Pulse meets Prinye Jaja, American singer, songwriter and entertainer of Nigerian descent raised in Los Angeles, California.
Prinye cites her musical influences as Fela Kuti, Diana Ross, Beyonce and Bruno Mars.
Currently signed to Solid Gold studios, a music and entertainment company in the United States, Jaja returned to Nigeria to pursue her music career after three years working as an executive account manager with Warner Bros Entertainment.
Find out more about Prinye Jaja in this interview with Pulse.
Have you been getting vocal lessons or it just comes naturally to you?
Yes, vocal lessons are a necessity for me because it helps me strengthen my vocals, control my breathing and learn to read/sing notes. Vocal lessons are a necessity for me, and it should be for every artist; veteran or rookie.Which genre would you want to classify your sound under?
My sound is a combination of my culture (Nigeria) and where I grow up (California, USA). When combining the two sounds, I call it Fuji-Pop. Which Nigerian demographic are you looking to appeal to with your debut song 'Sugarcane'?
When making ‘Sugarcane’, I thought about kids and their grandparents dancing to it in their households. I strive to make timeless music that everyone can enjoy and sing along to. And because of that, I knew it would cater to the 13-65+ demographic. How was it working with a Nigerian gifted producer like Gospelondebeatz on your first track?
Working with Gospel was a great and challenging experience. His calm personality and wrapped attention to my inner most direction of music, is exceptional. He offered me an opportunity where we both learned from each other, leading to the making of ‘Sugarcane’. I see him as one of the best producers in Africa. My father likes him a lot!What's it about the Nigerian music scene that drew you in?
From the Gbedu drums to the traditional bass guitars, it is hard not to enjoy Nigerian music; it is inspiring and lively, making you want to dance.
What challenges do you think the Nigerian music industry needs to surmount and how? The Nigerian music industry has raw skills that is so powerful, and can take a big chunk of the continent’s wealth, but these three things are holding the Nigerian music industry back: Most producers don't have the latest music software that come equipped with endless audio loops and effects. If we did, our music would evolve and not every song on the radio would sound the same.
98% of musicians in the entire world are broke, due to many reasons, but the most important is no capital. There is simply not enough capital being invested into the average artiste. Having capital support, can lead to more talented Nigerian artistes being promoted properly, on a global matter.
Within the Nigerian music industry, I'd say 90% of the people have no sense of time, organization/control and discipline. And because of this, international acts generally will stray away from working with us. We have to learn how to take responsibility for our actions and work towards being professional, despite our cultural ways of life.
Which Nigerian artistes influenced your musical style?
Fela Kuti and Wizkid. First and foremost, rest in paradise, to Africa's greatest musician, Fela Kuti. From his political lyrics to his iconic live performances, I've always been inspired by Fela Kuti. He created Afrobeat and Wizkid, in my opinion, has been passed down the torch, keeping Afrobeat alive and global. I enjoy listening to the two, quite frequently. What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
Love and passion for Africa. That is all I hope for.
Enjoy the video for her debut single 'Sugarcane'.