Ure Adaku Okezie popularly called Queen Ure, was not well known until some five years back when her love affair with then music rave, Emmanuel Okosie, a.k.a Soul E, got her into the spotlight.
It was not romance that made their union talk-of-the-town but the fact that Ure was about eleven years older than her heartthrob, and it was a troubled relationship, which later packed up.
Queen who has found love in music, in this interview with Wole Adepoju opened up on why she’s still not married, how she handles her sexual urge without a man, and also talked about her new musical effort among other interesting issues.
Can you tell us about your album?
Okay. It is titled Porpori and one of the tracks in the album is titled, Porpori that is why I titled the whole album, Porpori. It’s a fifteen tracks album and it is an expression of various parts of me. And in it, we have got R & B, Country, Hip Hop, Highlife, and there is equally gospel. It is me putting myself out there and telling people to have a feel of me and see what I have to offer.
Who are the producers you actually worked with?
I basically worked with two producers, I worked Gorgy Nathaniel, who produced thirteen of the fifteen songs, and I equally worked with Dude Tetsola who produced the two their songs.
What are the messages you are trying to pass across to the people through the album?
It is a whole lot because music comes in different dimension. First of all, the entertainment part is number one because people must be able to move their bodies to your song, two, you are have a particular message you are passing to everyone, three, you could just be expressing yourself, even without a message you are expressing yourself in songs . Most of the songs are love songs, and the ones that have specific messages when it comes to love, they just pick on fidelity, one of the songs is titled, Only You, it’s a Reggae song and I am trying to express myself like a spouse expressing to her partner that it is just only you, because you were there for me, I am going to love only you. So the message there is fidelity that you should stick to one person who had been there for you. We have got another called, Better Place, it tells everyone to be better person. And when we are better people we will be making our world a better place. There is a country song, A better tomorrow, it encourages everyone to expect a better tomorrow and forget the past, and look forward to a better tomorrow. And the Porpori song itself is just an expression …….body dey do me porpori any time wey I see you. In other words, when I see you I am excited , I am thrilled, so people should focus on what make them excited and ignore the thing that make them feel bad . So basically, I have got songs with various messages, various styles.
You have a background in music but what prompted you to go commercial?
I have always known I would do music in this capacity, and this level but I just did not know when. When the time came, I just said don’t let this talent waste. I just decided to go in headlong because anything that is worth doing is what doing well. It is not too good for you to have lovely songs, you sing well, you have all it takes to make an impact in the industry, and in the lives of people through music and then you just let the talent to lie fallow and not use it. It is not really the best. It is not a new thing for me in any way. I am not someone who will say let me come and write songs, I don’t have to think because as things happen songs come , so I am still writing songs even though the album is dropping. When it is time for the next album, I would not say let me come and write songs I will just choose.
New comers in the industry, males especially, do complain of not being given a chance but here you are, people are offering to help. Could this be as a result of the fact that you are a lady?
I don’t know (laughs) I think that the sky is big enough for all of us to fly, and I am so excited about what I am doing. I am so excited and I have not experienced any form of hostility from any artiste, anybody, not at all. Even, if there is I may not notice. You know when you are busy and happy doing something when there is a form of anything negative coming, you may not even notice because you are very into what you are doing. Everywhere I have been to, radio station, television, I have been warmly welcome and everybody is supportive. Music is creative, so what you are doing may not be what I am doing, we need to cooperate and collaborate and not to compete, so that the industry can grow.
Some folks come to the industry for money, fame and the rest. What would you say you have come to achieve?
First of all, for the joy of doing what I love. When you are doing something you love to do, you are happy with yourself, so that is the number one reason. For the joy of doing what I love to do but every other thing can go with it. I would enjoy…money will come, criticism will come and I will cope, basically, everything that goes with it…the fame, there is nothing wrong with it because it’s a platform to reach people. When you are known, it’s a platform for you to have a voice and when you have voice you can impact people positively.
Are there things you learnt from, Soul E, that you are now making use of as a commercial singer?
Definitely. The thing is I had recorded songs but when we met I put mine by the side and concentrated on his, so that whole period gave me the opportunity to understand the industry, how it works, when you want to promote your work, learn the market, how to get to the street. So definitely, working with him at a time gave me the opportunity to be prepared. So now, it is easy for me to do the things that I want to do.
