Davina Oriakhi is the rare Nigerian artiste that can jump genres at the drop of a hat without losing her individuality or sacrificing her impressive songwriting ability; an ability that benefits greatly from her love for spoken word poetry.
2017 has found Davina taking full advantage of that gift with the release of three very brilliant and very different singles – the reggae-tinged Silence (Father Have Mercy), the r&b and soul F.S.L.S and the afropop Juju – all off her upcoming LP, Love to a Mortal.
Following the release of the stunning music video for F.S.L.S, we at Konbini decided to speak with Davina to discuss her sound, her upcoming LP and her greatest musical achievement.
Konbini: How would you define your sound?
Davina Oriakhi: My Sound is wavy, hypnotic and uncommon. Right now I would say I'm on a journey with my sound, it'll keep evolving because my sound is dependent on my experiences.
I'm always learning and growing so my sound cannot be confined to one particular definition. I believe one of the amazing parts of being an artiste is self-expression and expression should be fluid. I'd like to think I am musically fluid and hopefully, people can hear that with the music I have out at the moment.
But if I must define my sound at this point in time, I would call it rhythm and soul fusion. In regards to my upcoming LP, Love to a Mortal, there is a lot of fusion of both popular and unpopular genres. There is soul, r&b, hip hop, soul, reggae, jazz and swing, afro-fusion and neo-soul.
When did you realize music was what you wanted to do?
I have loved music ever since I was a child, I was surrounded by Disney, Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, Fela Kuti, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Cece Winans, Sade Adu, Bob Marley, Missy Elliott, Shaggy, Daft Punk, you name it.
I heard it, I loved it and I just wanted to contribute to the world's catalogue. And that's how I feel to this day. I want people to be inspired and moved by my music, just the way I was moved and inspired as a child.
So, before I moved back to the UK, my mother literally terrorized me into releasing a song. Fortunately, Nonso Amadi gave me the beat to "Content" and it sounded like everything I loved about afrosoul and afrobeat. So I jumped on it and wrote about happiness, and that was how my first single “Content” was born.
What has been your greatest musical achievement?
My greatest musical achievement has been my growth. I’ve grown as a songwriter, I’ve grown as a vocalist, I’m growing as a musician.
I’m learning all sorts of things within my craft and with each single I see growth in reach and growth in the quality of response from listeners and that is something I do not take for granted.
I am understanding myself, my voice, my purpose, my passion so much more now and thankfully, all that is reflecting in my music.