June Ubi is a classic case of triple threat the remix: the girl taking listeners through the midnight hour and beyond on Cool FM is one part dulcet tones on the radio, another part a serious musician in her own right and for extra measure an edgy fashionista with serious style credentials. As said before, she’s a triple threat. We decided there was nothing for it but to sit her down and get the skinny on all of it and devised a special Bella Stylista Q&A for her, after all, why scratch the surface when we really want to go deep?
Q1. You are currently an OAP on Cool FM, tell us more about your route into broadcasting?
Regarding my path into broadcasting, well, from a very young age I’ve always been a music lover. I love listening to, creating and consuming music. I also enjoy writing, researching, reading and learning new things, as well as communicating and interacting with people. My sole purpose as an OAP is to entertain and inspire and I’m able to do that by being a broadcaster. I also have a degree in Broadcast Media and I worked as a Radio Presenter in London for a few years.
With my show on Cool FM, The Overnight Lounge it’s on every Monday to Friday from 1.00am – 5.00am and it has been amazing to do and so much fun. It’s a love show and I play great old school and new school romantic music from various genres and talk about all things to do with love. I like the conversations between me and the Overnight Lounge listeners and the good vibes we create.
Q2. You are also a musician, who are your musical influences and what’s the journey been like so far?
I am a Nigerian-British music artist and I make Afro-Pop and Rap music, but my home was always full of music. My mother would always play African inspired music and take me to traditional African parties with her from childhood. My brothers and sisters are also huge lovers of music and we would play various different types of genres of music at home. From Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae/Dancehall music to British sounds like Jungle, UK Garage, Grime to Afrobeat and this allowed me to be more versatile and unique. However, I like to say that rapping is my forte and what I musically do best. As for musical influences they are Jay Z, Fela Kuti, Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill and Asa.
Q3. You grew up in London what made you decide to come to Lagos and how have you found it?
I was born and raised in West London, but I’m from Delta State and I would come to Nigeria several times in a year from when I was a kid. Last year I decided to come to Lagos to stay but I kind of already knew what to expect. Living in Lagos has been different, but interesting and great. Of course it has its challenges, but I like to always focus on the good parts, which are that it is rich in culture, music, food, fashion and style.
Q4. You come from a creative family, your sister Ejos is behind Graft & Glamour, are you as much a lover of fashion?
Yes, my sister is a stylist and a fashion connoisseur and I am also a lover of fashion and style. I’m quite lucky I grew up around very stylish women who have their own style and their own identity. I’m also blessed to be a Londoner, because it has every type of style you can imagine. From vintage shops, high street to luxury designers – you can be stylish on any budget. Coming to Lagos was very exciting for me, because I could see how people are using Nigerian cultural references on modern designs and I love seeing how Nigerians put their looks together. I love wearing African brands that have fresh designs which are cool, modern and have been cut well.
Q5. Which Nigerian artists do you enjoy musically and which do you enjoy style wise and which both?
Musically, I respect and admire Fela Kuti, Asa, Sade Adu, 2face Idibia and I enjoy any music artist that creates good music that I can vibe and chill to. Nigerian music is flourishing and there are so many artists that are doing great things, extremely well and taking the African sound global. It’s an exciting and great time for African/Nigerian music and I’m proud to be a part of it. Africa to the world!
Music is a creative form of expression and so is fashion and more than ever they seem to go hand and hand and people can express themselves through styling. You can visually express yourself through your look. Africa and in particular Nigerian music is global and Nigerian fashion is also being recognised globally, especially the designers coming out of Lagos. As for artists right now who do both really well, l like Wizkid’s style, he’s not afraid to take risks, like when he wore the Gucci Crystal Embroidered Ribbed Knit Top.
Q6. Where do you see your career in 5 years time?
I want to keep learning, growing and focusing on being and giving the very best version of me to Africa and the world. Definitely a lot more to come from me, but I just want to surprise people. My future plan with my career is one of individuality – doing you no matter what and looking good while you’re doing it. My ultimate goal is to entertain and inspire.
Q7. We couldn’t let you go without quizzing you on your personal fashion favourites, which Nigerian designers do you love wearing?
I love discovering new designers coming out of Nigeria, so this list is in no way static and is ever growing, however there are some designers I have come to love. I really like Lisa Folawiyo, because she uses Nigerian traditional fabrics and her own prints to fuse Nigerian cultural references and modern silhouettes which I think keeps her collections fresh. It’s classy, sophisticated and cool. Lisa is a great ambassador for her brand, whenever she wears something from her collection; the way she styles it makes you want it.
I like to wear Soboye. I have a personal relationship with Soboye, its founder Samson Soboye and long time collaborator Chi Chi Chinakwe, who’s also a friend who worked closely with me to style my music videos when I was in London before coming to Nigeria. It’s a cool hybrid of traditional ankara with modern cuts that I can wear effortlessly with cool trainers or heels as that’s my vibe.
Orange Culture’s bright and bold colours are of instant appeal to me, so is its distinctive coolness. I also love that its men’s collection can be worn by women too and I suspect that’s intentional.
TZAR always incorporates different forms of stripes throughout his collections, and it’s a running theme that draws me to his clothes. Before I came to Lagos, I was captivated by his Instagram. I particularly loved how he interestingly showcased different parts of Lagos through his pictures and that’s how I discovered his clothing brand.
Our lucky seven questions answered, it is time to bid June farewell, but there is definitely more than a dollop of the watch this space about her. The hybrid nature of her passions and skills and the fact that she straddles the worlds of media, music and fashion effortlessly make her a woman of our times. And makes us Bella Stylistas all the more excited that she is in Lagos to stay.