Rising Greek-Nigerian Singer-Songwriter Love Itoya talks individuality, lockdown skills and her empowering debut release ‘Pepper Dem’

Photo credit: Foto Texni

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

As a little girl watching MTV and music awards with my mother I was so inspired by Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Christina Milian, and Aaliyah, I always wanted to be like them especially seeing black female artist killing it like that. The energy and the empowerment that they brought on the stage made me to take the decision that I want to become, a singer-songwriter and performer. It was a love at first sight.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

First of all I love combining Music and Dance together, my dancing skills and energy on stage adds another flavour whenever I perform. My sound is pretty much versatile but I always make sure to carry along my roots in whatever genre whether is Pop / Rock or R&B due to the fact that they aren’t any Greek Nigerian Female Artists as a representation out there at the moment, especially from the tribe that my parents comes from which is EDO STATE from my mom’s side and Esan from my father’s side. Moreover there is a form of originality in my voice that’s raw and clear but at the same time powerful. Lastly I love writing songs from my own experiences.

Your debut release ‘Pepper Dem’ is out now. Please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the single?

To be honest I have always wanted to write an Anthemic song for all women specifically black women ,why because as a woman of colour I have gone through so many challenges and obstacles just because of my gender and unfortunately my colour of skin but through the sufficient grace of God I overcome and I will continue to. Generally, when it comes to women being bosses and outspoken men get threatened by it and instantly paint us as Divas, Uneducated and Troublesome but what a man can do a woman can do it better and let’s not forget that behind every successful man there is always a woman.

Coming down to the creative process, my brother Life Itoya and I tried really hard to find how we can incorporate a bouncy modern beat with our Nigerian roots for people to be able to gravitate towards it and mostly make a statement with our songwriting and melodies. We wrote ‘Pepper Dem’ in a day and the next day our parents added their own language to make it more original. Furthermore during the pandemic my brother and I flew to France around early October 2020 to work with the multi-talented French producers Shawondasee which really understood us and brought our song to life. And that’s how ‘Pepper Dem’ became what it is right now.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as an artist. When you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

Any time I have a bad day I make sure to always pray, cry out and watch empowering sermons from my mentor Prophet T.B Joshua in order to keep my faith strong and not allow anything or anyone drag my spirit down. In addition, writing down my feelings and thoughts in songs about a bad situation I experienced really calms my heart and relieves my soul.

Lastly I sometimes watch movies or TV series to be able to free my mind and just relax.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

I have a lot but I will say one that is my favourite which is ‘Put Some Colours In Your Life’. That song for me is the breakthrough song that made me fall in love with writing and making music again after 3 years of having a zero inspiration. The lyrics of this song represents me as a person and it’s honestly very relatable to everyone no matter the age. It’s basically talking about having faith in God and no matter what situation you are just cheer up, smile and put some colours in your life cause life’s too short for fears and worries. The song itself it’s on YouTube as an acoustic version and it was released December 2017.It’s an afro gospel song and has some lyrics of both of my parents tribe.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

I would advise that putting God in everything that you do makes things better and safer. Be persistent, never give up, work hard and never lose track because they will be many people that will try to knock you down but you have to pay no attention but instead follow your instincts and dreams. Do not compare yourself to others because everybody in this world have their own gift from God and always think one step ahead. Moreover, a key point to pursuing this musical career is to have good people around you that will genuinely support you and want nothing but your progress in life. Be humble and act smart when it comes to your craft.

Photo credit: Foto Texni

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

By the grace of God I want to be a worldwide singer/songwriter/performer
And to continue to make music that will inspire and touch a lot of people all around the world. Also to release projects and music videos that will change the narrative of the music industry today.

Did you learn any new skills during lockdown?

I really learned how to bake cakes and breads and different kind of cookies.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to say that I hope the world loves my song Pepper Dem and they should keep streaming it. Moreover I pray for the world to be at peace and have good health and hopefully when this pandemic ends I’ll be able to get back on stage to perform my new songs.

‘Pepper Dem’ is available now via all major platforms

Connect with Love Itoya

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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