Another weekend to take a break (yinmu) from the dictates of capitalism and let your hair down while listening to some smooth music — you deserve it.

Kicking off today, once every week (till talent pools run dry, which is impossible), we’ll introduce you to a new R&B artist emerging across Africa.

We present to you Enaky from Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

As more people clamour for more women’s participation in music, rising star Enaye Igoniwari, better known as Enaky, is set to put her native Bayelsa state on the global map as she presents Family, her debut in Nigeria’s music scene. 

Looking back on how far she’s come, Enaky traces her evolution in music, taciturn childhood, the inspiration behind her single, getting signed to a record label, new responsibility and what’s next for her career.

First off, congrats on inking your first record deal. Can we get a peep into your background?

I was born and raised in Ogbia local government in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. I had typical Bayelsan parents, and they were strict. So I was at home all the time, spending time with myself, watching TV or pressing my phone. I just wanted to learn as much as I could. It was during this learning phase I found myself exploring music.

That was very recreational for me. When I began taking my singing very serious, it wasn’t as easy, but I always felt like I could ride on till the end. Practice turned into a daily thing for me. I covered songs and did a lot of freestyles, many of them didn’t even make it to my socials. Throughout my uni days, it was me and YouTube beats.

How long have you been pushing independently before the record deal came along?

It’s funny, but my first studio recording was only two years ago.

No other experiences before that time?

I had been making freestyles and covers in my room, but didn’t get a chance to record an official studio track until 2021. That said, my involvement with music started since I was a kid. When I was 11, I joined the choir, even though I had stage fright. Then, I started writing poems in primary school and became serious with it when I entered junior secondary school.

I didn’t know I’d be doing music at the time; creative writing has helped me.

Fair. Let’s discuss Family, your first official single, under NSB Entertainment. How did it come together?

The song is about my personal experiences with people. A few years ago, my tolerance and trust were broken: I’ll share the full story when I’m ready, but this song came together from my craving for honesty and peace.

Family is the fastest song I have written so far. It was easy to pour out my pain points based on my experiences with people.

Yeah, it sounds a bit personal. It’s brilliant songwriting

Yeah. I have been a writer since my secondary school days.

Also, growing up, we didn’t stay in one place for long. I never spent more than a year in any secondary school except in university. So that also gave me some variety when I approach music.

Hey. Have you heard that the Burning Ram Meat Festival is happening in Lagos two weeks from now? Precisely on the 11th of November. Tickets are selling out. Get yours now.

What has changed since you got signed?

Everything has changed.

My daily activity has changed. Before, it was me in my room, singing something to lift my spirit. Now it’s all pro. It’s more practice, studio sessions, meetings and soaking up games from the smart people around me. Even the messages I received then and the ones I get now are different. People used to text me and be like, “Hey, I saw your freestyle video and liked it. You’re amazing. Keep it up.” Now it’s more stuff like, “Wow, omo, you don blow o.”

That shows me that people now see the effort of the team and I — the professionalism and the whole packaging are becoming glaring, and people are noticing.

Also, the idea of a musician I had in my head is entirely different from what it is now. I thought musicians write music, record, eat and, rest. I never thought about the responsibilities until I got to this phase. But now I understand it demands dedication, self-control, discipline, focus and drive — my craft is being invested in and it’s business more than ever. I have to be consistent with good music, my posts and my interactions. Even on days I feel down, I’m learning to pull myself back up. I have to keep getting better. Whether I like it or not, there are expectations I have to deliver on, and I cannot fuck up.

But I’m very aware I’m not an unsigned artist in my room anymore — a group of people share my visions and are ready to accomplish them with me, and I must make that easy for them.

What’s next for Enaky?

Growth, growth, growth. I want to keep creating music that stands the test of time. I want to make catalogues of emotive songs that people can always lean on. I always keep it honest and straight from the heart. Also, my first music project should be out in November — I’m very excited to share when it’s time.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.