She realised she could carry a tune at the tender age of 5,Nine years down the line Sonia had her very first performance in front of a crowd of over a hundred people at Genevieve Magazine’s Pink Ball show, ever since then Sonia has performed at various shows winning the hearts of many and even moving some to tears with her voice.Sonia is a multi talented young lady as her talents range from not only singing but from writing to journalism as well.Sonia has interviewed a number of internationally known figure like Avant, Slim from 112 , Flo Anthony to mention but a few.We at GidiNoize were priviledged to have an interview with this young lady.
GidiNoize Interviews Sonia ‘la-la’ irabor.
1. WHO IS SONIA IRABOR?
Young, aspiring singer/songwriter with a lot of optimism to keep me going: P
2. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND (EDUCATIONAL, FAMILY)?
Grew up in a house of media personalities and entertainers. My dad and mum are pretty heavy in the media and entertainment industry. My mum is the editor in chief of Genevieve magazine and my dad is an ace broadcaster/advertiser best known for his television show Soni Irabor Live. My brother is into film and music too. So growing up was pretty exciting. Secondary School was Lagoon (URGH!) and then Greensprings (bang bang! lol)
3. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE MUSIC WAS YOUR CALLING AND WHAT GENRE ARE YOU INTO?
Hmm this happened in various stages to be honest. Aged 5, I realized, well my parents did, that I could hold a tune and that my voice had a lot of potential. I used to perform A Whole New World from Aladdin for all the guests that came round. But then when I was 9, heavily influenced by my brother, I thought I wanted to be a rapper! Lol. Complete with the name and everything- Lil Slim. Haha. So I was distracted more or less for a few years by my hip-hop aspirations until I got to Greensprings aged 14, and started performing. That’s when I knew for sure that that was ME!
My musical influences are way too diverse for me to be tied down to just one genre. However at the moment I’d describe the sound I’m working on as funk/pop/soul. My new single Mr. Swagger definitely has that old school funk vibe to it but then blended with that new school soul/pop feel too. I think it’s very me- retro but fun! There will be a lot of experimenting with different sounds though… but right now it’s all about that funk/pop/soul!
5. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR STUDIES AND MUSICAL CAREER TOGETHER?
Well seeing as I’ve just started out in terms of my music it’s not as difficult because there aren’t that many commitments just yet. School most definitely is priority and I therefore base my shows and studio sessions around my timetable. But God willing when the demand gets higher I’d still be able to say that.
6. WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN PART IN SHOWS CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
My first huge show was actually for an event my mum first put together in 2004- The Pink Ball. It attracted the ”elite” Nigerian crowd and was therefore very nerve racking. I performed Morning Has Broken By Cat Stevens and then did a duet with the Nigerian singer Benita. I do mostly open mics and little shows here and there. But it’s the best feeling in the world to actually be able to demand such attention. I love it!!! My next performance is on the 25th of October at the One Mic II-The GOOD Soul Food Edition show. For more details check out the
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7. WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST MOMENT OF YOUR MUSICAL CAREER?
The greatest moment so far? Umm my career hasn’t actually spanned that long to have that great defining moment just yet however it’s the little things for me. The fact that I’ve moved someone to tears with my voice ( a grown ass man too ! lol), the fact that people acknowledge my talent and support me, the fact that I’m important enough to have doubting Thomas’s now! Lol. It’s a great feeling just knowing that people are paying attention…
8. OUTSIDE THE MUSIC SCENE WHO IS SONIA IRABOR?
Hmm outside the music scene I’m an aspiring media personality. I’m a writer for Genevieve Magazine. I’m in charge of the entertainment pages, a radio personality (The Urban Lounge back on very soon, join the group page: http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=one+mic&init=quick#/group.php?gid=52721537020&ref=ts) I’ve co presented with the likes of Dan Foster and Wana (Inspiration FM 92.3), Toolz (Beat FM, 99.9).
I’m also an aspiring journalist with a few interviews under my belt so far; Avant, Slim from 112, Jocelyn Taylor (Publisher of Uptown Magazine, America’s biggest Urban Magazine), Amy Hickens of Source Magazine (America’s most important hip hop journal), Chanj (upcoming R&B singer), Jacki Boyz (singers/songwriters; they wrote Sugar by Floridah and have written for a host of other musicians), Flo Anthony (she is THE MEDIA!!! She’s worked as one of Michael Jackson’s pr people, she’s a radio personality and also works for the insider US)… And a whole lot of other people. So yea I’m heavily involved in the media outside my music. A very busy little bee I am.
9. DO YOU INTEND GOING INTO MUSIC FULL TIME?
I do. God willing I’m able to balance everything I aspire to accomplish and music is definitely high up there so yes, I definitely do intend to follow it if God wills it.
10. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF SINGERS IN THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY, WHAT CAN YOU BRING TO THE TABLE THAT OTHERS HAVEN’T?
I can bring meaning and soul and real GOOD music. The Nigerian scene is booming right now that’s for sure but it’s lacking the soul and funk and general je ne sais qua that it could have. I plan to hook it up with that. Hehe.
11. GROWING UP, WHO WERE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
Wow! I hate this question! Lol. I was such a scatterbrain growing up so my musical influences were a bit too diverse. Lol. As I mentioned earlier I went through my wannabe rapper phase so aside from Aladdin and princess Jasmine when I was 5. lol. I started getting really into Nas, DMX, the Fugees and Tupac from the age of 9. Aaliyah was definitely a heavy influence as well. At the age of 13 I got into r&b proper, started listening to a lot of Maxwell and Lauryn Hill was the one at that point! Gosh I could stay listening to Miseducation for hours while ”pretend studying’’! Lol. But I was also heavily influenced by OUTKAST!!! Their music still inspires me to be honest. At 14, it was Whitney! Yea I was late with it but Whitney finally blew me away and I just wanted to sing like her- I still do :S Umm after that I had just brief moments where someone’s song or style of music would influence a certain song or genre but nothing too deep. Right now I’m really feeling Solange, Janelle Monae, still outkast!!! So yea you can see where this is headed! Lol. It’s the energy, the fearlessness and the creativity!
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY IS LACKING AND CAN FILL THE VOID?
As I mentioned before the Nigerian music scene lacks a lot of soul. I am aware of a few artistes who are bringing that to the table. Where I’m different is that I’m more energetic soul! I want to bring that energy and excitement but through music with MEANING! There’s a lot of hip hop and no funk… Get me? 😀
13. DO YOU WRITE YOUR OWN SONGS?
14. WHATS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR SONGS?
At the risk of sounding oh so cheesy, any and everything! I’m inspired by what my idea of love is (nothing I’ve experienced but what I’ve imagined it to be), I’m inspired by my ideas ! I’m inspired by the fact that there’s a certain song playing in the background and it defines a certain mood. I’m inspired by it all.
15. IS THERE AN ALBUM OR MIX TAPE IN THE WORKS AND WHEN CAN WE EXPECT IT TO DROP?
There is a mix tape in the works right now. I plan for it to be out at the end of the year/beginning of the next! God willing. ‘The working title is By Soul And Not By Body but the more I say it or type it the more annoying it sounds/looks so that might have to change! Haha. But look out for that tho… and check out my fan page for new music and updates!
16. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER UPCOMING ARTISTES?
Do you!!! Let ALL the criticism and praise fuel your dream. : P
17. ANY LAST WORDS FOR YOUR FANS?
Umm thank you to all those who support the dream. God bless.
Sonia’s songs can be heard on
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