Playing Below: Oh Yes

Written by: Laide O

In this artist spotlight, Laide talks about Sasha, the first lady of "Da Trybe"

Sasha, real name Antonia Yetunde Alabi, the last of eight children, blows out candles on the 21st of May, can be truly called Nigeria's queen of Hip-Hop.

Sasha, rocking a 1.75 meters tall frame, brown hair and eyes is currently a Law student at the University of Lagos, Akoka (Unilag). An alumni of the famous International School, Ibadan, she shot into the limelight in 2001, at Unilag's 'Girls Nite Out' annual talent hunt. She emerged the first runner-up and the next day went on to perform at the Lagos Lekki beach with other contestants. It was not until months later when she met Eldee of Trybesmen, that she really got her launching pad, and has not looked back since then.

Aside from being a rapper, most would be surprised to know that Sasha is also a designer. Her mother owned a fashion outfit while growing up so her eye for fashion began at an early stage. She started designing for friends which led up to her own line 'Eclectic' and she now claims a clientele that is spread across a number of universities.

Thrilling Nigerians, with a different kind of flava, her stage-craft has the air of the work of a professional. From the costumes to the choreography, 21-year old Sasha gets credit for doing a splendid job. With a hectic schedule that is definitely stressful for professional musicians, it is a wonder how she also copes with being a Law student as well. To deal with this, she tries not to let her music career interfere with her studies.

Sasha's first big shows, were the MTN Yhello Live, and the Yhellofest in Enugu. With a recommendation for the KORA awards in place, she performed in the West African regional in Ghana. There she had to deal with very stiff opposition from representatives of other countries. She eventually received a KORA awards nomination for 'Most Promising Female Act in Africa' for the .

Sasha's Lyrics are not the run-of-the-mill ones, as she's got songs about love, prostitution, AIDS, and a lot of other insightful topics. She also infuses some Yoruba and pidgin which give her songs a unique Naija feel to it. 2003 was definitely a wonderful year for her, especially since the release of her single "Emi le Gan" in October 2003 which has been aired on Ben Tv in London.

Sasha's debut album "Finally Here" is due out this year and is definitely expected by fans and the media alike with a promise of something even more refreshing than her previous album. She has been described as one of the pioneers of Female Hip Hop in Nigeria and she is unquestionably one of the most promising Naija stars to look out for in 2005.

By Laide O




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