Interview With Deborah (Oyije) Onuh
Hello everyone, welcome to I am Benue. My name is Angela Omaji your host/ interviewer for today and with me is my friend, the beautiful, multitalented superstar “Oyije”. She is an amazing singer, businesswoman and a badass fashion designer with a lot of beautiful fashion pieces.
Angela: Congratulations Oyije on your new EP, ‘Dawn’!!! It is huge girl, you make really good music and your voice is so so amazing. My favourite song from EP is definitely Balance (God abeg ooo, this life na only you fit to balance). You have to listen to her EP guys, I will leave the link below after this interview.
Oyije: Thank you.
Angela: Please tell us about yourself?
Oyije: I am Deborah Oyije Mika Onuh. I am from Okpokwu local government in Benue State. My tribal name is Oyije.
Angela: Where is your favourite place in Benue state?
Oyije: Oh well Makurdi is my favourite place, particularly my house because there is no place like home.
Angela: You are a girl of many talents, you make really good music and beautiful fashion pieces. Tell us how you manage to combine both?
Oyije: It’s not what I’d say is easy but it’s really interesting, especially since I make dresses myself, and again it’s me doing music and then putting my work out there through the clothes I make and having a lot of people who connect with my style is amazing.
Angela: What age did you discover you were good at singing?
Oyije: I discovered that quite early at 6 to 7. Well, I discovered I could score some R’n’B songs and I sounded pretty good too.
Angela: How did you start sewing?
Oyije: I grew up basically around threads, needles, sewing machines and fabrics. Well just like you have chores at home, we had roles to play in my mother’s tailoring shop. I was allowed to handle needles at the 8 and then started sewing and making dresses commercially at 13.
Angela: Do you sing in the shower and if yes, what song do you sing?
Oyije: Yes, I definitely sing in the shower. Well any song that comes to mind, I just let it all out.
Angela: Why gospel music, I mean you could sing about anything… Love maybe?
Oyije: That’s the thing people don’t understand, Gospel music isn’t a box you are stuck in. It’s a medium through which you can express your faith, experiences and feelings through diverse sounds. Gospel music is lifestyle music for me. If you are close to me you’ll know that I put Jesus in the centre of everything because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Angela: You run your fashion business with your big sister, tell us about the brand Sister’s Art?
Oyije: We have been running the brand actively for over a decade now, though it was officially launched in 2017 and it’s been kicking ever since. We specialize in making female clothing of all types and for all ages.
Angela: What are the challenges of running your fashion business?
Oyije: Over the years they have been many changes and innovations in dressmaking and keeping up with trends and improving oneself isn’t the easiest thing to do but it’s important and a bit challenging.
Angela: What are the challenges of making music in Benue state?
Oyije: Oh well most people here are not very conversant with digital music and online streaming, so after putting out music you’ll need to educate folks on how to stream and all.
Angela: What are the benefits of running both in Benue state?
Oyije: Oh basically I am a daughter of the soil so most people know me and what I do. My niche and circle have been established already and this makes things easier.
Angela: Most singers usually start in a church choir, did you start singing there too?
Oyije: Mine is a bit different. I started up in my teens in my church’s rap team and then ended up in the church choir after many years. The choir experience is really helpful as a musician and I’m glad I had the feel of it.
Angela: Who/what inspired you into writing and in making your own music?
Oyije: The goodness and love of God in my everyday life.
Angela: Well, a lot of your fans have been wondering why the change of name from Mika, you were already popular with the name Mika. Why change?
Oyije: Oh okay, well the name Mika was changed because I needed something more original and African, especially for my style of music and my middle name did the magic, “Oyije”.
Angela: We have been friends for a long time now, I remember back then in school you used to make my dresses as well as my hair. What other talents do you have?
Oyije: It amazes how my hands get so good with a lot of things. Well, I am also a makeup artist (professionally trained), skincare expert, an amazing cook, a good teacher and an event host amongst others.
Angela: Wow! God has really blessed you! One person with all these many talents. I am so amazed, you are truly a lady who God has blessed.
Oyije: Yes, God has blessed me indeed, I am forever grateful.
Angela: Who is your favourite fashion designer?
Oyije: Ralph and Russo.
Angela: Who is your favourite musician, someone that inspires you to continue making music?
Oyije: Omoh that’s a hard one. I have a lot of them from different genres so picking one will be cheating. I have a lot of them but anyone who does good music and does it well is definitely my favourite.
Angela: What is your favourite song of all time?
Oyije: Too many of them. I would have to make a really long list I’m sorry.
Angela: What musical collaboration do you hope for in the future (which artist would you love to sing with)?
Oyije: Justin Bieber.
Angela: Wow, I didn’t see that coming! Well Justin Bieber, my homegal Oyije, all the way from Benue state Nigeria, is hoping for a collaboration with you soon. Her voice is amazing, you should link up with her as soon as possible, so you both can make good music together.
Oyije: Thanks girl for the shoutout.
Angela: Oyije, I don’t want to let you go because we are having such a good time and great conversation but I promised to ask you only 20 questions. I can’t believe we are at question number 20 already. Here is the final question “Who is your hero?”.
Oyije: I must say, I am also having such a great time. My hero is Jesus. He saved me forever.
Angela: Oyiye thank you for this great and interesting interview. Thank you for telling us about yourself and the great work you do through fashion and music. I must confess, you are a true artist in every sense. Continue making good music, and beautiful fashion pieces, and continue letting your light shine from Benue to the world. The sky is your starting point girl!