By Eric Elezuo
With a voice so smooth and velvety, Nigeria’s newest and talented rhythm and blues (R and B) icon from the United States, Alexandria Amede Chukwuma, known by her stage name, Taurie, is set to storm the vibrant Nigerian music climate.
Born and raised in the United States of America, but composing a version of R&B, which she proudly describes as Nigerian Pop, Ni-Pop for short, Taurie’s foray into the music world is far from accidental. She is said to have mastered the art of songwriting and performance as early as 11 years when she wrote her first song and performed same to a family audience right inside their living room. Since then, the talented Ni-Pop crooner has not looked back, but immersed herself in perfecting the smoothness of her voice and act. A listen to her singles, ‘One Love’ and ‘Buddy’ is likely to create goose bumps drawing from the passion of her voice. The video has a feel of talent on all fronts, and that is the hallmark of the sensational singer.
At the time Taurie turned 19, it was obvious that she had carved a niche for herself in the music world, and so decided to let go of her initial dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon. Her decision was motivated after her first studio experience where she helped a friend mix a playlist for a party. Her expertise on the day proved she was born for the arts, music, most especially.
Taurie, who was born 24 years ago in Staten Island, New York of Nigerian parentage, had showcased her musical prowess in school shows, singing, dancing and performing on stage. Her friends had described her as a maverick owing to her ability to teach herself how to use music studio engineering equipment so easily to create beats and produce multiple songs.
She is not called a gifted child for nothing as her ability to command the use of five musical instruments – Piano, Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass Guitar and Ukulele has proved.
For someone who had lived all her life in the US, many had wondered how she so effortlessly connected with her origin, but she said it is inborn. “You can’t be a Nigerian and not be connected to its culture”.
She continued: “I did not know my grandfather as he had passed on when I was very young. Sadly, my first visit to Nigeria was to bury him, and I immediately connected with my roots.”
The ‘complete package’ performer holds Nigerians and Nigerian singers in high esteem, disclosing that the likes of Tiwa savage, Wizkid and Burna boy among others really inspire her. She appreciates their huge contribution in placing Nigeria among the front burners of world music in her generation.
Describing her music, she highlighted: “I would say my genre follows soul, neo-soul and R&B. I also have a flavour for mid-tempo dance. In terms of my Ni-Pop genre, I am still discovering it so I would say I am still mainstream in the Nigerian music culture. I am still learning where I belong.”
With the album Enigma, released in March 2020 and the second, Blossom, released in May 2020 already in her kit, Taurie plans to drop another hit single, ‘Heart Sings’ in October and follow it up with a grandiose Instagram live show on October 23rd for her teeming fans globally. Her Nigerian single ‘A Chom Gi’ will be released in the first week of November
In her usual humble mien, Taurie noted that “I am still growing in this industry so I am still learning about other artists and how they inspire the rest of us.”
At the moment, the singer, who believes in ‘giving the fans a memorable time’, performs often with her band ‘T.A.S.K’ (Taurie And the String Kings) at local lounges and open mics in many New Jersey locations.
In the words of her publicist, Kenechukwu Nwaka, “Taurie is soft spoken, pleasant to hang out with, patient to work with and always engaging. Even with her rising profile still watches cartoon with her youngest sibling every Friday night, picks her sister up after sports practice in between studio recordings, cooks on her scheduled days to cook at home, and still has time for weekly Sunday brunch with the whole family, a tradition she has kept with her mother from her younger years.”
Obviously, the Nigerian music scene will definitely not be the same again with the arrival of Taurie.