On another note now, you have received so much knocks but it seems it doesn’t get to you that you have remained your happy and caring self?
The truth is that those people who say negative things don’t know who you are, they have never met you, and you can’t blame them because they probably saying something from someone who probably made it up. So I cannot be hostile to someone who is talking out of ignorance. And if you have to be happy in life, you have to detach yourself from the opinion of people, which is what I learnt a long time ago. I completely detach myself from what people say about me. I have understood to identify what I what I want to do, focus on it and do it well, eventually, people will come around, and even if they don’t come around, it does not matter.
At a time you had a gospel ministry you were running, at another time, you had a coaching programme, and now it is music. Don’t you think people will think you are confused?
First of all, let me use the scripture from the bible, the parable of the five talents. The Bible says some were given one and some given many. I will say I am someone who God has endowed with lot of talents. I am saying this with all humility and because I know that I don’t want any of those talents to waste. I am a life coach, I trained at the coaching academy, U.K. It cost a lot to train there. I still facilitate for some consulting companies, I still organize my own workshop, it is part of me. So that is one. And the ministry, it is all about reaching out. Whether you are reaching out from the pulpit, whether you are reaching out through books, whether you are reaching out through music, you are still impacting lives. It only becomes a religious thing when you talk about ministry in terms of pulpit. So I have not left ministry if you know what I mean. I am still writing books, I am a writer naturally.
How easy was it for you to return to Chris Okotie’s church since you left on a sour note, so to speak?
That is my church. As soon as I stopped doing pastoral work I returned to my church. He’s always been my pastor, I mean I wouldn’t stop doing pastoral work and then go to some other church. Why would I do that? The church is like a home to me, most of the people are my friends, my sisters and brothers, so it is only natural that after I stopped doing pastoral work that is the only place I would return to.
What was the reception like on your return?
(Mood changes and voice raised) I just went back to my church. I had been there even before then…I was there for events even when I was still leading my own church. Church is God’s house and we are God’s children, so you can work into your father’s house anytime.
You are barely above 40, people expect you to have been married. Are you not thinking about it?
I’m not thinking about it but I would love to marry, why not? Definitely, I would want to marry but at the moment I don’t have any such plans.
Is it because you don’t have someone you are dating?
There is nobody I’m making any such plan with.
But you have someone you are seeing?
I am not in any romantic relationship
You were at a time seeing the second runner up of Centage star competition, Kossi, and you were passionate about him but we are not hearing anything anymore?
We were good friends but he’s moved on and I have moved on too.
Two of your relationships people knew about did not work, don’t you think there is something you are not doing well?
Two relationships? I’m sure several people who are married have had more than two relationships that broke up, so there is nothing unique about me having two relationships that did not work. When you used the word, work, that did not lead to marriage, it is not a big deal. It does not make me sit down and start thinking or saying, is there anything wrong?
Is your family not bothered about it?
My family would want me to be married but they are not bothering me, they are not pressurizing me. They would want me to be happy if a relationship will make me happy, fine, if not stay single.
Marriage is one of the things that make African women proud. Is there something else that makes you happy in your own case?
I have not said I would not want to be married but the truth is that happiness is an inside thing. For me, I’m happy as I am now, (laughs) I’m having the best life ever. And when I get married if I do, I would still have the best life ever. My happiness is not dependent on anybody.
But does it get to you sometimes that you are not married at your age?
I’m not going to lie, it does not get to me. I believe God is in control of my life.
Why is it that you like to date younger men because the two people the public knew about, you are older than them?
The second one you talked about was not even known. If you remember you were the one (referring to the interviewer) who interviewed me at that time, it was a thing that was starting and before it started it ended. I won’t even consider that as a major relationship. It is the other one that was a known relationship. I grew up like every other normal person liking some people, having relationships, even though they are not known or intimate really… on campus, you have relationships later as a banker and none of them was younger . At the same time, I’m not one who closes up herself to life, whether the person is older, whether the person is younger, if the person is matured and I feel comfortable, why not?
You look beautiful always, what is the secret?
(Laughs) nothing much. I eat well, as you can see I’m having salad and I do exercise, not too much, and I take care of my body.
Since you are not in any romantic relationship, how do you manage your sexual urge?
I control myself. That is it. And that is why there is a word called self control.
But there is a limit to that?
There is no limit. If you don’t want to do something there no way you would do it.