I took a class in US to speak Igbo fluently – Jidenna


Nigerian-born American hip-hop artiste, Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, known mononymously as Jidenna, has revealed that he took a class in the United States of America to get a good grip of the Igbo language and speak it fluently.

The 32-year-old made the revelation on Wednesday while addressing journalists at the Heineken Live Your Music press briefing in Lagos.

“I speak Igbo a little but not the way I wish. I actually took a class when I was in US to speak more fluently and Aunty Ifeoma, God bless her, was just excited that we were there and she went so slow that at the end of the semester, we didn’t get anywhere,” he said.

“One of my goals is to be fluent so I actually hired a teacher recently to Skype with me so I can learn on the road so hopefully one year from now, I’ll be much more fluent than I am now.”

The ‘Classic Man’ singer added that he does not have a sound of his own yet, that his sound is a combination of his favourite genres and is still evolving.

His words: “I still don’t think that the music I have released thus far is the artiste in me, I mean it’s not my sound yet. I have not crafted it.”

With one studio album, The Chief, and an extended play (EP), Wondaland Presents: The Eephus, to his name, Jidenna looks forward to his next album project.

“I am so excited about the new album I’m working on, it combines all my favourite music; juju, reggae, dancehall, highlife, soul, R&B, hip-hop.

“My foundation was in hip-hop but influenced by other sounds. When I was growing up in Nigeria, Bob Marley was like the biggest god, so he and Fela were my biggest heroes when I was a kid.

“I stir all that together and try to make music but I don’t think it has all that at the same time but now I have figured out the formula.

“I listen to a lot of highlife of the late 60s and early 70s. Juju music, Sunny Ade, Sunny Okosuns and then the newer people from Wizkid, Tiwa, Tekno to Sarkodie,” he added.