What do you get when you bring one of Nigeria’s finest young generation actresses and an awesome rapper together on a magazine cover?
Cuteness overload…that’s what!
Rapper Vector tha Viper and Nollywood actressBeverly Nayaare the cover start for the latest issue of Impelling Africa magazine.
While Vector opens up on his rap journey, future collaborations and winning the Headies 2015 Lyricist on the Roll, Beverly talks getting nominated for AMVCA, playing Nkem on ‘Before 30’ and moving back to Nigeria.
Read excerpts from their interviews below:
How did you take that bold to move back to Nigeria and pursue acting?
Basically, it was when I left the university. Obviously, the UK has a film industry but it is predominantly white, there weren’t even opportunities among black actors. You either struggle and hope you get your big break in the UK or you do a 9 to 5. I have never been a 9 to 5 person so I decided to move to Nigeria and act over here and it’s been fantastic.
How did getting nominated for AMVCA make you feel?
I was undeniably overwhelmed when I got nominated because I was literally on my way to the event and prior to that, weeks before, people were saying to me, “Beverly you might get nominated this year, you might never know”. But I said, “Not this time I doubt because I do not have any project right now”. You will think it is the emotional type of roles that will really get you nominated, not this time I’m pushing for 2017, nah (laughing). So then I was on my way to the event with my friend just casually. I was running late just sitting in the car with my friend and the next minute my phone stared blowing up. So many phone calls and so many messages, they were like oh my gosh you have been nominated; I was like “huh?” I was shocked, I asked for what?! They said Before 30 and I’m not going to lie, as soon as I got off the phone I started crying.
Let’s talk about Before 30. Great show, how do you personally relate to your character, Nkem?
Nkem is a fire cracker. I admire the woman so much because she is just so confident. I am also a confident woman but she is so unapologetic and nothing gets to her. The way she just walks up to a man that she desires and gets his number and have her way without thinking about it, I can’t do it. It is totally different from who I am.
Has she had any influence on you in real life?
She has actually. I have always been a tomboy but as I got older I became a sexy tomboy. A girl that is like a bit rough around the edges but then she is a tomboy, gets along with all the guys but she is still desirable. Cool chick kind of thing. After I played Nkem, a new femininity came out of me. I started becoming conscious of the way I look. My hair, makeup, nails. I started to admire those types of traits and started to take that part of my brand and myself seriously. Prior to playing Nkem, I never used to do my nails, I just cut them myself but after Nkem you can’t see my nails unpolished.
When you started, you sounded so much like Jay-z. Was he a huge influence on you when you thought about rapping or was it just a coincidence?
At some point , he was an influence but it was more because I was young and if I needed to be very aggressive on my delivery, I had to hit a pitch that was high. So picture this, young boy, high pitch, Jay-z’s voice. It was more like that over trying to be Jay-z. Because I hated doubling my voice, it was either that or you rap exactly the same way almost perfectly so that they can interlock it so it sounds heavy and I hated doing that. Till today it was just weird. That was what it was, it wasn’t from the influence Jay-z was even though Jay-z was an influence.
In any journey, particularly in showbiz, you find a lot of challenges along the way from the home front, public acceptance. What were your peculiar challenges?
Earlier, a lot of people were just like who is this one trying to be like Jay-z, a beg get out of here. And it goes a long way to show how people are. I’m in Nigeria, so I can only say Nigerians. They didn’t listen to the message, they just heard the voice, so in their minds they knew me 100. Initial challenges will people not willing to listen to the message.
What challenges are you facing right now?
Right now, you just have to always develop yourself. I wouldn’t say that is a challenge, it is more like people don’t know the Vector that plays the guitar or the Vector that can really sing, even that I sound like (making a raspy sound). But yeah , the vector that knows music properly, its hard trying to have people who think of you as that hard rap terminator lyrical something to “if you don’t know my story o…” (singing).
Did winning the Headies put you under any sort of pressure to be bigger, better. I know you are trying to be better all the time but did it put you in any particular level of pressure?
I never felt any pressure with the Headies, one of the categories I was nominated for last year, lyricist on the roll, it wasn’t a voting thing, it’s something they would call veterans and analyze your lyrics, your writing skill comes into play here. Headies is not my goal, it’s something that lets you know that a body as big as HipHop World recognizes your art. But that is not my goal; my goal is to pretty much to deliver the message of how God has blessed me in love to the people.
Is there particular dream collaboration, if there is anything like that? Is there someone you really want to work with?
I’ve worked with Tuface, Nice, Mavado, Sarkodie. I’ve been on a track with a host of Nigerian artistes and WyclefJean, I’m talking FugeesWyclef Jean. It’s weird, I’ve worked with DBanj, I’ve worked with Falz. At the end of the day, it’s what the music says, I don’t dream to collab with anybody. I dream to take Nigerian music to the world and not disgrace Nigeria. Like not get to America and we get to the rap point, people are like nawa for this guy o.