With The Voice Nigeria out of the way, finalists of the music talent show will be expected to make use of the platform to enhance their craft and/or position themselves for success.

This is the case with all television competitions, reality or talent.

For weeks, these singers dug deep to grind out great tunes and re-enact classic songs with a touch of difference.

They were expected to — and some did — show vocal range, impeccable delivery, consistency, and creativity. At the end of the day, Idyl went home the winner based on viewers’ votes.

As history has repeatedly shown, not only the winner of talent competitions become famous and successful, some of the finalists, sometimes, also get to make it big in the real world.

TheCable Lifestyle recently interviewed TheVoice Nigeria finalists, and here’s what they had to say about their respective ambitions, plan to conquer the music industry, and experience on the show.


Did you feel any sense of injustice when you crashed out?

Not too much, of course, I wanted to win but at some point, it felt like all eight of us in the top eight were amazing singers and anybody that won deserved it at that point. It was a privilege to get to that point in the first place, so many people left before that time so I just feel blessed to have gotten to that stage.

Was it a shocker when it happened?

I almost cried because I felt really bad but of course, I did not leave because they did not vote; it just meant that someone else’s voice was higher and it’s a competition so it’s bound to happen. So we were like Idyl has thrown us away but I’m happy for Idyl because he deserved it. It’s a competition, I could only do my own part. We were in South Africa, I couldn’t monitor who is voting or not voting but I felt bad, it was so sad. I wanted to win it.


What’s next for you?

I’ve been working, I’ve been a singer all my life. I have two albums before now, one studio album and a live recording that was launched in October last year. I’ve been recording so I’m ready for the next five years. I’ve been writing songs since 1995 and I keep modifying them with the times. That’s one of the things I’m going to be doing next year, some of the songs I did before, nobody heard, I’m going to bring them back, revamp them and push them into the market.

What’s next is that I keep doing what I’m doing. I have a Christmas song coming up. I want to latch on the festivity and bring a classy yet African Christmas song. I’m going to be working with one of the judges, I won’t tell who yet.

Who would it be if you were to work with anybody in this room?

If I were to work with anybody, it would be Jahtell. The reason is the constrast in the voice would make a perfect music blend. The other person I’d like to work with would be Bada. From the first day we landed in South Africa, he’s been my friend, my roommate, prayer partner so we have that bond already. We would have an explosion of soul. If I’m allowed to choose one more person, it would be Yimika because he is extremely creative so I always want to work with him.

What did the show change about you?

I used to be introverted before now but the show put me in the spotlight and threw me out of oblivion. Now I’m in the spotlight, I have to showcase what I’ve been doing in the back side of nowhere. Now I am not afraid. People say he takes the show too seriously. I tell people it’s my job. I don’t sing for fun, I don’t just come in and start singing, the stage has to be set. Singing is a do or die affair for me, it’s either I’m performing it, I’m singing it or acting it, either way, the song has to come out. What the platform just did for me is ‘Hey, here’s your crowd.’ Everybody won’t be in my crowd but here is your crowd and I’m ready for them.


How do you handle comments from people who believe you didn’t deserve to win?

A few days after I won I used to read those comments but lately, I decided not to open my comment box because there was a lot that went down during the competition and if I wasn’t meant to win I wouldn’t have won. It was orchestrated by God and I obviously did my own part. There was no point in time in the competition that I didn’t give my best in any of my performances.

I did my best, Nigerians voted and I won so the people that made such comments made it for their own reason best known to them. For me, it was the will of God.


What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m expecting my baby very soon. So for now, I’ll pause for a few months, after which I’ll go back to my music full time. I’m going for gospel songs, I can’t kill myself, I don’t have a waist. They will now say I should go and watch my weight, I can’t.

Aren’t you worried the fans may forget about you?

The name Jahtell is in their blood, nobody can forget me. The name Jahtell is already there, it’s like a stamp. God did not give me this body size for nothing, he gave me so people can easily recognise me.


Critics say your voice restricts you, do you agree?

I don’t agree. My reasons are I am one of those people on the show who sang different genres but they were just ‘love songs’. I did a Nigerian song and it was beautiful. I don’t think it’s about my voice keeping me in a box, in fact, I think my voice allows me to explore. I think I need to understand how to use my voice and I have come to grow that much during the show to understand that you can use your voice for different things. Every judge on the show impacted me especially Timi because he was my coach. Even till now, he still talks to us, encourages us.

Who would you like to work with?

Timi… I’m maximising the platform Aitel has given us. I’m also working on my single. People have come to see a Bada that is from nowhere because people didn’t know me before now and seeing me on TV, people know this is the kind of person he is. I have also come to realise that there is a relationship between your personality and your music and so I am not pressured to do the kind of song everybody should do and I am not pressured to do the kind of song I have to do because I’m from a church background so I’m just going to push out my personality in my music. I’m deeply convinced that people will accept the kind of music I’m doing because people have been able to relate to me by my person and through my music. Whatever song I’ll be doing out there shouldn’t be a problem because first of all, I have people who love me for who I am and people who will be willing to accept my music because of who I am and what my music is also saying.

Are we going to hear you sing on a subject apart from love?

You will but that’s why I said you can’t separate the personality from the music. The kind of person I am, I can’t be singing about a lady’s a** right now because it’s not my kind of person. I’ll be talking about love mostly because of the type of person I am. Not because I’m in love but because everything about me growing up has been about love. I don’t have to be in a relationship with you to love you.

The work of a musician for me is to be able to pass messages that your audience will be able to relate to if you’re not talking about love, money, relationship, partying, breakups, it just has be something they can relate with.

Yimika, first from left
Yimika, first from left

Your sound is a bit distinct. What do you call it?

Yimika is whoever Yimika wants to be at the time because I have learnt how to morph my voice to suit whatever I want it to suit at any time. One thing is always constant, the soul. I’m more of an alternative guy so I’m trying to different things especially take styles that people know I enjoy and mess it up. I’ve done it for some covers I have and there have been testimonies.

Do you have any personal recordings?

I don’t have personal songs that I want to release anytime soon but my covers are ready. One was ready before The Voice Nigeria started but three are ready.

Chris Rio
Chris Rio

During the show, you had a loyal fan base that championed your cause on Twitter. How come?

Before the show, I was very active in school and they were very active on social media so Twitter was abuzz when I came on the show. I’ve been wanting to push music forward, I’ve been working on music for over seven years so now that I have this amazing fanbase that I have, I want to continue making music.

The most important thing for me is the music and raising the bar and making sure that the next release is better than the previous one so that is what I am focusing on right now.

What kind of music are you working on?

My sound is similar to what Yimika said, it’s alternative but it’s R&B and soul so I’m finding a way to fuse it with the music of the time. If you jump into a wave and you stay on that wave, you’ll be stranded when the wave goes.

Someone like Johhny Drille is doing his own sound and people are appreciating him for his uniqueness so that’s one thing I’m particular about, I don’t want to get lost in the wave. I want to be able to do that but at the same time maintain my uniqueness. That’s why the whole crafting of the music is very intricate for me but hopefully, it’s going to turn out good.

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