Queen of hits, still at it

Astounding, two decades later

02 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

What more can be said about queen Oteya that you do not know already?

What else would you possibly need to witness before you accept her glory? It is quite true that reflective moments like these tend to evoke a certain undeniable feeling of respect and gratitude towards Oteya for all she has done and brought to the Namibian music scene.

By now we all should undeniably know that Oteya is definitely one of the biggest artists in Namibia; and not just biggest within the present tense, but biggest in a historical sense too.

With so much under her belt, one would think that after almost two decades of competing in the game, a time to rest would have crept in and practised from time to time.

Oteya, on the other hand, continues to dish out good music. After the release of the music video to her fourth single Lose You from her upcoming album earlier this week, tjil had to have a conversation with her.

“I am quite excited about my video Lose You.

“I am lucky to be under Ogopabutterfly and having our team of creatives.

“Our goal was and is still to push my music across the African continent and to the world. We are very confident that we will achieve this goal,” said Oteya.

She added that shooting this music video took a lot of preparations, emphasising that she is fortunate to have the right team. She maintains that so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do.”

Oteya shared that she is still busy in studio working on her third album and sees no reason to rush it.

She wants to put out an album she will be proud of and one that her fans will listen to for a very long time. “I am at a place in my career where I feel no pressure to release albums every year. I believe in the phrase 'quality over quantity',” she said.

Fearless to challenge herself creatively, Oteya told tjil that she loves to play around with Raggaeton words in her songs, but that does not make her music Raggaeton. “I love to push myself as hard as I can. I do this through my music. I do not limit myself or my voice to one thing.

“To remain relevant, one needs to be able evolve and grow as the music and industry changes,” said Oteya.

Although she is not rushing the recording process, she announced that she will be done with the album before the end of 2019. On her musical plans she set for herself at the beginning of the year, Oteya revealed that she wanted to do more collaborations with other artists, which she has done. “I am also going to shoot a few more music videos before the end of the year as per my resolutions. So far I have achieved what I set out to do and I am pretty happy,” she said.

On her musical projects, the singer mentioned that she is the first artist to have a residency at Chopsis Bar for two years in a row. The idea behind her show, Oteya & Friends, which runs for three months every year from January to March on Wednesdays, is to unite the music industry and to give a platform to all artists, especially upcoming artists to showcase their talent to an audience.

As an established artist embracing the new talent, Oteya noted that she was impressed by Lioness when she first heard her rap. “It is for that reason I just had to have her on my song Di Matta. It was a good decision I made because the song came out really good and the video was the cherry on top of the cake,” she said, adding that because of Oteya & Friends she was fortunate to meet a lot of new talent.

Summing up our conversation, Oteya said that being a female artist in Namibia is not easy. She said to survive this industry you need to have a thick skin as it is not all glitz and glamour. “I am celebrating 20 years in the music industry. What keeps me relevant is my ability to reinvent myself. I also have a great team behind me.

“I have survived this long as I do not believe in tearing another artist down to get to the top. I am also in no competition with anyone except to be better than I was yesterday,” she concluded.