She is a creative, entrepreneur, and nurse who caught coronavirus and released her first EP during quarantine. This multi-passionate young woman believes there’s nothing she can’t do.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a 24 year old Nigerian entrepreneur, creative, and registered nurse. My personality and passions are literally all over the place but I like to think its because I am one of a kind. I credit a lot of my uniqueness to my non-traditional Nigerian upbringing where the village that raised me consisted of aspiring rappers, politicians, educators, fashion designers, business tycoons, lawyers, and healthcare professionals.
My Urhobo parents drilled the value of self-sufficiency in me and constantly affirmed my uniqueness by reminding me of the power in my name Emetekoro, meaning “Girls are Gold”. According to my Dad, they intentionally did not give me an English name because they wanted me to be proud of my heritage. They also didn’t want any success that I would bring to it to be attributed to a white man. Because of all of this I work so hard to show black boys and girls how to take pride in their identities and capitalize on the qualities that make them special.
Where did you grow up and where are you now?
I grew up in Lagos, London, Atlanta, and Abuja and currently live in NYC.
You are a registered nurse, entrepreneur and a creative. How do you juggle your diverse skills in each industry?
For one, I’m always working, even when I’m not. But that’s the joy in doing something you love, work never feels like work. With being a nurse, I am fortunate enough to have flexibility in my schedule that allows me tend to my other passions. I work three 12 hour night shifts a week and spend my mornings and days off creating and planning for my businesses.
I act like I’m working three jobs and spend a lot of time scheduling and organizing my calendar. Luckily when it comes to my music and my businesses, a lot of my skills overlap and I work with the same people so it makes it easier to manage.
What would you say influenced your career choices?
My parents were very clear about the importance of further education and if I wanted them to finance my degree, it would had to be in something that was going to help me be self-sufficient. That’s how I go into nursing.
The original plan was for me to use my nursing degree to help my parents pay for medical school; however, after graduating, I had a lot of extra free time during my job search and used that opportunity to prove to my parents that I could build a business that could be my primary source of income. It worked and now they’re more supportive than ever, but who knows, I might wake up one day and still pursue medicine.
When did you go into music?
I started writing when I was 12 but did not start recording until November 2019. I made the decision to take my music seriously after I performed a City Girls song to a large crowd of people at a Trap Karaoke event. The adrenaline I felt on stage and the response I got from the crowd was the sign I needed to pursue my music career.
What influenced you to pursue a career in music apart from the other careers you have?
Music is one of those spaces where everything goes. For the longest time I found myself dipping my hand in every creative pot possible and growing frustrated because I couldn’t pick one that I was most passionate about without feeling like I was neglecting the other. With music I didn’t have to choose, I was able to blend all of those interests.
Whether it was beauty, graphic design, creative directing, fashion, or travel, all of those interests were already built-in to the music industry so it made my choice to pursue music easy. I like to think that musicians are merely scatter brains that are able to make sense of things that aren’t meant to make sense.
What are some of the problems you have come across while pursing your careers?
A problem that always seems to come up in no matter what I do is the threat of comparison. Although most times I’d like to think I’m only in competition with myself, social media makes it hard to maintain that belief.
Sometimes I would find myself comparing my progress with others and getting discouraged which ultimately would steal the opportunities I’ve had to celebrate some of my most monumental accomplishments.
Another problem I’ve run into is finding people who share the same amount of passion as I do in my work. Sometimes I have found myself in failed partnerships or teams because the people involved were just not as passionate as I was or I failed to allow me to put my trust in them to produce work up to par with my standards. However, now I have learned from my experience and have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a tribe of like-minded people who share the same work ethic as me and inspire me to go bigger and better in everything I do.
In regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, being a nurse who was set to work at a Covid hospital in a hard hit region and later contracting the virus, what was that experience like for you?
To be honest it was traumatizing. I was there to witness the progression of the virus and its exponential spread. One of the most surreal memories I had was back in January when a patient who was visiting from Mongolia told me about how bad the Corona virus pandemic in China really was. He told me that piles of bodies lined the streets and were being burned daily, and that the reported numbers were not close to the actual number of those who had actually passed.
When I was told this, we were still under the impression that the virus was like the flu and the likelihood of it spreading in the US was low. Never in a million years would I have thought that that same story would become my reality right here in NYC. There were shifts where I had to take a moment to cry every 30 min as I watched people who were the same age as myself struggle to fight for their life. The worst was finding a patient suddenly dead who presented normal the entire shift.
When I eventually contracted the virus myself I went through periods on in denial and terror as I watched my oxygen levels deplete with minimal exertion. I lived alone and was afraid to have family tend to me because I didn’t want to put them at risk due to their own latent commodities. I feel now I have somehow found a way to deal with the emotional trauma this pandemic has caused by compartmentalizing my experience and healing through music and creativity.
What should people expect from the EP you recently released while being in quarantine?
The Outside EP is a representation of my diverse upbringing and truly has something for everyone. Between the sounds of Afro-beats, Trap, Drill, and Afro-Swing, people are exposed to genres they might have not explored before. This EP showcases my versatility and unique lyricism with each song. Just like its title, the music is meant to give you outside vibes and evokes feelings of freedom and enjoyment.
You have a Novel you recently released titled, ‘Diary of a Sad Black Woman’. What is it about?
‘Dairy of a Sad Black Woman,’ is a coming of age novel based on events in my personal life that make up my unfavorable dating history. In this novel I reflect on some of my most memorable romantic moments throughout my teenage years and young adulthood. While this book is meant to be a comedy, I hope to shed light on the female experience of sexual misconduct as well as the topic of mental health and the effects of peer pressure and bullying on the self-esteem and wellness of our children.
What inspired you to write it?
I was actually inspired by a YouTube series called Crynicles by a Guyanese animator and writer Sierra McKie. Her animated series about her own love life was so relatable and evoked conversation about rape and self-esteem that a lot of us typically shy away from. I began writing Diary of a Sad Black Girl as a form of therapy after watching the series to help me heal through the experiences I’ve had but then after sharing it with one of my friends, I was encouraged to put it out, especially considering my background and the number of people who may relate to it.
Who would you consider your role model or mentor, and why?
This may be cliché, but my mother is my biggest role model. Growing up I watched her pursue so many different interest and build so many different businesses that I was raised to believe it was normal. My mother has always pushed herself past everyone’s expectations and in turn has taught me that there is nothing in this world that I cannot do. Whenever I find myself stuck on something or met with an obstacle, she is the person I look to in order to find a solution.
What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
Stop being so hard on yourself, success will come. Enjoy the moment you are in now. The world is truly your oyster and you will accomplish all that you set your mind out to do, no need to rush.
There are many multi-passionate and multi-talented individuals out there that have difficulties juggling everything they do. What advice can you give to them?
First, find a planner and create a daily routine. When you are able to carve out time for each of your passions, they become less overwhelming and the quality in your work increases.
Second, COLLABORATE COLLABORATE COLLABORATE!! Yes you are good at everything but it doesn’t always have to be a one man show. Where you may struggle, someone else may do exceptionally and vice versa. Working with other creatives not only makes your life so much easier but it also opens you up to so many other audiences and opportunities to perfect your craft.
Lastly, you don’t have to choose! New industries and mediums are being discovered everyday. Try to brainstorm ways on how to combine your talents into one and don’t be afraid of trail and error.
Where can people follow you online?
You can follow me on IG, Twitter, and TikTok @sixsaidit
and you can find my music and novel here at www.linktr.ee/sixsaidit