U.S based Nigerian artist, Marenikae has just released her debut album, Ajebutter! What sets this West African beauty apart from others is that she’s out here making an impact and starting the conversation. The opening of Marenikae’s music video, “Remember” shines light on the stories of African women and the importance of it being told! Not only is Marenikae passionate about empowering women but she’s also dedicated to showcasing the strength of women all over the world. In the face of the #METOO movement today, Marenikae wants women from all over the world to use their voice in order to show their power in their own terms. In an exclusive interview with Sheen, we got to know this powerful artist quickly rising to the top!
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? When did you know that music would become such a big part of your life?
Well, my name is Marenikae and I am from Lagos, Nigeria. I was born and raised there and came to the United States for college in Boston. I ended up in Atlanta to pursue the dream just a week after graduating. My music is a combination of neo-soul with influences such as electronic and contemporary. It’s a basically all of the different influences I was exposed to growing up. I recognized that my talent wasn’t regular; I wanted to build up and pursue it to the fullest.
Can you tell us about your music video, Remember and the powerful message behind it?
Remember is a story revolved around a story my grandmother told me. She explains how back in her days in Nigeria, the wives were expected to cater to the husband’s mistress. The husband could bring his mistress home and the wife was expected to cook her food and sleep on the floor while the mistress slept with her husband. I wrote a response stating what I wish the women during that time would’ve said. The video and the imagery highlight my Nigerian culture and traditions but we wanted an “in your face” confrontation about the issues that African women have to go through.
How have you made it your personal mission to encourage women to use their voice, especially in the face of the #METOO movement?
I can’t even stress how happy I am or how important it is that we’re able to do that now but again, it is also a privilege in itself in the western world. There are still so many countries in which women can’t do that at all. I primarily focus on women in third world countries because they’re often left behind in the march for progress. A couple of years ago, I went to a village in Nigeria and I remember some girls revealing that they were terrified because they believed they got periods because of demons. No one has explained sex education to them
Tell us about “The Zuchia Nexus”?
It is my label and I started The Zuchia Nexus after being told being told “no” by many labels. I felt that I needed to help other artists who again, don’t have the opportunity to be here in America. I wanted to be able to help them form connections and collaborate with artists all over the world. Overall, the long-term goal is to help bridge the gap between artists and creativity in different parts of the world with each other.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Well, I am going to Nigeria in the summer to do a promo run for the album. I will also be dropping another single and dropping a video for that. I just want to get the message across and out there! My debut album is an expression of the not so popular idea in my culture. It is supposed to represent not letting anyone tell you that your story is not valid, that’s very important to me. I feel like there are so many facets and so many different points of views out there and I want to represent what my point of views were about Nigeria, womanism, my surroundings.
To listen to singles by Marenikae, click here!
You can also stay connected with Marenikae by following
All images provided by Divine Influence PR