Fullname: Oyenike Laoye-Oturu
Stage Name: Nikki Laoye
Date of Birth: December 19th, 1980
State of Origin: Lagos State, Nigeria
Occupation: Nigerian recording artiste, gospel singer, songwriter, dancer and occassional actress.
Genre of Music:
- Urban Contemporary
- Alternative Rock
- Hip Hop
- Soul and Gospel
Marital Status: Married to Alexander Otuu
- Attended Grace Children School, Gbagada, Lagos.
- Federal Girls College, Sagamu
- University of Ibadan
Parents: Prince Olushola Isaac Laoye & Olori Christiana Yetunde Laoye
Net Worth: Estimated $450,000
Nikki Laoye is widely recognised for her exceptional and eclectic musical expressions and captivating stage performances. As a professional singer who focuses on Urban Contemporary, Alternative Rock, RnB, PoP, Hip Hop, Soul and Gospel, she has won several awards including “The Headies Award” in 2013 for Best Female Vocal Performance and the “All African Music Awards (AFRIMA)” in 2014 for Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational Music.
Nikki Laoye is a well known Nigerian singer who has been in the entertainment background for many years even before she became known. One of her biggest hit is titled “Never felt this Way before”, released in 2006 and the soulful ballad “Only You” released in 2013. She called “Seyi Shay” to the table for the remix of the song in 2016 and also featured “Banky W” on the song she titled Onyeuwaoma.
Nikki is not an average Nigerian entertainer/gospel singer that you have seen before, she is very different from every other circular singers and gospel singers you have come across before. She is also widely known as a humanitarian pursuit, her passion for humanitarian activities attracted the attention of the Nigerian National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), who unveiled her as the celebrity ‘Voice of Refugees’ in Southwest Nigeria in 2013.
Early Life And Background
Oyenike Laoye-Oturu whose stage name is Nikki Laoye was born in Lagos, Nigeria and she happens to be the only daughter to Prince Olushola Isaac Laoye & Olori Christiana Yetunde Laoye. She have a mixed heritage as her father, Olushola is of European (Dutch), Ghanaian and Nigerian ancestry. She is from a family of four and the only girl in the family. She has three brothers namely Femi, Bola and Ade. The last man named Ade is also known as Xblaze, a budding young music producer/Hip Hop artist in Lagos, Nigeria. Laoye started her journey into sound during her childhood days when she joined her church choirs and dance classes at the age of five.
She had her first taste of education at Grace Children School, Gbagada, Lagos. Her teacher who was very observant noticed her musical talent and hand picked her out of the horde. Her teacher then offered her free piano lessons at the end of each school day. After completing her primary school education, she proceeded to Federal Government Girl’s College, Sagamu (from where she graduated in 1998) . She proceeded to the next level of her education which is the University and bagged a degree from the University of Ibadan. While she was studying in the University of Ibadan, she joined the school choir and also joined a dance groups including Exousia, Soul Alliance and the girl group trio, Soul Sistas. In 1998, Laoye joined the youth band of Ikoyi Baptist Church and was introduced formally to contemporary gospel by friend and music director, Reginald Bassey and served as a soloist/lead vocalist for a couple of years. She later joined House on the Rock Church and was a lead vocalist for the choirs in Ibadan and Lagos for over 10 years.
The music group Soul Sistas were the only female a cappella group at the University and were renowned for their soulful harmonies including their rendition of the classic a cappella song “Your Love is Better than Life”. The group lasted for five good years before it was finally disbounded as a result of her graduation and leaving the school premises to face the future. After graduation, Debola and Aboyowa took up regular jobs while it was just the beginning of Laoye professional music career.
Career And Life
Laoye launched her professional music career as a solo artist in 2006 following her graduation from the University of Ibadan. She released her debut single “Never Felt this way Before”, produced by one of the most respected and veteran Nigerian music producer Cobhams. The single enjoyed airplay on mainstream radio stations in Nigeria and gained wide acceptance across the country, thus making Laoye one of the few contemporary Christian artists in the Nigerian music industry with mainstream appeal. After the release of her first single, it was followed by other beautiful collaboration single including the one she did with Rooftop Mcs and Rap2Sai titled “Taka Sufe”, produced by her brother Xblaze.
