Chidinma Ekile (born 2 May 1991), popularly known by her stage name Chidinma, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, recording artist and stage performer. In 2010, she rose to stardom after winning the third season of MTN Project Fame West Africa.
Chidinma, the sixth of seven children, was born in Ketu, Lagos State. Both of her parents are from Imo State. She worked as a business promoter in Lagos prior to auditioning for the third season of MTN’s Project Fame West Africa. Chidinma started singing at the age of 6, and grew up with a disciplinarian father. When she was 10 years old, she joined her church’s choir.
She attended primary and secondary school in Ketu prior to relocating to Ikorodu with her family. Chidinma is currently studying Sociology at the University of Lagos. She initially wanted to study Mass Communication. Chidinma initially declined her admission into the University of Lagos due to her advancement in the aforesaid competition. In an interview with YNaija, Chidinma said that she has always taken school seriously and her decision to enroll at Unilag was inevitable. She also said that music hasn’t always been on her agenda, and that she decided to give it a try after winning the MTN Project Fame competition. After dying her hair red and getting a mohawk, people started perceiving her as a good girl gone bad. In an interview posted on the Daily Independent website, Chidinma said she is still the same. She also said she’s evolving and growing as a musician.
Following the release of the music video for her “Emi Ni Baller” single, she became the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart. In 2011, she released her first solo single “Jankoliko” featuring Sound Sultan. Chidinma, her self-titled debut studio album, was released through the music platform Spinlet. It was supported by the singles “Jankoliko”, “Carry You Go”, “Kedike” and “Run Dia Mouth”. The album features guest appearances from Sound Sultan, Tha Suspect, Olamide and Muna. In 2012, Chidinma won the Best Female West African Act category at the 2012 Kora Awards; she performed “Kedike” at the ceremony.
Prior to auditioning for the third edition of Project Fame West Africa, she dreamt of being part of the reality TV show that was instituted in 2008. With the help and support from her close knit friend, Chidinma left her home in Ikorodu and went to the Ultima Studios, the venue for the show’s 2010 Lagos auditions. She was among the 8,000 or so contestants who went to showcase their talents that year. Subsequently, Chidinma advanced to the Fame Academy round alongside 17 other contestants. For 10 weeks, Chidinma and the other contestants were coached by musical professionals: voice coaches, inspirational speakers, established musicians, and music business service providers. Moreover, contestants were taught choreography and several rehearsal drills. On 26 September 2010, Chidinma became the apparent winner of the competition. She won several prizes, including N2.5 million, a 2011 Toyota RAV4, and an album production deal. In May 2013, Chidinma signed an endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria.
Sex Tape Accusation
In November 2013, a viral sex tape of Chidinma’s look-alike surfaced on the internet. Many people were convinced that Chidinma was the one in the sex tape. She said she felt bad when she initially heard the story.
In an extensive interview with Nonye Ben-Nwankwo, Chidinma elaborated on the sex tape scandal. She said that while her fan base grew from the incident, she felt quite devastated. She also thanked her core fans for their support through the scandal.
Accomplishments And Musical Influences
Chidinma won the “Best Female West African Act” category at 2012 Kora Awards. Her award plaque was presented to her by Didier Drogba. She toppled Omawumi and five others for the honour.
Chidinma has cited Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Fela Kuti, Omawumi, Onyeka Onwenu, Lagbaja and Darey Art Alade, as her biggest musical influences.