EXCLUSIVE: Interview with David Onka

David Onka is the Nigerian born singer who now lives in Germany.

David is currently unsigned but would consider signing to a label if the right deal comes along.

Onka used to front West Africa’s most successful choir, but is now a full time singer, songwriter, producer and vocal coach.

I was lucky enough to be able to do a short interview, with the man himself, where David talks about his decision to leave the choir, what he thinks about music streaming, and also about his future plans.

When did you first realize you could sing?

I DON’T KNOW. IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME LIKE THAT.  I WAS BORN INTO A MUSIC FAMILY AND I GREW UP AROUND SONGS, SCRIPTS AND INSTRUMENTS. SO I AUTOMATICALLY GREW UP INTO SINGING AND PLAYING INSTRUMENTS. IT WAS NEVER A SPECIAL EVENT. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT . I THOUGHT IT WAS NORMAL BECAUSE MUSIC WAS THE MAJOR ACTIVITY AND BUSINESS THAT REVOLVED AROUND ME .
I ACTUALLY REALIZED THAT EVERYBODY CANT SING WHEN I WAS ALREADY A TEENAGER.
When did you first perform live?
I CANT REALLY REMEMBER BUT I THINK IT WAS WHEN I WAS 12 OR 13. I CAN ONLY REMEMBER THAT I WROTE MY FIRST SONG AT 8

 Why did you decide to leave the choir?

I LEFT THE CHOIR BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE . I HAD TO CONCENTRATE ON MY SOLO CAREER.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THE FOUNDER OF THE CHOIR WAS NOT FAIR TO  MOST PEOPLE THAT WORKED FOR HIM AND I COULDN’T STAND SEEING THESE PEOPLE BEING USED AS MUSIC SLAVES JUST BECAUSE THEY HAD PASSION FOR WHAT THEY DO
Who have you produced for?
MOSTLY INDIE ARTISTS. NO HUGE NAME YET. BUT IT WILL HAPPEN. IM POSITIVE ABOUT THAT.
Would you enter a competition like The X Factor?
YES I WOULD BUT I WOULDN’T WANT TO WIN .. LOL
If you could collaborate with anyone who would you choose?
DEPENDS ON THE GENRE AND AUDIENCE WE WANT TO TARGET.
APART FROM THAT I’D GO FOR STEVIE WONDER.
I STILL HAVE A LIST OF OTHERS AS SECOND CHOICE WHEN I THINK OF 2000s MAINSTREAM AND 90s
What would be your dream venue to perform at?
NO DREAM VENUE. AS LONG AS PEOPLE COME TO LISTEN – DOESN’T MATTER WHERE
What has been the best gig you have ever performed?
I’VE PLAYED IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE INCLUDING A FULL STADIUM BUT MY VERY BEST WAS IN A BAR WITH JUST ABOUT 100 PEOPLE . I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED OR WHAT I DID BUT THE ENERGY AND JOY, FROM THE AUDIENCE WAS SO HIGH AND SATISFACTORY TO ME, MUCH MORE THAN THE HUGE GIGS
Do you think free music streaming damages the music industry?
I DON’T THINK SO .. THERE ARE MANY MORE THINGS REALLY DAMAGING THE INDUSTRY .. NOT FREE STREAMING.  I THINK FREE STREAMING  HAS BOTH GOOD SIDE AND BAD SIDE LIKE EVERY OTHER THING ON EARTH. I BELIEVE IF ANY ARTISTS COULD VALIDATE HIS TALENT ON LIVE PERFORMANCES (that’s where every talent proves himself), HE’D BUILD A GOOD FANBASE FOR HIMSELF. AND THAT IS JUST THE FOUNDATION TO A GREAT MUSIC WORLD THAT MAKES UP FOR ALL THE FREE STREAMING
If you could change one thing about the music industry what would you change?
I WOULD CHANGE THE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC EXECUTIVES PROMOTING TRASH AND GIVING GARBAGE A HUGE NAME. I WOULD GO BACK TO THE DAYS OF PASSION AND REAL TALENT. I WOULD INVEST ON TALENTED PEOPLE WHO’S FIRST LOVE IS THE MUSIC , NOT ON THE NON-TALENTED PEOPLE WHO’S FIRST LOVE IS THE MONEY AND FAME
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
WELL, IT WOULD BE IN A MANSION CLOSE TO A BLUE SEA SURROUNDED BY WHITE SAND. NOT COLD AND NOT TOO WARM. SIT UNDER A FAKE PALM TREE AND SIP COCOANUT DRINKS. RUN UP AND DOWN THE WHITE SAND WITH A FOOTBALL  WEARING COLOURFUL HAWAI PANTS. SIT BACK ON MY SWING CHAIR AND LOOK THROUGH THE BLUES SEA WHILE MY CONTINENTAL DISH IS SERVED.  CHILL A BIT AND WAIT FOR THE BIKINI PARTY AT MY BACKYARD POOL EVERY WEEKEND WITH SOFT REGGAE MUSIC.
Sorry I had to be silly a bit. Every body would love to have that movie as life right ?
I REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY LOCATION BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME IS : IF ANY LOCATION COULD GIVE MY PASSION CHANCES TO LIMELIGHT (I don’t care where), THEN THAT LOCATION WOULD BE IN MY LIST.

You can follow David on Twitter @david_onka

Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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