Afro-punk singer, Asikey George, is one who is now firmly poised for the prospect of a colourful musical success. Her win in the category of Best Female Artist in Inspirational Music at the November-held 2017 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), is an indication of an artiste oozing with potential.
To cop the award, she knocked off competition from African contemporaries such as Amanda Black (South Africa), Busiswa (South Africa), Juliana Kanyomozi (Uganda), Lebo Sekgobela (South Africa), Nsoki (Angola), Ogecha (Nigeria) and Wyna Wondwossen (Ethiopia). Her single 'Earth attack' off the 2016 EP "Human" while still at former record label Pendulum Records deservedly earned her the accolade.
The songster who graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka located in Enugu State, considers the award as a propellant that will spur her to do more. Part of her goals will involve making sure to offer good representation to the Rock & Alternative Music genre which has given a shelter to her musical style. Musicians in her category have often seen themselves boxed and segregated from the mainstream.
Music adherents whose attention partly contributes to the success of artistes have displayed preferences for popular genres such as Afro-pop and R&B/Soul. The likes of Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal et.al are favourite choices for fans, making it difficult for singers in George's sparsely patronized group to excel.
Speaking about this challenge as well as her successful outing at the 2017 All Africa Music Awards, she said:
"I feel like for the first time, my voice has been successfully echoed in the international community. Hence the achievement is a springboard for me to say more, do more, affect more and influence more.
"A challenge has been doing things the way I think best in an industry where the broadway is seen as the only way. I've come across a lot of unbelievers in my art and in my approach. But the believers have been everything I've ever needed.
"Also, generally, the term "artist" doesn't hold much weight in Nigeria. This is probably because the individual Nigerian artist himself or herself has not strived to uphold the name via integrity and discipline.
"So there's the challenge of trying to rise above the limitation of the negative stereotypes that automatically come with being called a Nigerian artist and successfully saving a good name for yourself."
In a time when record label executives are ripping off signed artistes with the help of exploitative contracts, 23-year-old Asikey George maintained that her exit from Pendulum Records was a mutual agreement for both parties.
Her departure will see her make the ground wider for artistes aspiring to venture into her brand of music. The singer who seems engrossed concerning the idea of being black has planned the release of a new track 'Dark' which is expected to drop on January 8, 2018.
"The exit from Pendulum was prompted by mutual differences. And yes, I have a very healthy relationship with Pendulum Records till date.
"I'm 23 years old. I anticipate a future where I have not only figured out what works but am also able to make the process easier for those who will choose the path I threaded. Most importantly as an artist and a music business insider, I anticipate consciously being of greater influence to what my people, Africans, listen to, how they think, and live their day-to-day lives.
"2018 will be a great year. Will kick it off with the release of a charming, neo-soul song, titled Dark on January 9.
"I will be steadily dishing out the music and the brand through the year, with all the positivity I can muster. I will also be working with more artistes and producers than normal. 2018, I and my team intend to, and will convert more unbelievers into believers," (She laughs).
The singer joins a list of female artistes such as Cill and Celeste who have displayed a great energy while exploring their craft in the Alternative sub-genre of rock music. Rocktoberfest 2017, provided a platform for these glam-life-ready musicians to make an impression in a year that has seen a better appreciation for the mildly regarded music category.