Funmilola Rachel Garton, popularly known as Lola Rae, is a product of a mixed union-British father and Ghanaian mother-is set to storm the entertainment industry with her Afro Pop music. The “Watch My Tingo” crooner, in this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, opens up on her mission to Nigeria, which she regarded as her home, fashion preferences and her music career. Excerpts:
My sojourn abroad.
IT was not that I went abroad for greener pasture. I relocated with my family. My mum, who is a Ghanaian and my dad, English and they both lived and worked in Nigeria for 50 years. They met and got married ; my three sisters and I were born in Nigeria and we lived in the country for fifteen years. We had to go back to school, but my dad insisted that he wants to die in this country because he loves Nigeria and claims to be a Nigerian. We all have Nigerian passports and this is the only country that I really know, that was why I go by the name Funmilola Rachel Garton because I am a Nigerian. I was born in Obalende, Lagos and I am proud to be a Nigerian.
Journey into entertainment.
I have always had the passion for music which is my talent. I feel like adding to what the likes of Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay, Omawuni, Waje and a host of others have been doing so well in the entertainment industry. It is a way of making a statement in a distinctive dimension and discharge my God-given talent right from my tender age. I am 22 years old and I am willing to showcase my talent as well as make the young ones realise that they have got one talent or the other to create jobs and opportunities. Just as Wizkid could be described as the young chap who is making waves in the entertainment scene, especially among the male counterparts, I want to represent the Wizkid of the female fold booming the industry too. He started as a kid and I also want to start as a kid (Laughs…).
Growing up was interesting. I had my primary education at the St. Saviours School and my secondary education at Lekki British International High School, Lagos State. I later moved to Ghana for a year because my grandma was sick and I eventually relocated to England for my university education, and the best country I lived in is Nigeria.
How I discovered my music talent.
I had always loved to be a great singer. Despite the fact that I was signed to a record label in England, I still had it at the back of my mind that I don’t want to live in England. My mum advised me to leave the record deal and go back to Nigeria since I had made up my mind to relocate to Nigeria. Along the line, I met a guy called Rotimi, who started training me for Nigerian music and as a result of that, I released a video entitled “Watch my Tingo,” which is doing well in the industry. Although, I do jazz purposely because you are going to see a lot of soul and jazz stuff, but I am more comfortable in Afro Pop. I love Asha and Lagbaja and lots of old school songs. I could regard them as my role models. In fact, I really love Lagbaja’s music; he used to come to my parents parties without his mask, He used to be a family friend. Although, I can’t remember his face again because at that time’, I was a baby, but my dad promised he would arrange it for us meet and I am still waiting for the day.
Why I relocated to Nigeria.
I was already going to move back to Nigeria. I only went to England for my university education and that was the main reason I went there and now, I am done. I studied Fashion at Central St. Martin’s College of Arts and Design. It was very hard, but I thank God for the success story. Obviously, with my deep experience, I make all my clothes and performing outfits myself and I am bringing all that I have learnt over there to Nigeria.
My experience with Nigerian music.
To me, the experience is really good. You see, Nigeria is a very difficult country because we don’t really have a structure at the moment. Music, especially at the main stream, is very new to us so we are all trying to create a structure. It is difficult, because sometimes you will want to give out the best of you but there is no room for such which makes it interesting. I strongly believe that the entertainment industry will find its place in terms of structure in no time, and we will not relent to attain a well structured system. I am 100 per-cent ready to face the music and the many challenges I may encounter. I have nothing to fear about. I was born here in Nigeria and I am used to the system because I was in the for so long. At present, I am launching my coming back with a big bang. I am really enthused to carve a niche for myself and affect the industry positively. My management is taking necessary steps to stamp my come back.
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