Entertainment

Ashionye: Story of the fish-seller, thrilling audiences as singer

Ashionye Charity Edike

Ashionye Charity Edike is a multi-talented artiste. From a humble beginning as a fish seller, she has found her way into the entertainment industry, where she is making giant strides. She speaks more in this interview with ORJI ONYEKWERE.

Your real name and stage name.

I am Ashionye Charity Edike and my stage name is Ashny

It reminds me of one Ashionye Michelle Raccah

The one you are talking about featured in the new EP. It was deliberately done by my boss, Koffi, but it was a big surprise because I was not really expecting it.

How did you meet the popular singer, Ashionye Michelle Raccah?

I have not met her in person but I am one of her fans. I was surprised when I heard the voice note and it was my boss Koffi that sent it to me. I was like, is this the same Ashionye that I have always adored. I was really thrilled. You should listen to the introduction, it’s really amazing.

Tell us about your song, is it a single?

Yes, it’s. It’s supposed to be an EP.

Let’s talk about your inspiration and your type of music.

I don’t limit myself to a particular style, when it comes to my genre. I try to be versatile. I am an Afro’ pop artiste. As an Afro’ pop artiste, you can go into different directions and experiment with different kinds of songs. You can sample different sounds.

‘Fuego’, means fire in Spanish. Ashny is fire. That is from frying pan to fire. The frying pan is actually my previous album titled, ‘Ashny, Ain’t Playing,, then Fire, which is ‘Fuego’ , the next EP before ‘Charity Begins’. All these are actually planned and it’s intentional to show that Ashny has a lot in stock and I am ready for the world and the world should also be ready for me as well because I have a lot to offer.

So, it’s Koffi that is managing you?

Yes and he wrote some of the songs. The good thing is that we sit down and share ideas and rub minds, like they say, ‘two good heads are better than one’, his is even more than one. Sometimes, I wonder where he gets his ideas and how he is able to manage all these effectively.

When is the full album coming out?

Very soon, we are releasing double EP that’s ‘Charity Begins’ and ‘Fuego’ which we just dropped.

What’s your plan about keeping the tempo and who is the artiste you want to work with?

American singer Beyonce Knowles has always been on my top list and I pray that it happens very soon. Nigerian singer Asa as well, I love her songs and I will be happy to work with her. What I am looking forward to is to let the world know that there is an artist called Ashny.

My song is different and I have a lot to offer music wise. When you listen to my songs, you will know that this one is different, the beat, lyrics and everything, you just listen to them and you will feel as if I am personally talking to you.

Apart from music, what other things do you do?

I am a fashion designer and an actress.

Any major movie?

I have featured in Mumble Jumble, Ropo’s Race, One Good Shoe, Senior Man, Hotel Security, Maid Solution, Scama O Rama and An Area Boy .

Scama O Rama featured Owen Gee, Koffi Tha Guru and others. There is Ropos Race which featured legends like: Salawa Abeni, Sir Shina Peters, Omo Baba, Koffi Tha Guru and myself. I happened to be one of the lead actors.

My movie is coming out very soon, it’s titled ‘Birth of the Nightingale’. The movie is inspired by one of the songs from my previous album titled ‘Overcome’. I am actually one of the few Nigerian female artistes to have a movie around her songs .

All the movies you featured in were written by Koffi, can’t you go beyond this and look at featuring in more Nollywood movies?

He saw the potential in me and saw that I can go beyond singing. I started from his circle, but if I have the opportunity of featuring in other Nollywood movies, I am open to it. Sometimes I feel that people are not aware that I am into acting and so they are surprised when they see clips of my acting prowess. If I get offers outside Koffi’s production, I am ready for it.

What are you doing to ensure you get offers?

I am working hard to achieve that.

We have females that are doing great in the music industry, like Tiwa Savage, Tems, Yemi Alade and others, do you think the standard they have set for some you is too high?

First, I am not competing or comparing myself to anyother female artiste because I am unique in my own way and I am only interested in working on my sounds and giving my best. It was the passion that brought me into music and if that’s not the main drive, there’s no reason to be in the industry. I appreciate their works, but I am not really bothered about them. I am hoping that one day I will get to their level but I am not competing with anyone.

There have been allegations of cultism in the music industry and some cases of senior artistes demanding sex from the upcoming ones before featuring in their songs. What do you have to say about this?

I am one of those people who don’t waste their precious time on social media because I have more important commitments. Creating music and sitting down to write songs is a lot of work. I try to create something that is different from the norm being unique in my own way. I only go to the social media when I want to check or need to know what is going on around me. I am not really bothered about the men dominating the music industry. It’s going to be unfair to compare the strength of a woman to that of a man.

How would you handle attention from men when you eventually become famous?

I have experience from way back. I am not a baby in the music industry. I have been in the industry since 2014. I have experienced a lot and I have seen so much in the industry. I will handle it with maturity because I know where I am coming from. My parents trained me well.

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In addition, the person that is mentoring me is part of the people that will make sure I don’t go astray in this industry. I am ready for anything that will come with the fame. I am disciplined and have self-control, so I can handle them.

You are ready for the scandals?

That’s if there will be any because I am not praying for one.

Tell us more about your upbringing.

Before I went into the music industry professionally, I used to trade in fish business as a retailer at Ijora /7UP market. There’s this constant habit of me singing because music is in my blood and I cannot do without.

The people around me started talking to my sister, whom they used to call Mama Joy. They were putting pressure on her that they believe my passion is totally different from being a fish seller, let her allow me to focus on discovering my talent in music.

We spoke and she told me that she has seen me a couple of times writing my songs or miming other people’s song because I used to be in the children choir back then, so I know how to pull the crowd. She strongly believes in me and that was how I ventured into music.

My career started with the support of my sister Joy Chioma Edike.. She was part of the people that supported me financially. I also went into fashion designing; though she was supporting me financially, that was not enough. I have always been a hustler right from childhood.

How many are you in the family?

We are 10 but I lost one of my elder brothers.

QUOTE:

I am one of those people who don’t waste their precious time on social media because I have more important commitments. Creating music and sitting down to write songs is a lot of work. I try to create something that is different from the norm.

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