Christine: The Sun Among Stars…

Posted: September 4, 2011 in The Interview

Note: The situation is not real…but the interview is…

I rush into the busy restaurant, swallowing gulps of air as I ran from where the Okada dropped me off. Wonderful day. First, my car got a busted tyre and now the mad traffic slowed down my James bond okada rider…well, that should be seen as a good thing. But I am just hoping that my interviewee is not there before me. It would be a mess if she is and I am running in, all messed up. I scan the eatery. Thank God, she isn’t there yet. Now, I can make her feel bad and use it to twist her arm about answers I want…Evil me.

Ten minutes later, Christine walks in. OH yeah. Thank God I cooled down. I would have looked like a mess with her sitting in front of me. I waved to get her attention and she comes over, smiling at my direction and some others around that noticed her.

“So, how are you?” I asked. “I’m fine thank you,” she answers, still smiling that cool smile…because she knows she is late. Yep, I am twisting her arm. So, I start:

Christine, looking lovely, as usual. Tell us more about yourself? We all know that you sing like hell and are a twin but go much deeper.

I love travelling. Every now and again I like to believe I love to and can cook.  And I love adventure…

Wait…for real?! That’s all you are giving me about you?! Come on!!! You know you came late oh.

She laughs at me as she knows she has fallen for my trap. “ok ok”, she says, “I will give more…”

I was a tomboy as a child, especially as I was the only girl amongst my brothers and cousins a lot of the time. As the years passed our family unit grew smaller and several misunderstandings borne out of my rebellion and their strong desire to protect us. We are tighter knit as a family now and I have come to realize that at the end of the day when everyone turns their back on me, I can always count on my family. Off course I’ve also grown to love being a lady :)

  This video, May this be love, was released earlier this year, the first single from her album, Life under construction. All you lovers out there…you know you want this.                                                                

Family does help a lot. From the little I know, to come this far as Christine has, no be beans oh…So I continue…

So, how did you get to this point in your singing career?  I mean, you always blew us away in school (yes yes…I will use this opportunity to flaunt BCA…Big ups, my people). You were once just a good singer but then blew out on the Nokia first chance reality show. Tell us more.

 I have gotten this far despite my impulsive nature and habit of loving to take on any new risk and have survived thus far by God’s mercy. The music industry has taught me that talent is a fraction of what you need to be successful. Work, time and luck is needed also and in great fractions.

She glances at the table beside us. The kids starring at her and whispering to themselves. They know her. She smiles at them but does not come back to me….Hmmm. She is evading me again…I have to twist her arm just little more…

But why the disappearance after the show? I mean, we saw some pictures and heard tiny stories but nothing concrete. Why?

Yep, I got her. That look in her eyes now…priceless…

 Because, certain promises could not be kept for reasons unknown to me. 1 million naira, endorsement deals a one million pound worth record deal with one of the 5 major record companies in the world, a trip to London to record where promised. I got the trip, I got the money but the record deal never came through and the people responsible suddenly went out of reach, turning of their phones and ignoring calls and emails. All efforts to sort out the situation legally where also debunked. So I went back to school, continued recording and working on myself and my art and here I am.

 After half of the promises where kept, weren’t you discouraged about how you were treated?


I was discouraged. I was angry. I felt like a failure and I felt used. But I had to suck it up and rise above all that to become the strong woman I am now…

Ok, now I feel guilty. Twisting the arm. I offer a peace offering of a drink and she gladly accepts. I have funny feeling she twisted my arm on this one but…let me accept defeat…for now. As her drink comes, a kid finally summons the courage to come and ask for an autograph. He doesn’t even look at me…Sigh. The things I do for my country. Oh well, I shooo the kid away after he gets his prized possession and I go on with the questions…

So, being the product of a reality show, what do you think of other products of reality shows?

I think they are bold and deserve to succeed because of taking such a huge leap. But just because we win reality shows does not mean we should not put in as much work as other artistes who hustle everyday at perfecting their careers and seemingly run into fewer opportunities.

But doesn’t it seem like the shows hide how hard it is to make it or be accepted in any music industry?

Knowing what I know now, yes. These shows give the illusion that you will be a star automatically by winning and that’s not essential to the dire lesson that legends are made by sweat, time and experience. Reality shows may create stars but there are stars and there’s the sun. Would u rather be any of the stars or would you rather be the sun?

True…with almost every naija artiste sounding like the photocopy of someone else, finding a unique star…or sun, as Christine says, is hard…

What do you think about the quality of artistes that are coming out now?

Artistes come in so many colors and variety today. This means that more is brought to the table to choose from. I think artistes today are daring and willing to try new sound. That represents the era we live in now which is fast changing and very eclectic.

Now, let’s talk about your new album, Life under Construction. Why did you name it that?

It was an experiment. It was a symbol of growth.

Ahhhhh! She just can’t stay away from my arm twister, can she? Muahahahahahahaha…

Christine!!! Come on, give me more than that. How much of you is in this new album? what pushed you into writing those songs like Mary Jane or may this be love, which i must say has a wonderful video?

Thank you. This album is just a tiny fragment of who I am. Mary Jane has a lot of hidden meaning and its unfortunate that all most people can think of when they hear it is weed. May this be love is a young girl’s virgin view of love. It’s very idealistic but that’s how I felt when I wrote the song

Drats. My arm twister effect isn’t working anymore…

How do you expect listeners especially Nigerians to take your album?

I expect them to like it. To embrace it. I got fantastic feedback from people who heard it. But it currently has been pulled back so work on other material can continue.

Are you going to do anything, ever, with your mass communication degree? (Yes, yes, I do my homework and do some research…it comes naturally…)

I already worked as presenter and news reader with 2 radio houses in Jos and Lagos. Rhythm fm, Jos and inspiration fm Lagos. PR might be included in my side retirement plan.

“Nice. So, you are ready for the future. You just may take my job. Should I be scared?“ She smiles again. That smile is getting more evil by the minute…I mean it. She is out for my job. Ok, no more arm twisting…EVER!!!

Don’t worry, Amsa. Your job is safe with you,” she says. I am still scared…

So after your new album, what next? Are you going to disappear again or will you stick around to make other shake in their boots?

Why don’t you wait and see what Christine might do next …or just maybe, I will come and try your job for a while and see if I like it,” That smile again.

Ah no. you won’t like my job. Nope…

We laugh at me quaking over my job. Nah. She loves music too much to want my place. As I pack up to leave, she starts signing more autographs for a long line that slowly but steadily grew during the interview. The kid called his friends over…Lucky kid. Now I run out again in search of transport back to my abode. Maybe,  just maybe, in my next life, I would get to sing…

The end.

Note: This is the newest video from Christine, Mary Jane. Nice song. listen to it when all speakers are functioning properly in a closed environment. Opium for the heart…

http://www.reverbnation.com/christinebenameh

http://www.facebook.com/christinefanpage

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Comments
  1. mangoseason says:

    nice one amsa.. keep up the good work..

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