talks about being signed by Knighthouse Entertainment music label at
the age of 13, releasing her first single at 15 and gaining popularity
at 17 before her university days at UNILAG. After about four years in
the music industry, Mocheddah decided to take a break. According to the
musician, “I saw other people living life and it became clear… I was 21,
and I thought this was not a way to live. I didn’t watch movies
anymore. I didn’t watch TV. I was missing out on life and that is when I
I do not strive for fame, I want to get to a point where I am putting consistent music out there…
Although she made a comeback, her focus on music hasn’t been the same
as she recently got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Bukunyi
Olateru-Olagbeji, and ventured into other business including her
clothing line, Mocheddah.co. Guardian Life caught up with Mocheddah, who
talks about her departure from the music industry and her future plans
for her brand.
How did you get your stage name Mocheddah?
My name has always been Mo, and for some reason when I started rapping I
always said Mocheddah. I would go for interviews and the host would
always introduce me as Mocheddah. Initially, I hated it and I am pretty
good at saving money so people started calling me Mocheddah – initially
if it didn’t pay then I wouldn’t do it. When I made my first music
video, Clarence Peters asked, “Why don’t you just use Mocheddah?”
How was your experience at UNILAG?
I won’t really say I went to UNILAG because I was popular when I went
there, so it was literally class and studio so I didn’t have the time to
explore. All I did was study and leave.
What prompted you to take the long break?
So when I was 21, I decided anything that doesn’t make me happy, I’ll
stop it. I was lost and I knew I was clueless and overwhelmed. I told my
mum I didn’t want to do this anymore because I didn’t know who I was.
My friends were having fun, making mistakes, living life and I wasn’t. I
was famous, I was popular, I had money, I could do what I wanted, and I
had a lot of freedom.
What did you do during your break?
I did nothing. Of course, I was still recording music and going to the
studio because music is my first love. I have over 50 to 100 songs
recorded in my archives. I travelled to see friends. For me, that was
fun because I did not have that luxury. Doing nothing was exciting, even
though I still recorded music and went to the studio, I did it on my
own time. I was an ambassador for several companies.
Have you had issues separating your current identity from your past? Let’s start with who you are now.
Mocheddah now has found a middle ground. Growing up, I was built to
impress and put my first foot forward and competed with myself. It is
not the same music people remember me for because what people do not
understand is that it is a business. Right now I’m loving, so I am going
to be singing love songs. I want to motivate young girls, so I sang Survive. I am just going to do what I want to do and if I make money fine and if I don’t fine.
Are you looking to get back to that level of fame again?
No, because I do not strive for fame, I want to get to a point where I
am putting consistent music out there, but where I am running many
businesses. I am a style consultant, I am a style influencer, I also do
manage several brands, which people don’t know about. I want to build an
empire and create job opportunities for many people.
Tell us how you got into fashion?
I always liked fashion and styled all my videos. Back then I didn’t have
the luxury of hiring makeup artists and stylists, what I would do is go
to Yaba market and boutiques, I would style myself. I also had sisters,
luckily I could steal all their clothes. I feel like, with fashion,
when you’re out of resources is when you are most creative.
What has been your major challenge establishing yourself in the fashion industry?
I have a fan base, which has made it easier. I had customers before I
started and the only challenge I have is meeting orders, but I do not
bite more than I can chew. I also have a factory and tailors that work
for me. I can say one of the issues I have is the work ethic in Nigeria,
which is really bad. The Nigerian youths are not ready to work, they do
not know what it takes to get to the top so keeping staff is an issue
because they keep coming and going.
So what’s the Mocheddah brand about now?
Right now I am running Mochedda.co, which has makeup, music and a blog.
The blog has counsellors and gynaecologists; we have different people
contributing to the site. The idea of the blog is to allow young girls
to have friends because what TV and social media are saying right now is
the wrong energy. I feel like the blog Girls Girl is that cool, big
sister telling you I know how you feel because I went through it and
this is how you can handle it.
You recently got engaged, how is your wedding planning going?
I am excited and I have known him for a long time. He is my first
boyfriend and now my fiancé! When I am upset, I just look at my ring and
I’m like yeah, I am good! This is the happiest time of my life and I
cannot wait to see what the future holds.
What has been your highlight so far?
I feel like because I didn’t live for so long, now I am just doing what I
want. The thing I love about my makeup videos, my fashion and blog is
the fact that I am relating to people when I read and reply comments.
Now I have customers who I communicate with. My highlight is speaking to
customers or getting an email from my blog, and impacting lives.