Adrenaline rush: Adlines talks about her world tours, Supermax running aground

Adline Owens

Her face is half cushioned by dark eye glasses and long 'dreads'. Adline Owens sips her ‘dawa’ and for some reason goes quiet, her mind racing down memory lane to 2011 when one of her biggest music icons died.

We are at a Nairobi cafeteria where everyone has their eyes on the Austrian-born Nigerian singer, whose fluent American accent and trendy look betrays her.

She recalls all the world tours she did with the ‘Lovemachine’ across Switzerland, Ukraine, Germany, Austria and United States backing the band up in their hit tracks such as Supermax, Terminal, World of Tomorrow, Something in My Heart, Fly With Me and Don’t Stop the Music, the latter of which she did a remix with the late pop icon.

It was around 2009, a time when her career was taking off. What a grand start this was as she met mega stars, world renowned musicians such as The Game and shared the stage with award-winning stars. This was before the Supermax project ran aground, leaving her desolate.

However, in retrospect, what a blessing in disguise this was for the young budding star who had suffered silently in this cocoon, a place where she felt her music preference and her full potential was not being exploited fully.

Not even after Universal Music gave her a recording deal. Rock and trance was never her thing, let alone German and other foreign languages she would sing in away from her preferred pop genre English touch.

“It was all good but you see techno was never my thing. I knew I was talented and had it all going on for everyone but I wanted to sing something that I liked, I wanted to sing something universal because that is what music is all about,” she told Pulse during this exclusive interview.

“Growing up, we had had our struggles with mum as our dad had passed on. As the first born of our family, I had seen racism and discrimination. I had to learn to watch over my siblings and make ends meet. Even as the pressure grew for me to kick off my solo career, my focus was shifting to my family,” says the up-coming star who now has more than 18 songs due for release starting next month.

Reality check on industry hustle

“I have been recording songs but I haven’t been releasing them, neither have I been doing tours. I was taking my time to learn and see how I can apply the experience I have to rise to an international star. That is part of the reason I am in Nairobi with my team. That is why I am recording with the likes of Konshens. I feel that it’s about time I kick this thing off,” she says.

Among the songs ready for release is What They Want, a club dance track with an afro-pop feel, Rock Me and Dem Wanna Know, two dancehall hits, Love Me and Feel you Scatter, which are R&B fusion and afro-jazz singles as well as Pick Up, her new single that was released three weeks ago.

As young as she is, Adline is not your average artiste. Having been around the world and seen it all, she went back to Nigeria a year ago after a leading industry player promised to get her career off the feet if she signed up there.

“I went back there with so much hope after I was told of all those opportunities. Of course I have been listening to big stars like Tiwa Savage, Davido, Seyi Shay, Wizkid and Niniola whom I love so much. But getting there, things were different. In this career, you encounter people who want to use and abuse you. People who want to record you just because of the money. I was like f*ck. This is not what I came here for. The experience however taught me a lot. It is not what it always seems to be,” she says.

“See, I know very well that music is business. I know money has to exchange hands for the big stars to keep it up there. But what about the upcoming stars who are talented but have no money. What I tell them is this; keep your focus, think outside the box and make good music. Your talent and God will open doors for you.”