Donna Adja better known as Donna Diva is a professional song writer, artiste and fashion designer. She speaks to TOYIN KOMOLAFE on why she started a live band and how she has been able to carve a niche for herself in the music industry:
Can you tell us a little about your educational background?
I started my educational sojourn at Adams Iweh Primary School and Baptist High School both in the same town called Eku in Edo state. I then proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where I studied Business Management.
When and how did you venture into music?
It all started professionally 8years ago. I just felt there was no point wasting my talent. I started music way back in a studio where I used to work before I was advised to do a live band music. At first, I thought it wasn’t going to be easy but I decided to take the bull by the horn. I was working at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, then. After my debut, the GM of the hotel came to me and advised me to do something on my own, start a band instead of working for someone else.
How was the experience?
I won’t say it is perfect but I enjoyed starting my own thing and that is what has been keeping me till date.
How has been the journey so-far?
My 8 years of being in the music world has been very fulfilling.. I have had the opportunity to travel abroad to places like Australia, Dubai, London and so many others for shows. I also perform outside the country at weddings, birthdays and others.
What was your parents’ reaction to the fact that you dumped your professional certificate for music?
My parents believe in me a lot and they know I am a very positive person. Moreso, they know that I am a goal getter. They have been very supportive.
What challenges do you face in your chosen field?
To be sincere, it has been very challenging meeting with positive and negative-minded people who try to drag you off your dream lane, people who say all sorts of things to make you believe you can’t do it but God has been so nice to me. I now see every disappointment as an opportunity to re-strategise.
What brand of music do you do?
I own a live band , do live band performance on both local and international songs matched with my own songs.. I want the world to feel, hear and recognise me as a brand to reckon with. Sheraton was a good avenue but I just want more and that was why I broke out of my shell, hatched and I am fast-growing. My kind of music needs to be heard because it is an infusion of Afro, Reggae, dancehall and soul. It is a combination of style that blends without barrier in both local and international standards.
How do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my experiences which reflect in my music. The inspiration for my song “Shut-up” came from how I was once depressed by people’s words. Shut-up is sincerely dedicated to those people who believe they can drag you down from the ladder of success with negative words. ‘Wire’; is a love song indicating connection, I want people to connect via my music, I want to connect to my fans and I want my fans to connect with me.
How would you rate the reception?
I sincerely thank God for the reception because, it has been amazing. I thank God and my fans for everything.
If you are to work with some names here in Nigeria, who and who will you be considering?
Wow! I have a lot of names I will love to work with; 2face, MI, Tiwa Savage just to mention a few.
Aside from music, what else do you do?
I am a model and I am also into fashion designing. I make almost all that I wear from my specs, shoes, dress, Jeans etc. People wonder why my things are so different and classy even when I travel out of the country. Whenever I tell them I made them, they are always amazed and I get orders from both home and abroad to make clothes for them.
Fashion is a lifetime thing for me. Sincerely, music and fashion are something I want to do for the rest of my life because, I believe that is what I am made for.
What should we be expecting from Donna Diva?
I am working on dropping a video.
How would you describe your person?
Hmmm! Donna Adja is a goal getter. I don’t give up on the things I set out to do. I have also learnt not to let people’s negative comment get to me.
What advice do you have for other young people?
Do not relent and don’t give up in anything you believe in. Most importantly put your trust in God, He won’t fail you even if man do.