Evi Edna Ogholi
"Happy Birthday" -
Evi was born on 6 July 1965 in Isoko, Delta State (then Bendel State) to the household of Reverend R. O. OgholirlEvi released her debut album My Kind of Music in 1987. Immediately she was done with high school in 1985, she relocated to Lagos where she hoped to have a big break in music. She entered Lagos with a demo tape of her songs. It was while in Lagos, popularly called “Ilu Aromisalegbelegbe” that she met Emma Oghosi who was at that time a divorcee musician in the pop genre. They later got married but was initially her manager and producer. Her debut album was dropped in 1987 and it was titled ‘My Kind of Music’. This boldly signified her place as Nigeria’s first real female reggae artiste. Thereafter, she released three more albums: On The Move, Happy Birthday and Step by Step. These three albums were very popular, with each going platinum, and she even toured the West African region dazzling audiences with her performances in 1989. She was just about 23 then. Happy Birthday was released under Polygram Records (later Premier Records) in 1988. Her songs were socially relevant and were of great benefit to the community at large. For example, in the late 1980s and early 1990s when she reigned on the Nigerian music scene, one of her songs was Look Before You Cross which lectured youngsters on basic road safety principles A master guitarist, her fans nicknamed her ‘Njoku Reggae’ as she made ‘njoku, njoku’ sounds as she struck the chords, and she sang mainly in vernacular and her native Isoko language. In addition to the ones mentioned above, these are some of her other classics:
-Ririovara (Wipe Your Tears) -Oghene Me (My God) -Message to the Youths -Jealousy -Okioghne (God’s Time) -One Kilometre
Happy Birthday is without a doubt, the most popular of her songs, and was played all over Nigeria (it actually became more of a national anthem) and in other West African nations during birthday parties. Till today, people still rock her songs at birthday celebrations. She got sponsorship deals from various companies like Pepsi and toured the length and breadth of Nigeria performing to millions.
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