Jemiriye: Evicted From Nigerian Idol, Becomes Int’l Star


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When Jemiriye was kicked out of the Nigerian Idol stage in the 2012/13 season of the show, many would have thought it was the end of the world, but for her, it was the beginning of a journey to greatness, SAMUEL ABULUDE writes.

A graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism(same school Korede Bello is currently attending), Jemiriye relocated to the United States where she has since been living, and while she was let down by Nigerian Idol despite being an audience favourite thanks to her unique style, she has been soaring high and making Nigeria proud in the diaspora.

While in the US, Jemmy has she is fondly called was busy working hard on her skills and it wasn’t long before she was spotted by the Philadelphia Phillies games committee who invited her as the first Black to perform for the team during the last Philadelphia Phillies vs Miami Marlins’ flagship game in front of thousands as she sings the teams’ official anthem “Take Me To The Ballgame” at the stadium.

What’s more curious is why the judges on the Nigerian Idol show didn’t see the huge talent of this young stunning singer and kicked her out of the show. This same question has been begging for answers as year In year out, we continue to see the best talents being evicted from most of the musical reality shows in Nigeria. This is evident in the wild protests that often trail the announcement of a winner at the end of almost all the Nigerian music reality shows. But that’s a topic for another day.

It may interest you to know that the same Jemiriye, the rejected stone on Nigerian idol just got a nomination in the US as the Pittsburgh Emerging Artist for the year ended 2015, making her the only African nominee in the music category.

Jemiriye has unarguably become one of the most sought-after African singer in America even as she works on her full album that will be ready in 2016.

The Afrocentric Jemiriye who recently released the video to her single “Pamilayo” is already back in the studio working on a new song titled “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”.

“Knocking On Heaven’s Door” by Jemiriye is being produced by Grammy award winning producer, Dr Gregory McPherson amongst other respected American music experts.

According to her rep, the song features all the music professionals Jemmy had dreamt to work with, like Mr David Otis (late Queen of Pop, Whitney Houston’s guitarist), Mr Spike, who played percussions for the legendary Aretha Franklin, great musicians from Spelman College, to mention a few.”

Jemiriye who recently performed at the “I am Somebody” Tour concert, the first African concert in Las Vegas on December 26th 2015, has performed for the AD King Foundation’s Youth empowerment forum, which also witnessed the largest gathering of Nigerian Vice Chancellor’s outside of Nigeria.

Not long ago, she performed at the 84yr birthday of Ms Naomi Ruth Barber King, sister in law to Dr Martin Luther King, in Atlanta.

Need we say more? Jemiriye has also performed at the FunTimes magazines gala and awards night in Philadelphia, featuring the CEO of Shoprite Mr Jeff Brown.

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The Osun state born singer received an award in recognition of her distinguished and devoted contribution in musical entertainment from Impeccable First Eye Concept, Dallas, Texas.

While many Nigerian youths are taking to crime in the US, Jemiriye is one of the determined youths doing a lot to represent Nigeria in the best light in the US.

She even recently volunteered to support and perform for Americans Living with Disabilities in Tampa, Florida. She performed at the first edition of African Heritage Broadcasting and Entertainment Awards, in Houston, Texas, in October 2015. Which features entertainment moguls from Nigeria and diaspora.”

She performed at the African Women in Leadership Organisations Conference in the city of Sugarland, Texas, August, 2015. Featuring Sen Ita Giwa, Sen Donzella James from Georgia, and the Nigerian Consul general, Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe.

That’s not all, she performed at the Okapi Back To The Root Fashion show at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh. Dec 11, 2015 which had many of the who-is-who in American fashion and entertainment present.

Finally, Jemiriye may not have enjoyed the media buzz that winning the Nigerian idol competition brings here in the country, but her uniqueness has attracted top foreign media houses who now sees her as a marketable content for their platforms. Not long after gracing the cover of Fun Time Magazine in the US, Jemiriye has now been invited as the artiste of the week on the popular BBC Focus on Africa TV show.

According to what she shared online over the weekend, she first got an email from the respected international media corporation; then…

“the interview was scheduled for 12:30pm, then I got a call at 7:30am saying, Hi, Jemmy this is Kim from BBC, I was like okay, then she said are you ready for the interview? I was like, hmmm, it’s 7:30am here. Then she said oh sorry, it’s 12:30pm in LONDON, ” She wrote.

She continues; “I had no idea the call was from the BBC World main studio in London. Then I told Kim to give me about 3hrs to drag my lazy self from bed, cos I slept very late the . night, working in the studio. I finally got ready, dressed up, Skype ready and a exactly 10:30am central time, I got connected to the studio from the BBC World studio.”

She was even asked to sing the Philadelphia Phillies baseball anthem live on the show!

With the speed at which this young lady’s career is racing, she is definitely set to shake the world for Nigeria soon.



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