In 2008, Laoye released her debut album “Angel 4 Life” – a collection of contemporary sounds and a lineup of top Nigerian artists including Rooftop Mcs, Blaise, Jeremiah Gyang and many more. Just few years into her professional music career, she gradually rose to the number one spot on the Nigerian Chart . She has been seen on so many big stages of which one of them was when she performed alongside American international gospel artists Kirk Franklin, Cece Winans and Donnie McClurkin to an audience of 500,000 at The 2009 Experience Concert in Lagos, Nigeria.
The single “Never Felt This Way Before” brought her music career to spotlight in the Nigerian music scene. The song was nominated seven-time which include;
- (2009 Hip Hop World Awards- Best Vocal Performance (Female) and HipHop World Revelation (Best New Artist);
- Kora Awards-Best Spiritual Artist and Best Arrangement;
- 2009 City People Entertainment Awards-Musician of the Year (Female);
- The 2009 Nigerian Entertainment Awards in the US -Gospel Artist of the Year &
- 2009 SoundCity Music Video Awards-Best Female Video),
- Laoye was crowned the 3rd Best Performance at the 2009 HipHop World Awards in Nigeria (Darey Art Alade and Tuface coming 1st and 2nd respectively, out of the 10 performances at the awards).
She is one of the most popular Nigerian gospel musician who is known all over Africa. Laoye was one of the first three Nigerian artists ever to be interviewed and recognized on American entertainment channel, BET in 2009 and she was one of the preliminary judges for BET’s Sunday Best Auditions which held in Lagos, Nigeria in December 2009. She lost her father in year 2011 and was missing in action for about two years as a result of the pains she suffered , she made a come back in 2013 and started shinning again in the music scene.
In August 2013, Laoye headlined the Nigerian Corner at the “Nottinghill Carnival” in the United Kingdom, an event which attracts thousands of Nigerians living across the United Kingdom. In the same year, Laoye went on a church tour of England, which took her to London, Manchester, Loughton and Warrington. In September 2013, Laoye performed alongside R&B legend Mary J. Blige at the “Sisters with Soul” concert in Lagos, Nigeria. She also headlined the 2014 Headies Awards as well as the 10th Anniversary of the Rhythm Unplugged Concert in December 2014. In January 2016, Laoye headlined the Butterscotch Evenings event, alongside American R&B Superstar Brian Mcknight at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria.
Awards And Recognition : Nominations
- 2009 Hip Hop World Awards: Best Vocal Performance (Female)
- 2009 Hip Hop World Awards: Hip Hop World Revelation (Best New Artist)
- KORA Awards: Best Spiritual Artist
- SoundCity Music Video Awards: Best Female Video
- KORA Awards: Best Arrangement
- City People Entertainment Awards: Musician of the Year (Female)
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards, USA: Gospel Artist of the Yea
- Nigerian Gospel Music Awards: Worship Song of the Year
- Gospel Music Awards, Italy: Best International Gospel Hip-Hop of the Year
- Gospel Music Awards, Italy: Best International Female Artist of the Year
- Gospel Music Awards, Italy: Best International Song of the Year
- African Gospel Music Awards, UK: Song of the Year
- Nigerian Music Video Awards: Best Afro-Hip Hop Video
- African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA 2014): Best Gospel Artiste
- Nigerian Gospel Music Video Awards: Best Goodwill Video
- Crystal Gospel Awards: Song of the Year
- African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA 2015): Best Gospel Artiste
- Nigerian Music Video Awards: “Best Gospel Video”
- 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards: Gospel Artist of the Year
- The Crystal Awards 2014: Artist of the Year
- The Crystal Awards 2015: Video of the Year
- The Crystal Awards 2014: Best Female Vocalist
- Africa Gospel Music Awards 2014: Artiste of the Year (West Africa)
- Awards Won
- Nigerian Gospel Music Awards: Song of the Year
- The Headies 2013: Best Vocal Performance (Female)
- Africa Gospel Music Awards 2014: Female Artist of the Year
- The Crystal Awards 2014: Best Worship Song
- Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA) 2014: Best Soft Rock/Alternative Video
- All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2014: Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational Music
- Yadamag Readers’ Choice Awards (2015): Music Video of the Year
- Humanitarian Recognition
- Special Recognition Award for Ladies who inspire in the Humanitarian/Charity /Community Work at Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) 2015
- 234Giver Award for Advocacy and contribution to the Social and Educational Development of the
- Physically Challenged at 234Give 2013
- Honorary Award for Service to the Less Privileged at Project ASHA, UK 2015