Omawunmi: I love acting but music will always be my first love
Multi-talented award-winning entertainer, Omawumi Megbele is an actress, singer and songwriter who has been in the industry for over a decade, with hits such as ‘If you ask me’, ‘Bottom belle’ among others, it is safe to say her music is timeless and has stood the test of time. In this interview with SAMPSON UNAMKA; the 40-year-old talks about her upcoming album, her marriage, her acting career, rising female artist in the industry and the rise of Afrobeats.
How do you feel being one of the artists that came to support the 15th Headies which was held in Atlanta in September?
It is only normal that I should be there, I was in town, and I was the first next-rated winner, so it’s only normal that I should be there to support the current winner of the next-rated category.
As a past winner of this category, what will you say about the growth of the category?
The next rated is like an endorsement, it goes to show that you have the potential to be an amazing artist and most of us that have won the category, is a good thing, it is just like they have endorsed us, the trajectory of your career just moves up and that’s a wonderful thing.
So, what have you been up to?
I released an album in 2021 it’s called ‘Love Deep High Life.’ My next body of work is coming out next year. You know I act in movies, so there is a movie called ‘Brotherhood’ that was out in September starring my humble self.
What made you switch to acting or have you been an actor from time?
Yes, I have always been an actor, like I have always had my face on stage like theatre art and then I moved into feature film. I have always dabbled in and out, music is and will always be my first love but yeah I love acting I was in ‘the return of Jenifa’ and a feature film directed by Jeta Amata, so I just pop in and pop out.
Acting and music which comes in easy for you?
Both. Music is my first love but music teaches you how to portray emotions, because when you are a stage performer, it teaches you how to portray emotions to people so that’s how acting is, it just goes hand in hand.
I witnessed your energetic performance at a recent event (Afrobeat hall of fame), you sang and danced at the same time, where does this energy come from?
First of all na follow come and then e dey body..Laughs…And then if you love what you do you will try to make people happy to be engaged with you that’s pretty much it.
How do you balance family, business and work?
Well, I don’t know, I feel it is an unfair question to ask a woman because men have kids and they don’t ask them how they combine everything. I don’t see it as a difficulty, I see it as an opportunity to be multi-faceted.
What are your comments on the growth of Afrobeat?
I feel it is a wonderful thing, I think it is long overdue, this recognition and I pray it stays for longer, it is a beautiful thing to get the kind of reception we are getting, we are a mighty talented group of people so it’s expected.
Your journey so far, any regrets?
You are one of the celebrities who has a peaceful home in terms of marriage, what will you describe as the secret to your marriage and family?
It has been God, there is no blueprint to that so either way, it’s just God.
Is there anytime you ever felt pressured by the young rising female artists in the Nigerian music space today? No, I feel that to everybody there is a time and a season. My young beautiful and talented sisters making waves, I am so mighty proud of them. I feel like na for sleep dem take dey know die. If one no happen dem no fit know the other one, and so we are all interconnected. When I started I had mentors, I had Onyeka Onwenu, so if there was no Onyeka Onwenu, where would I be so it was someone that made somebody know me and it was me that made them know another person so it is a cycle and I am super grateful that I am still here making music and we can still be in the same page 15-16 years later.
Who are the artists on your next project?
It is a secret.
Who are the artists you would love to work with?
I have always admired a couple of people, but I have never worked with Olamide I would love that opportunity to work with him. I’ve worked with pretty much everybody from Wizkid, Timaya, Waje, Tubaba, Phyno, Flavour, and Kizz Daniel; I am super grateful for the opportunity, okay I have not worked with Burna Boy, Burna Boy will not be a bad idea to work with too.
What will you like to see happen better in the music industry?
I am an optimist and not a pessimist so instead of me saying oh I feel this should happen I am super grateful for what has happened so far. I started making music when there was no accountability when music was not digitalized when Alaba market will give us what they want to give us but now things are different and that’s what we should be super grateful for that music has become digitalized and the world as become a global village and everybody is interconnected. I am super grateful for that, that in my lifetime I got to see that happen, I don’t know what should happen or what should not. I feel like they should be more opportunities for talented people to sprout. I don’t want an industry where it is who has money that blows up in the industry. It’s not like I am saying it is who has money that makes it big but no, talent also grows in the industry I will like it to be a level playing field so everyone has the opportunity to put out their music.