SHiiKANE Military Chic shoot by Luke Nugent
British/Nigerian girl group SHiiKANE have proven time and time again that they are here to stay. Dubbed Africa’s biggest girl group, the trio of Ifeanyichukwu and Uchechukwu (twins) and their baby sister Nkemdilim have continually treated us to really good music and shown us what being sisters in business means.
In a chat with OnoBello.com’s Olufunke Edidi, the stunning sisters open up on their debut album, inspiration, staying together as a group, fashion, beauty secrets and more…
You are currently going on media tours in preparation for your soon-to-be released debut album. When exactly should we be expecting it to drop?
Ifeanyi: The album was scheduled to be released in May on our late mothers’ birthday but we’ve decided to push the date back and release something different to honour our mum. We can’t say what it is yet but we think our fans will love it!
Being relatively new faces on the scene and Africa’s hottest girl band, how would you rate the level of acceptance of your music from fans?
Uche: It’s been an amazing journey so far. We’re actually surprised at how fast our popularity is growing. It’s taken a while for people to grasp the concept of an African Female group, they’re used to seeing it from the guys like PSquare and Sauti Sol and female groups from other countries, with DestinysChild, TLC, SWV, Spice Girls and Little mix. So initially people we’re sceptical but all of a sudden there’s a peak in interest and we’re excited.
How long did it take you to compile this album and seeing as you’re a group as well as selecting the songs on it?
Nkem: The album has taken a couple of years to put together. Deciding on songs has been quite an easy process but picking the amount of songs has been the tricky part because we like all our songs. But there’s something for everyone, it’s an eclectic blend of sounds and we sing about different topics not just love and heartbreak. The album is based on the life of a woman’s power strength and femininity.
Asides your collaboration with Orezi, which other music acts should we look forward to hearing on your album?
Uche: We have a song with Oritse Femi and are currently working with Masterkraft who is also now an artist. He has been a major influence on SHiiKANE since we started this journey, he’s like the Nigerian Teddy Riley or Timbaland, so once we got the chance to work with him we were star struck. We plan to record more songs with Masterkraft so look out for some ground breaking sounds from SHiiKANE!
As a group, which artiste or band do you draw inspiration from?
Nkem: We are inspired by lots of different artists ranging from Michael Jackson to Prince and Led Zeppelin and Phil Collins, we also adore. Nigerian music, it feeds our hearts, Waje, Tiwa Savage and the legendary Fela to name a few. Anything that makes our emotions fly is what we listen too.
You once said SHiiKANE will never split. We’d like to believe that especially since you’re actually blood sisters. Then again, we all saw when went down between the PSquare brothers. What steps have you put in place to ensure there won’t be such problems in the future?
Ifeanyi: Yes we did say that we’d never split. That doesn’t mean we’d never do individual projects though. In terms of us being a band we will always stay together because no matter what we’re family.
We promised each other that we’d stay together not matter how hard it got to honour our mom’s memory. We argue just like any other siblings do, but we try to resolve our differences as quick as we can. We don’t have anything physically in place to ensure we never split all we have is faith and God.
You recently released new photos tagged ‘Blaque Vogue’ . What is that about ?
Uche: The ‘Blaque vogue’ shoot was very iconic for SHiiKANE, the short hair symbolised the strength we hold as women and the blackness was a nod to our power and elegance.
We wanted to release images that were every different to show our fans another side of SHiiKANE. We also like to play around and experiment with fashion, the blaque vogue shoot was an example our expressive desires.
Also, you’ve been working with British fashion photographer, Luke Nugent for some time now. Why him?
Nkem: We have a great understanding and synergy with Luke that we haven’t managed to have with other photographers. He gets our brands and the direction of travel. Our schedules are really hectic so it’s less pressure working with a team you are familiar with and ‘get you’.
We plan on working with Nigerian photographers such as Sunmisola Olorunnisola and TY Bello very soon!
We’ve come to know SHiiKANE for your impeccable style, coupled with your various photoshoots. Any designs on the Nigerian fashion industry?
Ifeanyi: We actually style and design our own clothes and our photo/video shoot
looks. We started a fashion line called SHiiBrit in 2009 and planned to launch officially are African Fashion Week in London and Lagos. We’re still in talks so will announce everything once it’sconfirmed.
We love Nigerian designers and support the industry wholeheartedly. Nigerians are fashion forward and innovative with the rest of Africa following our lead. We love designers such as AprilbyKunbi, VonneCouture, and stylist like Swanky Jerry
Talking about beauty, you guys always seem to glow. What’s the secret?
Nkem: Thank you! We try to exercise 4-5 times a week no matter where we are. We’re always on the road so we use the hotel gym or sign up to the local gym. We also drink a minimum of 3 liters of water a day and try to eat healthy but that doesn’t always happen with our schedules.
We also laugh a lot, anyone who works with SHiiKANE will tell you we love to laugh and find humour in the strangest things, ‘a smile a day keeps the wrinkles at bay!’ J
Ifeanyi, Uche &Nkem: We would like to thank our fans Team SHiiKANE for their immeasurable support and encouragement and also Onobello for supporting SHiiKANE.
Remember – no matter how big your dreams are never allow fear to stand in your way, walk in faith and JUST DO IT!!
To get familiar with SHiiKANE, follow on Instagram: @officialshiikane| Facebook: SHiiKANE |Twitter: @SHiiKANE |Vevo: shiikanevevo |YouTube: SHiiKANE |Bookings: [email protected]/+234 802 3383979