About two weeks after Dunnie moved to Lagos, she met Sean Tizzle and they made Pempe. Pempe got her multiple nods at the Beatz Awards including “Best Afrobeats Producer”.
She went ahead to release her debut EP, “Seven” and capped the year with an opening at Simi’s December Concert.
Dunnie is one of the beneficiaries of Mr Eazi’s Empawa initiative. Recently, she put out a track entitled, “Foolish” which was inspired by conversations on Twitter.
In this exclusive interview, Dunnie opened up on how her journey into music began; her relocation from Abuja to Lagos; the challenges of being a singer, songwriter and a producer and ended with a little advice for other budding artists.
VUN: How did your journey into music begin?
Dunnie: Like a lot of people my journey started from the church. I first joined in the children’s church choir sometime between the ages of 4 and 6. Then, I joined the adult choir at 10 as a drummer. That’s basically how I started my journey into music.
VUN: Many of us had similar experiences, but not all of us took the music career path. At what point did you make that decision to make music your career and what prompted or inspired the decision?
Dunnie: It just happened really. I was always hanging out in the studio watching other people record. So, from recording one song and enjoying it so much, I discovered I found fulfilment in music and would love to take it up as a career.
VUN: Wasn’t the decision met with opposition from parents and probably friends?
Dunnie: No, it was not met with opposition. My parents were mostly worried if music would be able to pay my bills once I become independent. I proved to them it could. And they have been supportive.
VUN: Starting out as a female singer and a producer, who did you look up to as a role model?
Dunnie: Singers – Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Asa, Angelique Kidjo, India Arie. Producers – Kanye West, Missy Elliott and Timbaland.
VUN: Last year, you moved from Abuja to Lagos. What inspired the move? What fears did you have? How do you feel about the decision going by how last year went for you?
Dunnie: I moved to Lagos from Abuja because I wanted more. I wanted to spread my horizon and challenge myself more. Nice research by the way. I wasn’t actually scared, just a bit nervous because I knew I was taking a risk. But I can tell you that’s one of the best decisions I have made concerning my career.
VUN: Thank you. Best career decision so far, can you explain that more?
Dunnie: Sure, I think two weeks after I moved to Lagos, I met Sean Tizzle and we made “Pempe” immediately. It was just the sign I needed to know I was on the right path.
VUN: And Pempe got you nominations for Beatz Award. That must have been further confirmation that you were on the right track.
Dunnie: Oh yessssss! Exactly, that also did.
VUN: Considering how last year went for you. Don’t you feel pressured to do more in 2019?
Dunnie: Honestly I do. But not because of how last year went alone. I always hold myself to high standards. So, that’s where the pressure comes from. But I am learning to enjoy and trust the process and just make amazing music.
VUN: How do you define amazing music?
Dunnie: Music that a listener can relate to and remember after the first listen.
VUN: What’s your creative process like?
Dunnie: It has no definitive forms – comes in different ways. Sometimes, I write and make a beat. Sometimes, I make a beat and write. Some other times, people send me beats. Sometimes, I write with people etc. It’s a broad process.
VUN: What inspires your music?
Dunnie: Life, personal experiences, other people’s experiences and sometimes my imagination.
VUN: Foolish is a beautiful song. How did the idea come?
Dunnie: The idea came from a series of tweets I saw on Twitter about some women saying they don’t mind being domesticated in the house and other women dragging them for it. It was also inspired by an American pastor’s cheating scandal.
VUN: What challenges do you face as a songwriter, singer, producer and how do you handle them?
Dunnie: My major challenge is a balance – balancing writing, producing for other people and my career as an artist is a lot of work and I am still learning how to work around it.
VUN: Plans for 2019
Dunnie: Very simple plan – make amazing music, and put out more contents this year.
VUN: Advice to other budding artistes cum producers
Dunnie: As cliche as this will sound; it’s very important. Always believe in yourself, even at your lowest! Stay determined, work hard and keep creating fire.