SHiiKANE is a Nigerian female group that was founded in 2004 by three sisters; Shay Ifeanyichukwu, AnnamayUchechukwu,andKay Nkemdilim. The sisters are originally from Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria, though they were born and raised in London, UK.
SHiiKANE made their debut in 2009 with their mixtape “SHiiKANE Touched This” which was followed by their debut single “Bamboo Dey Chop.”They released their Promo album “Paradise On Saturn” in 2011. Their music is influenced by different musical genres including R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, Soul, and Gospel.
In 2010, SHiiKANE did a UK school tour with acts such as Bashy. The group has previously won the “Best Music Video” in 2015 for “Tuele” directed by Director Q and “Best UK African Female” 2016 at the BEFFTA Awards.
In this interview with Savvy Mag Africa, the amazing ladies discussed their music, challenges, and plans….
- The name SHIIKANE stands for?
Annamay: The name SHiiKANE is an amalgamation of our English names; Shay, Kay, and Annamay.
- This is the first kind of girl group in Nigeria, what was the drive?
Kay: We startedmusic at a young age,and as sisters, we wanted to embark on the journey together. Starting the journey wasn’t easy. Nigeria has its challenges but it is something we wanted to accomplish, and we wanted to make history.
- For women, we know it’s a common saying that we hardly get along. How has that played out in the group?
Shay: We get along more than regular women working together because we’re sisters with a common goal. Being a family makes it easier.When we get into disagreements; we find a way to get over it quickly.
- Every industry is biased in a way. Has the group experienced any form of bias in the entertainment industry?
Shay: The bias in the industry is evident. We are yet to get nominated for the best group category in a major award show,and the nominees are always men, most with careers far less successful than ours.
- We know you recently held an event; the first edition of GLW Annual Fest which was an all-female artist lineup. Should that be seen as a feminist move?
Annamay: I’m not sure we classify ourselves as feminists,but we don’t mind the term. The reason we put the show on was to give women a platform to showcase their talent. We know how hard it is to getplatforms to perform on shows that are always male-dominatedso we created our own.
- What are your thoughts towards women and the entertainment industry? Should there be a reformation?
Kay: I think women need to work together more in the industry for sure. Joining forces and supporting one another is the only way we can become stronger like men.
- Do you think societies around the world, not just in Nigeria, are restricting women from doing a lot?
Kay: Most societies around the world are Patriarchal by default so of course, women are instantly at a disadvantage. This isn’t unique to Nigeria.
- Are your fans to expect an album release soon?
Annamay:Yes, for sure.We’re planning on releasing an EP and an Album this year. We’re super excited!
- How do you balance music and your personal lives?
Shay: It’stough to balance our private lives and our chosen profession because it’s very time-consuming. Making sure that it doesn’t overwhelm us has been a difficulty. We’re workaholics and have a lot we want to achieve,so it’s been hard balancing everything. Just having a boyfriend can be hard, who wants to come second to someone’s career?
- For women or younger girls who want to pursue music as a career, would you say “go into it fully or have something doing on the side?”
Annamay:It’s always best to have a job or another hustle that pays on the side until the music pays you. That’s the smart thing to do. Also, finish school, education is essential.
- People will like to know if you are triplets?
Kay:No, we are not triplets. We are blood sisters; Shay and Annamay are twins,and I’m their younger sister.
- What is your motto?
Shay:We don’t really have a motto,but we do always say ‘Consistency and hard work will ALWAYS pay off.’We believe in the economic empowerment of women and believe if we work together as women, we can help empower each other.
- Advice to women?
Shay: Don’t allow people to tell you that you can’t achieve something.There’s always more than one way to achieve a goal; if one way doesn’t work, try another but never give up.If you can dream it, you can achieve it!