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My Songs Are An Encapsulation Of Things I’ve Experienced – Libianca

'People' stepped out in its own way to show that we are all human beings. In Afrobeats, we show how strong we are; we talk about our resilience and our happiness; we talk about a lot of things, but we can also talk about this; we can talk about the things that are sometimes uncomfortable to address.


Cameroonian-American singer, Libianca Kenzonkinboum Fonji.

 

 

Cameroonian-American singer Libianca Kenzonkinboum Fonji, who was featured on Channels Television’s breakfast show, The Morning Brief, dishes details about her songs, the inspiration behind her songs coming from a personal place of experience, how Nigeria houses a good number of her fans and more.

Read the full interview below:

You were on The Voice; how long ago was that?

It was in 2021; that’s almost three years ago.

How far did it go in that competition?

I made it all the way to live play-offs that when … and was like, oh yeah, this is winning. I came out that night, and I was like, “tonight is the night!”.

 

Blake Shelton selected Libianca over Tommy Edwards after the two contestants performed a duet of “Save Your Tears (Remix) on “The Voice.” (TYLER GOLDEN/NBC)

 

And Libianca, the report is that you chose Blake Shelton to coach you over Ariana Grande and all the other big names. Why? That’s something, right?

I chose Blake because, like, one; it was a prayer I had to talk to God at the end of the day, I can’t make any decision on my own; just lead me, and so He led me through a strategy and like Ariana’s team is full of high belters that are high-range, and people love that. I am a low-girl, so I need to go where I will stand out. I can’t go where they will kick me off the next thing. I had to go where I can last longer, and it’s not only that but where the exposure can last longer, where I can portray my talent.

I saw you performing the ‘Everything I Believe’ song, and the way you went from the low to the high, it was like your voice was auto-tuned, so my wife and I watched the video, and we were like, this lady has to win this show and you didn’t win, and our TV was endangered. (laughs)

Look, when I tell you how you were mad, I was mad; that’s the answer. You know, that morning when I was getting up trying to warm up, and everything, my manager of The Voice was like, girl, I had a dream, I saw confetti fall and I’m like, I know I’m winning this, I know I’m winning this, but that night, I got eliminated. I said, Wow! Wow! I said okay, no problem. Over time, you see, there’s a reason for everything.

There’s so much history behind you; You’re Cameroonian-American

I know because our accents are similar. If you go to Cameroon, with the pidgin, you will be able to hear a little bit of the differences, but when we are speaking English…

You were in Ghana recently; now you have to answer this question, which you probably answered already. Cameroonian jollof, Ghanaian jollof, Nigerian jollof I’m sure you’ve tasted them all, and let’s be clear: you are in Nigeria.

I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to mind your business. I’m not going to say yes or no. (Laughs)

Jollof Rice (Photo: Zena’s Kitchen)

 

So you don’t like Nigerian jollof?

Everything is special; everything is good!

We are going to play against Cameroon in the round of 16 on Saturday. You’re supporting us (Nigeria), right?

This is what I think: I think God is in control (chuckles)

Over 250 million views on YouTube and counting. Again,  when I saw that video, I was like, Damn! Goodness, this is just a perfect way to celebrate the Libianca we thought was going to win The Voice America. Talk us through that song (People), the experience that made you sing that song, and we will talk about the new project that you’ve been working on lately.

So, off of listening to it, you can understand that you know I’m talking about experience in depression and mental health and all of it happened in real-time so the night before I posted it was the night that I recorded it so mind you, I am depressed during this whole time, it was very fresh. With everything going on, it’s like, oh my God, bigger dreams are coming through, things are happening, things are finally moving quickly and then it didn’t take away the fact that I was still depressed and then I think the song on its own; my job is to create and the songs, they do what they do.

 

 

And ‘People’ was like it stepped out in its own way to show that we are all human beings, like in Afrobeats, we show how strong we are, we talk about our resilience, our happiness, we talk about a lot of things, but we can also talk about this, we can talk about the things that are sometimes, it is not too comfortable to like address on like a Sunday morning on something. The song just did what it did for everyone and I’m very appreciative that it could touch at least one person in the world.

What are you working on now? What are you doing in Nigeria?

For one, I’m here because this is one of the hubs where I have a lot of fans and its only right to come sometimes and show that; Hey guys, I’m here! I love you guys. You know, and it’s my first time ever. It’s surprising because Cameroon is like a neighbour and it’s my first time ever. The traffic is something else but any other thing, I enjoyed myself but overall, I’m not only here to pay homeage but I’m here with my Sheila O, we are here to show we are back and have a good time.

Whether it’s People, Angel and Demon or Walk Away, it looks like your stories come from a deep place of personal experience. Can you share some of that with us?

The EP that I just dropped, Angel-Demon, is one of the songs in there that is like the hardest listen because it can trigger things that people have experienced before because, you know, I’m talking from experience, and it’s not always easy to write from your experiences because you have to face yourself. I have to accept things about myself that I don’t want to see. I have to do that to be able to talk about it for somebody to relate to it.

The EP is like a whole encapsulation of so many things that I’ve experienced, and I’m like, I just want to release this, get it off my chest, and whenever I speak to anybody about this, I’m just going to use the music to talk about it, release it and move on. And while all of that is going on, I’m in the process of creating all the music for my album, so why the other job is going on, I’m promoting and creating; it’s a fun experience so far.

I know you sing from a deep place, but what excites you?

This may sound very boring, but books and experiencing life. I love to read. I get some of my inspiration for my songs from books.

What are you reading now?

It’s this book called ‘The Little Sister’, and it is like a psychological suspense book.