Niniola Akpata, popularly known as Niniola, is a renowned Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performer who has captured the hearts of music lovers with her captivating voice and unique style. Born on December 15, 1986, in Lagos, Nigeria, Niniola hails from a polygamous family and is the older sister of the sensational singer Teni. From her humble beginnings to becoming a Grammy-nominated artist, let’s delve into the inspiring journey of this talented musician.
Early Life and Education:
Niniola was raised in Lagos, Nigeria, in a family of ten children, where she developed a deep passion for music from an early age. During her secondary school years at Apata Memorial High School, she was known as “the human radio” for her melodic voice and ability to sing any requested song for her classmates and friends. She actively participated in the school’s cultural group and engaged in various social activities. Niniola continued her education at the University of Lagos, where she earned a Bachelor of Education Certificate in Biology.
Career Beginnings and Breakthrough:
In 2013, Niniola auditioned for the MTN Project Fame talent show, showcasing her confidence and creativity in her performances. Although she finished as the 3rd runner-up, this experience marked the beginning of her professional music career. On March 19, 2014, she released her debut single, “Ibadi,” produced by Sarz, which gained widespread recognition and airplay across Nigeria and Africa.
Musical Successes and Collaborations:
Niniola’s career gained momentum with subsequent hit singles such as “Gbowode,” “Akara Oyibo,” “Soke,” “Shaba,” “J’ete,” and “Maradona.” Her song “Maradona,” produced by Sarz, topped South Africa’s Metro FM chart for six weeks and received acclaim internationally. In 2019, her song was featured in Beyonce’s “Find Your Way Back” from “The Lion King: The Gift” album, earning Niniola a Grammy Nomination Certificate.
She received nominations at the 2018 BET Awards and SAMAs for “Maradona” and garnered recognition from artists like Drake and Timbaland. Niniola collaborated with Timbaland on the single “Fire” in 2020, further solidifying her position in the music industry. Additionally, her collaboration with Eddy Kenzo on the remix of “Mbilo Mbilo” won them the “Best Collaboration” award at the 2016 AFRIMA Awards.
Debut Album and Accolades
: Niniola released her highly anticipated debut album, “This Is Me,” on November 1, 2017. The album received overwhelming reception, leading to her being featured as Apple Music’s New Artist of The Month. In July 2018, she collaborated with DJ Snake on the hit single “Maradona Riddim,” based on her earlier song. Niniola became the first female Nigerian artist to surpass one million monthly listeners on Spotify on August 7, 2018.
Awards and Recognition:
Niniola’s exceptional talent has earned her several prestigious awards and nominations. She received the Green Awards’ “Most Promising Female Artiste” in 2015, and the AFRIMA Awards recognized her for “Best African Collaboration” for “Mbilo Mbilo Remix” in 2016. In 2019, she was honored as one of Okay Africa’s “100 Women.” Niniola continues to make waves and inspire music enthusiasts globally.
Personal Life and Social Media:
As of now, Niniola is single, and her focus remains on her music career. She has a strong presence on social media platforms, where fans can connect with her. You can find her on Instagram (@officialniniola), Twitter (@officialniniola), and Facebook (Niniola).
Niniola’s journey from her early days as “the human radio” to becoming a prominent figure in the Nigerian music industry is truly remarkable. Her exceptional talent, distinctive voice, and captivating performances have earned her a special place in the hearts of music lovers worldwide. With numerous accolades and collaborations with renowned artists, Niniola continues to redefine the Nigerian music scene and inspire aspiring musicians with her incredible success story.