was able to discover myself, as well as seize the opportunity. I would say that I took up music professionally two years ago and the reception has been awesome. I have met with a lot of people in the industry both in and out of the country and they have been so encouraging.
What is your greatest challenge so far?
My greatest challenge so far is finance. It has limited me from some things, but I have not allowed that to kill my passion, because I know that this is part of the ways to pay my dues.
Do you feel threatened as a lady among the notable female musicians in the industry?
Not at all, I can never be threatened or intimidated by anyone in the industry, because I have not ventured into the industry to joke or play. As I said earlier, I am here to make a mark and also to leave a good footprint. Aside that, I believe everyone in the industry especially the females are good and kindhearted people. So I am not afraid to soar in the game.
Who are your role models?
I have a few of them including Beyonce, Yemi Alade, Ciara, Tiwa Savage. I love their music so much.
How many songs do you have to your credit?
I have three songs now. Ka Anyi Je, Loving You, and Wait For You. Others are in the pipeline, because I am loaded with lots of inspiring works.
What do you do aside music?
I am also a craft designer. I make ankara bags, shoes, earrings, bangles and necklace. You know one has to be versatile and industrious these days. So, this is what I do if I am not singing.
How have you been able to combine the two without clash?
I think it is the grace of God. Both are time consuming, but the passion to do them always inspires me. It has not been easy, but I make sure I manage my time very well. I would say that I am proudly a musician and a craft designer.
Your stage name sounds Chinese. What brought about your stage name?
It just came to me. But my brother actually inspired me. It was drawn from my names. The name Tina was gotten from the last four letter words of Justina, while the Chi was derived from the first three words of the Chiamaka and I believe that Tinachi, as a stage name is working for me.
Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?
Sky rocket all the way, huge expansion both national and international. I have a bigger dream to transform the industry with my style of music and I trust God will help me.
What is your greatest physical asset?
Every part of my body is my greatest physical asset. I cherish the way I am created and because I am wonderfully made by God.
How have you been able to handle your male admirers?
Well, for the fact they admire what I do is a plus and I love them all and will always keep things professional.
What is your growing up like?
Growing up was filled with discipline, self confidence and most importantly, love. It was really amazing.
Do you have your parents’ support for your music career?
Yes. They have been very supportive and this is one of the reasons I have been able to remain focused with my career.