Interview: Lady Donli on being non-conformist and finding her sound ahead of ART X LIVE! 2019

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Lauded for being part of a class of musicians that have challenged mainstream norms and expectations as an alternative force in Nigeria’s music industry, Lady Donli has enjoyed a stellar 2019 and her album, Enjoy Your Life, is one of the most critically acclaimed projects of the year. If confirmation of her burgeoning public status is needed, a clue is provided by her invitation to join the likes of Wurld and Buju as feature acts at ART X LIVE! 2019.

Lady Donli speaks to Culture Custodian ahead of the international art fair scheduled to starts its fourth edition on November 1. She speaks about being a non-conformist, finding her sound and ART X LIVE!.

When did you discover what your sound was?

My sound is constantly evolving. Not even sure what it is at most times so I can’t pin-point a moment. I think I’ve just been on a journey and every musical occurrence has led to this moment or phase that I’m in.

Would you consider yourself a non-conformist? How have you stayed true to yourself in an environment such as this?

I think I’m constantly challenging the status quo and because of that, I’d regard myself as a non-conformist. I always do what my feelings and my mind lead me to do and I think that’s why I maintain my balance.

How would you say ART X Live! has changed the dynamics of creativity in Nigeria?

I think ART X Live! has changed how people perceive the creation of live shows in Nigeria. The attention to detail here has been so important; from the creation of the line-up to the setlists of the artistes, to the stage direction, to the lighting. Everything is well thought of and executed properly. I think when people come for ART X Live!, they see just how great a live show can be. That’s very important for the industry, and it’s very important for the culture as well.

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