Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
PROMISING singer Yoyo Ovi has lamented the increasing spread of the coronavirus and its impacts on the socio-economic life of Nigerians. She said the pandemic affected her show at the China Cultural Centre, Abuja, last week, which was put off by the organisers because of the safety of guests and participants.
Yoyo, who spoke at the launch and listening party of her debut EP titled Fear, sponsored by media marketing company MediaBX NG at Rhapsody’s in Ikeja, Lagos, said: “In fact, I was already on my way to Abuja when I got an email saying the show has been put on hold because of the coronavirus. The show, according to the organisers, was cancelled because many guests would be flying in from China and other parts of the globe. That was how I lost out in the event. To me, it is safer to cancel the show than get infected by the virus. Again, I am very cautious of the need to keep safe and maintain good hygiene.”
The coronavirus outbreak has continued to cost millions of travel and tourism jobs across the globe. Last week, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said up to 50 million jobs could be lost because of the pandemic, according to its Chief Executive, Gloria Guevara, saying the outbreak “presents a significant threat to the industry”. The news came after thousands of international flights were cancelled and some insurance firms suspended travel cover for new customers.
Fear is a compilation of five singles namely, Soni, Anu, Fear, Danger and Wild.
Yoyo whose full name is Uyoyou Ovririe released her first single titled YOYO in 2015. The Afropop artist who hails from Delta State followed her debut single with covers of Evi Edna Ogholi’s hit tracks namely, Ririovara and Obaro. Thereafter, she released I do and My Way in 2018. Soni and Anu followed in 2019.
At the listening party, she performed all five songs on the EP with Soni and Anu being singles off the EP. The others Fear, Danger and Wild dropped at midnight on March 12 on iTunes and other streaming platforms.
On why her debut EP is titled Fear, Yoyo said that ‘fear is something she had to overcome to become her authentic self.’ She said she ‘had to become comfortable with her brand and not afraid to express her sound.’
Soni has been well received by fans since its release in September 2019 and Yoyo said that ‘like most of her songs, the single was inspired by an experience from a past relationship. ‘I couldn’t keep up with the lies and low level of commitment,’ she said.
Yoyo described herself as a ‘love ambassador.’ She hopes to use her music to send the message, ‘Love, and your reward will be happiness.’
Music was not on Yoyo’s radar until she won the Glo Rock ‘n’ Rule beauty pageant in 2011 at which her talent showcased was singing. So far, she has released eight songs.
Yoyo is a University of Calabar graduate with a B.Sc. in Botany. Her journey to becoming an artiste began in 2011 after she won the Glo Rock ‘n’ Rule beauty pageant at which her talent showcase was singing. In 2015, she released her first and eponymous single titled Yoyo before she rebranded to Yoyo.” She has a long list of singles including Soni and Anu which are singles off her latest project and debut EP, Fear.
On the philosophy behind the title of the debut, she said: “Generally we all deal with one form of fear or the other. So this is me expressing my fear through music like my journey and my struggle. With this I am encouraging others to keep moving…But Yoyo as title of my first single was a strategy to keep my name in the consciousness of music lovers each time they listen to it.”
She disclosed that she is yet to get a record label, but working hard to push out lots of her music in order to get a reliable label that can sign her.
According to her, what stands her music out from the pack is because ‘I connect my listeners with what am expressing in the form of vibes.’
“I love Tiwa Savage’s drive and hustle spirit. Also, I love Yemi Alade and Davido for their willingness to make it. This inspires me a lot,” she said of the fellow artistes. The desire to express herself through music, she noted, is her inspiration which she said makes her happy.
” I want to be a world music super star singing for the queens and kings as well as be an inspiration for young girls to look up to,” she promised.