By Archibong Jeremiah
Calabar female song writer and fashion designer Mrs. Deborah Emmanuel Onoyom-Ita with the stage name DJazz recently completed recording a song titled ‘Let Them Grow’ which she says is dedicated to the girl child: intended to support the fight against female early marriages in Cross River State and Nigeria at large and to also to combat other vices against the girl child in the society.
The Efik born artiste who is married to an acoustic sound engineer revealed that her husband has been a rock she rests on even though he is not a chronic music lover like her. Her words, “My husband has always been there for me and I am grateful to God for him because he is not a music lover as intense as me but he appreciates good music like mine that are more realistic. When I was pregnant just not to be ideal at home he got me a private piano teacher which helped me a lot in learning how to play a piano better”.
According to her the 4 minutes, 40 seconds track was born out of her passion for a better future for the oppressed girl child. “I have been singing for the past 15 years, ‘Let Them Grow’ is a song launched April last year which was my wedding month, the song is 100% dedicated to supporting the fight against the girl child abuse with early marriage as the focal point.
“Right from time I have always had the passion for the girl child which gave rise to this track. Early marriage is something that still exists every day even with the high level of sensitization and information available against it, no matter the reason behind it, be it religion, traditional or otherwise need not be tolerated because it is destructive, so I saw it as an opportunity to do something with my gift of singing, that is how the song came about”.
DJazz who apart from, ‘Let Them Grow’ has done some major songs alongside other artiste such as Destination Cross River (The famous television jingle). Another of her hit single includes Higher-Higher.
She also revealed that she has been singing at the Calabar Christmas Festival and Carnival for over 6 years now, has participated in the Airtel’s Nigeria Got Talent; a music show aimed at discovering new talents in Nigeria, she participated in 2012 and made it to the semi finals.
Apart from music which she says is an innate gift, she is a professional fashion designer. ‘Let Them Grow’ she said gave her the Paradise Music Award, 2014. Going further DJazz maintained that, “I am an advocate for all forms of education both formal and non-formal for any individual because achievement comes both formally and otherwise. Also I advocate for parents to allow their children, wards choose any career of theirs based on counseling on what is innate in the child”.
As part of the challenges she and other artiste alike face in the industry, she said: “Christmas festival and other events in the state have been helping the state grown artistes but more needs to be done, because before I do just gospel and now see the need for soul and jazz, some of her colleagues in quote “gospel” artistes feel bad thinking one must be on a particular stool for a life time not minding that change is normal as music is a calling not just business as usual.
“After a lot of online promotion of the song ‘Let Them Grow’, I got a contract to shoot the video in South Africa late last year but because of my heavy pregnancy I couldn’t make it and my visa expired, the contract is still on soon before the end of this year the video will be shot and out in the market, each copy bought goes back to the liberation of the girl child”, she said.
She advised others with same innate gift saying, “Your voice is a gift that you need to develop, use it and other innate talent for the betterment of mankind, there lies true service to humanity”
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