Once upon a time, in the vibrant city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, a young girl discovered her undeniable connection with music. From an early age, her passion for music was palpable, and she began crafting her unique sound, blending gospel songs with instrumentals from secular tracks. As her talent shone through, Morravey (born Daniella Daniel) found herself at a crossroads, torn between the allure of the stage and the challenges of school and stage fright. But determined to put her beloved city on the global music map, she embodied the spirit of resilience that thrives amidst limited resources and abundant talent.
In a pivotal moment, fate led her to meet her manager in the studio, marking a turning point in her musical odyssey. Sharing captivating covers on social media further amplified her talent and audience until she caught the attention of the Afrobeat superstar, Davido. This unexpected connection opened doors to a collaboration that propelled Morravey into an exciting new phase of her career.
Now a bonafide member of Davido’s 30BG, Morravey is poised to leave an indelible mark on the global music landscape, carrying the spirit of Port Harcourt and the vibrant energy of Afro-Pop with her every step of the way. In this interview with Oroma Jumbo, she delves into her musical voyage and sheds light on her latest accomplishment: the release of her debut EP, “Ravi.”
Let’s talk about your journey into the music industry. What’s your origin story, and when did you discover your deep-rooted love for Afro-pop music?
I’ve always had a thing for music since my childhood, and having grown up in Port Harcourt, there was no way Afropop/Afrobeat music would have been exempted. My parents are music lovers, and I always found myself in musical gatherings; it was beyond my control. Destiny just called, and subconsciously, I listened.
Could you tell us about your support system on this journey? Who has been there for you, and how have they helped you along the way?
Honestly, I’ve had the best support system. From Davido to the 30BG family, Sony Music, my family, my manager…these are people God strategically placed in my life to help my growth and journey.
Could you share some insights into your creative process and how you come up with your unique sound and style?
Music is such a beautiful concept that inspires me, and because I love good music, I listen to almost all genres. I combine the elements that resonate with me from my listening experiences with what I already know. This process helps my personal and artistic growth, and I haven’t even reached my full potential yet, as this is just the tip of the iceberg.
How do you stay true to yourself in an industry that can be demanding and constantly evolving?
One of my mentors always said you must be yourself to stand out. Personally, I don’t feel pressured; I know I’m good, and I’ll never give anything less than my best. Plus, I’m a lover of growth and creativity, so I’ll always keep evolving and never be caught slacking.
On the 2nd of November, you released your first EP, “RAVI.” What was the inspiration behind this EP?
The plan was to be as versatile and creative as I could. The EP was also a way of finding myself; it’s my first body of work, so I had a bust of ideas from just imagining how I wanted to be introduced. After discussing with my team, we set out straight to work.
How would you describe the overall sound and style of it?
Afrobeats is the foundation, but you will hear a fusion of some R&B and high-life elements in there.
Are there any specific themes or messages that you wanted to convey through the EP?
Love and living are two of the things I am most grateful for right now. I am surrounded by a lot of love, and I think it’s a blessing to be living in this moment. I didn’t set out to create a body of work with these themes; I just wanted something that would be like my introduction, which is why it was self-titled ‘RAVI.’ But after putting it together, these were the two things that stood out. Every track is distinctive and has its message.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating RAVI?
There was nothing particularly challenging about creating “RAVI”, the EP. For the simple fact that I love making music, everything just had to go very smoothly. Moreover, we had God all through, and He did His thing.
Which song from the EP holds the most personal meaning to you and why?
That would be ‘Magician.’ Magician is my most personal song on the EP because it talks about my story. It isn’t fictional or just cruise like some of the tracks on the EP. It is my grass-to-grace journey, how I’ve gone from Port Harcourt to Yankee.
What do you hope listeners will take away from the EP?
I want my listeners to have a fully immersive musical experience. I want them to enjoy my voice, to feel the beat and rhythm of the songs and to find a connection in the lyrics of the songs. RAVI, the EP, is my introduction, and I want them to anticipate what’s coming next from me.
What significant milestones have you achieved in your musical journey, and how do they motivate you to keep pushing forward?
It’s been quite humbling, I must say. The first song I ever released was on Davido’s album, an album which now has a Grammy nomination. Also, I had the highest first-day streams for a debut EP in Nigeria. My song ‘What is Love’ peaked at #1 in Ghana on one of the DSPs. My song ‘Magician’ secured #5 on the Top 10 Apple Music Nigeria chart. It has been a beautiful journey, and I know there’s so much more to come.
Which significant lessons would you say you’ve learned along the way, both personally and professionally?
Personally, I’ve learned that hard work pays, especially in the music industry. I’ve learned that you must keep growing, which means you must let go of some things. I’ve learned that with God, anything is possible, and the journey can only lead to greater heights. Most importantly, I’ve learned to protect my energy from negative criticism so that it doesn’t affect my drive and focus.
How do you want your music to impact and inspire your audience, particularly young artists who look up to you as a role model?
I make really beautiful music that resonates with people of all ages and moods. Take, for example, my song ‘What is Love,’ which explores the complexities of love in our generation. I hope listeners are inspired to become better versions of themselves and to strive for improvement through my music.
Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations your fans can look forward to?
Honestly, there’s a ton of new music on the way. I had recorded a lot of songs even before this EP dropped—amazing ones, trust me (my personal favourites are yet to be released). I’ve also collaborated with some big names, and you’ll find out soon. Plus, I’ve developed a bit of an addiction to working with Davido, so brace yourselves for more collaborations!