Aituaje Aina Iruobe, popularly known and addressed as Waje, acronym for Words Aren’t Just Enough, is arguably one of the hottest hip-hop female music acts in Africa. The Ominiknowes crooner, who became one of the voice coaches in the Airtel sponsored reality TV show, The Voice Nigeria for 2016, spoke with Encomium Weekly.
In the chat, the talented mother of one daughter revealed her plan for the rest of 2016 and how it feels to be one of the voice coaches in The Voice Nigeria 2016 among other issues.
It’s the second quarter of the year, what are you plans for the rest of 2016?
Yea, the year is really running fast. For the rest of 2016, I am working on my new album to be produced by my wonderful producer, Cobhams Asuquo. It sure promises to be mind blowing. I myself can’t wait for it as I intend to tell my story through this album. For a couple of months, I have been one of the voice coaches on The Voice Nigeria, which is just rounding off their blind auditions. We are going back to South Africa to continue live for the rest of the show in June; working on music tours around Africa and the world.
What have you been up to?
I have been up to quite a number of things, The Voice Nigeria, music video release of my song, Ominiknowest, Waje safe house activities, performances alongside other music celebrities in Nigeria, South Africa, other countries and also working on my album.
Your single, Ominiknowest, is no doubt a good one. What inspired it?
Thank you very much. The song, Ominiknowest was released in 2013, but the video dropped sometime in February this year. The word Ominiknowest actually refers to people who think that they know you more than you know yourself like sabi sabi, ITK, etc. And in the course of my career, I have come across people like this who specialize in telling you how you should live your life or how you should have sang a song or worn a dress and much more. So, this song was done for them.
How does it feel to be one of the coaches of the talent hunt reality show, The Voice Nigeria?
The Voice Nigeria is a great talent hunt reality show and I feel wonderful being one of the voice coaches because it is amazing to see great talents we have in Nigeria.
What gave you an edge?
I really can’t say exactly what gave me an edge but I guess the organizers of The Voice Nigeria saw something unique in me that made me get chosen as their female voice coach. They also wanted to confirm that I wasn’t on any existing contract with a competing telecoms company which was an added advantage.
Tell us about the experience being one of the judges of The Voice Nigeria?
It has been a great experience to be voice coach alongside 2Face, Timi Dakolo and Patoranking, as it gave us the opportunity to mentor; meeting with these talents, having to hear them sing and also hear their life experiences. At some point in the show, I got so emotional when some of these talents had to leave the competition as you as the coach are the one to send them home and I kept on apologizing to those I had to let go promising to help push their music career but I know The Voice is a stepping stone to the fulfillment of their music dreams.
Aside music, what other business do you do?
Starting my chin-chin business soonest. You need to taste my chin-chin; you won’t get over it (laughs).
What inspires your kind of music?
Everything ignites my creativity and influences the kind of songs I do – my life, my environment, people I have come in contact with at one point or the other, our country, everything around me basically.
What’s your take about the Nigeria music industry, will you say it’s growing?
I will say the Nigerian Music Industry is growing tremendously as each passing day we get to see creativity at its best. It is good that each of my colleagues in the industry is working hard to making entertainment worthwhile in Nigeria and in the world as a whole.
What’s your greatest asset?
Would you say you are fulfilled with what you have become today?
Oh yes, I am more than fulfilled with what I have become and I hope to fulfill greater things.
What has been your greatest challenges?
My greatest challenge has been staying on top of my game in the music industry.
Presently, what are you working on?
I am working on my Semi-live album with producer, Cobhams Asuquo. I am gunning for the Grammys so, I need to get to the point where internationally people will hear my music and be like “wow this is good music and we want to be part of this.”
Let’s talk about your love life, have you found love?
(Laughs) I am still patiently waiting to find love o.
Are you not bothered being single?
Not at all. The only burden I get to have sometimes is the aspect of financial responsibilities but that is why I am a strong woman (smiles).
Define your ideal man.
My ideal man must be God-fearing, good looking, loving, understanding, matured in heart and have a very fat pocket (laughs).
How do you spend your leisure?
I enjoy swimming. I also make chin-chin at other times.
What should fans look forward to from Waje?
A lot of amazing works from me this year; more important, my upcoming album; I have been called to open Lauryn Hill in Brooklyn, USA. I am also doing the SABC live show in Johannesburg.