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OMAWUMI: The Voice of A Generation

How the Nigerian singer’s music resonates with millennials across different life stages and experiences.

Every morning, as I kickstart my day, I tend to press play on unreleased music sent to me from different labels and distro.

The Lagos traffic is how I buy time to listen to music and make notes. I was surprised to see an email from ONErpm notifying me of an upcoming Omawumi’s EP.

Growing up, Omawumi’s voice was like that fun aunty that gave you sweets and money growing up and as you grew older, the sweet changed to new clothes, then advice.

Omawumi dominated the music player at my parents’ home and the radio stations, this was before DSPs became cool.

I reached out to fellow millennials to unravel the layers of Omawumi’s music that strike a chord with this generation. Through interviews, we uncover stories of fans who feel a sense of kinship with Omawumi, describing her as more than just a singer but as a companion in their life’s journey.

“I don’t think people realize how much of a forerunner Omawumi was. First time I heard “In the Music”I knew she wasn’t going to allow herself to be confined to one genre, she nailed Kwaito and that’s a jam and half. She was a chameleon when it came to genres and she ate every single time! “Today Na Today” is a bit of EDM, “If You Ask Me” was Jazz, she was Adele before Adele (Listen to “When Breeze Blows”), there’s a reggae cover she did of Adele’s “Hello”, Agba Baller!”. Her music is also a time stamp. At a certain point in your life, Omawumi’s music will reflect your life. I know I am going sing “Bottom Belle” as a lullaby to my kid and I know she will laugh”Ifeanyi

“I was in university when “If You Ask Me” was released, we were all sitting at the auditorium studying and the song came on, the girls were quiet and I probably wouldn’t have gotten this insight till a guy suggested that the daughter was loose, hence the reason why she slept with her dad. I initially thought the lady was aggressive as she spilled curses on him. She asked the boy if he thought a nine-year-old girl could seduce a grown man, I quickly realized that she was telling her story and had found solace in the record.

The boy apologized, we all apologized, and it was alarming when she said, I’m sure every girl in this room had experienced sexual assault, I thought surely it is not that bad because the girls in the room didn’t speak up, then I turned to the girl at my left, she was quiet, the three girls at the corner started to cry. Since then, I never try to get involved with Twitter drama because the girls have lived it and we owe them an apology”– Tamide

“Every time I think of Omawumi, I associate “The Best You Can Be” with my mom, she was always right but I didn’t like her tone. My mom wakes up every night to pray for me, she made me independent and ready for adulthood. Thanks to my mom, I know how to manage when I don’t have and when I have, my discipline sets in. The final verse of “The Best You Can Be” talks about how the mother and Daughter would be best friends, and i promise Omawumi is a prophet, my mum is my best babe, I enjoy spoiling her.”Cynthia

“I don’t remember when, but I remember the memories of when I saw “In The Music” I was screaming, I was calling my childhood best friend Ifunanya and neighbors to come and see Omawumi. We loved her when we saw her perform at the West African idols. We thought she was robbed of the award and with “In TheMusic” dropping, we were asking the boys who thought Timi deserved the award “Wheree record dey?”, please note that we were teenagers. We love them both, but Omawumi more sha. She was proudly african”Uju“I love Omawumi, she is proudly an African woman, who didn’t limit herself, she worethe African hat proudly. She’s a lawyer, actress, and singer and I’m sure she is an investor or board of directors lol. I am inspired by her and her parents to encourage my daughter to be everything she desires and I will be there to support her.”Mo

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