Douye is a Nigerian born singer/songwriter, whose sound is full of rhythm and soul with a touch of jazz. Beautifully texturing her pure, sultry and smoky vocals, her sensual voice is free and smooth, and flows like a melancholy breeze. Douye who is based in Los Angeles was influenced by such jazz and R & B legends as Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Billie Holliday, Stevie Wonder and Sade. The multi-faceted performer began singing at church at age 7 and quickly began focusing on her future as a professional singer. By age 10, she was expressing her innermost emotions in poetry, which led naturally to her development as a compelling songwriter. In mid-teens, she travelled to Europe to pursue her growing musical dreams, and she later emigrated to the United States and studied voice at the acclaimed Musicians Institute, Hollywood, California. Douye' continues to broaden her base of appreciative and passionate fans all over the world. She explains it all in this interview with vigor.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Douye’ and I am a Nigerian born singer/songwriter, recording artist. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and my parents are from Bayelsa, Nigeria. I later moved to the United States to pursue my career in music and then attended a music school called Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA., which is where I am currently based.
What inspired your music career?
My love for music; music is my ultimate passion and it’s really one of the strong forces of my life, well apart from my family and God. I guess I can say that I am a music head…(Laughs). I am happiest when I am doing music.
At what time did it occur to you that music will take part of your life?
I would say, from childhood, maybe 7 years of age. Whilst growing up, I was very much exposed to good music by my parents; and they were lovers of all kinds of music, especially, Jazz, Soul Blues and R&B music. My exposure to music from early age of my life helped to shape my vision and goal in pursuing music.
How do you compare your music to the current trend of today's vibes. Are you going with the flow as the market demands?
As an artist, it’s important for me to be very much aware of the trends of popular music and knowing the new happenings or changes as it relates to music and pop culture. Having said that, I consider my music to be timeless and I have always strived to maintain that niche in my sound and brand because with that, I believe that, my music will always be appreciated by all ages and demographics due of the timeless feel to it.
In "So Much Love," a recorded tribute to Fela Kuti, what about Fela Kuti?
My parents were so much into Fela’s Music; we listened to Fela weekly at home. His sound caught my attention because he was the first African artist that I heard jazz and blues roots in his sound. In general, Fela’s music is considered to be afro beat, but he also infused jazz and blues. His sound and I was just blown away by that...(Laughs). I thought that was clever of him because his music remains universal because of its uniqueness and timeless feel to it. Because of the admiration I have for his music, his movement, I consciously decided to show my appreciation to him by writing and performing the song” So Much Love” and, every bit of the title of the song represent exactly what I feel about the legendary, Fela Kuti and my love for his work.
In what environment was the song conceived?
I co-wrote the song with my long time co-writer, Terry Shaddick, a British renowned song writer. The song was produced by a Nigerian born bassist, Baba Ken Okulolo, who had also performed with Fela Kuti. The song was mixed by renowned mixer, Ray Badarni and mastered by the legendary, Bernie Grundman. The song “So Much Love” was recorded at the Bay area of California (Oakland) and it was all done live. The musicians were excellent and were into the groove for this song; they all gave so much love and attention to the song and it reflects in the song.
You worked together on the project with Terry Shaddick. Who is Shaddick?
As indicated, Terry Shaddick is my mentor, my co-writer and a well celebrated British song writer.
Baba Ken Okulolo is a great guy. How was working in the studio with him like?
Super awesome! He was so cool and collected throughout the process of the recording of the song “So Much Love’. I admire the fact that, he took my vision for this song and made it happen as planned; that was incredibly cool and I salute him and, will always appreciate him for that.
What would you have done assuming you did not pick music as career?
I am so into fashion and so, I probably would have done something related to the field….or in a more conventional aspect, maybe become a barrister….(Laughs, Laughs and laughs)
What takes your time when you're not in the studio working on projects?