• Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

My full name is Francis Orterver Shima Atela, I was brought up in the barracks in Jos as my father was a police officer. I am the fourth child out of seven children.

  • Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

My life is my biggest inspiration. Most of my songs have been about my childhood and growing up. I joined the choir at the age of fourteen. The choir moulded me. It helped me develop my own sound and also made me realise that singing was something I loved doing.

  • What do you feel your music brings to the entertainment industry?

My music brings originality and culture. It’s all about how life was growing up for me, which is something a lot of people can relate to. I want my music to have an impact on everyone that listens, whether it reminds you of some of the great memories you have from childhood, or helps you through any sort of struggle you’re going through.

  • The single Jankara along with the video was something very different from the norm in Nigeria; can you let us into your thought process?

Jankara is a result of my childhood. At the barracks where I grew up, all the children would gather at night and play games like ‘ten ten’, ‘tinko tinko’ and ‘Jankara market’.  Jankara market was my favourite game, once I started playing this game.

I relate this to life now that I have grown up. In this world there is so much to worry about, we tend to forget about all the good things life has to offer. Hence the beginning of the song “Life no be a serious something still no be a play something”.

This song is all about having fun and encouraging my fans to have fun even whilst carrying out their day to day activities. We have to stay happy.  My team sent the song to Clarence Peters and he literally mapped out how the video should be. This is what I love about him, he is so talented and he has a peculiar way of translating my songs into pictures which he also did for Ojuju Calabar as well.

  • Can you tell us some of your favourite musicians?

Well I have no favourites; I listen to music depending on my mood. I do have a thing for Celine Dion’s music and Tupac, I actually sampled Tupac’s “Changes” “on my track “My Life”. Asides that, I listen to all types of musicians.

  • Should we be looking forward to any exciting collaborations in the future? If so, who?

Yes of course! I have some collaborations lined up but I am really trying to get my fans to know me and love me first before I venture into collaborations.

  • As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Success for me is impact, impacting peoples lives positively. Waking up every day is a success, hearing my song on the radio is a success, having fans walk up to me telling me they love my music and how it made them happy or got them through a dark time they were going through is a huge success. Ultimately, for me, success and impact hand in hand.

  • What do you do with your free time when you’re not making music?

Most of what I do revolves around my music, when I’m not making music, I’m training and working on my sound and voice. Sometimes I love to chill and take a breather.

  • Lastly, what should you fans look forward to this year…any exciting plans?

Possibly a few collaborations and more new sounds. I have been experimenting different genres and I hope to surprise my fans with something new later on this year.