For 17-year-old singer, songwriter, and entertainer Qing Madi, born Chimamanda Pearl Chukwuma on July 1st 2006, music has been her only calling. Her artistic genius was evident at the early age of 7 when she launched her career. Heavily influenced by her cultural background and the lyrical arrangements of Kendrick Lamar, the multi-talented Nigerian prodigy is shaping the future of music with her unique genre-bending fusion of afrobeats, pop, soul, and R&B.
The young virtuoso was birthed in Benin City, Nigeria, and primarily raised by her mother, a former dancer, alongside her siblings. She got her professional start by competing in school talent shows as well as singing in church; her vocal capabilities, confidence, and ambition earned her a spot in the adult choir. Recognizing the unique nature of her child’s gifts, her mother enrolled her in a local ballet academy as a means to foster her creativity outside of school. It proved to be an exceptionally progressive move. Qing Madi won several dance awards and the classes provided inspiration and also helped to foster her musical gifts. She learned to quickly memorize lyrics, how to properly nurture her vocal instrument and how to identify her sound, skills that set her apart from her peers. While she was proud of the projects and possessed the ability to express her thoughts clearly, she used a co-writer on several songs where she spoke about mature topics such as heartache, childhood trauma and financial struggles due to her young age.
Qing Madi saw her hard work coalesce when she began booking performances locally as well as out of state, all managed and supported by her mother. The attention she garnered confirmed her limitless potential. Not one to leave her dreams up to chance, the rising star focused her energy on becoming a contestant on Nigeria’s Got Talent, which is part of the Got Talent franchise by curating a vision board with securing a coveted spot on the life altering show as the main goal. Despite preparing for auditions by consistently rehearsing and having the desire to manifest the opportunity, the competition wasn’t in the cards for singer. It crushed her. When she finished secondary school, the family relocated to Lagos for a fresh start.
At 12, Qing Madi possessed talent but felt the pressure of being rejected by record labels due to her youth, which took a toll on her emotional well-being. Writing music became her escape. Her mother noticed the symptoms of depression and helped her cross all the hurdles to reclaim her greatness. “I lost hope but my mom reminded me that I shouldn’t give up. Most times we couldn’t afford proper studio sessions and my mom would have to borrow money for me. She would often preach of how the light was coming. Her prayers kept me going.” Qing Madi began posting motivational messages to her social media accounts to encourage and uplift other creatives. Her content struck a chord with existing fans and garnered her a solid influx of new followers. Qing Madi turned her pain into a sense of purpose and profit. And then the labels started calling.
Qing Madi’s music breakthrough came in September of 2022 when she secured a record deal with Jton Music, an independent label owned by Joy Tongo who worked with the likes of Nigerian superstars Psquare surprise, everyone loved it.” and Yemi Alade. Later Jton Music inked her a deal with Columbia Records/BuVision. Bu “I decided to sing one of my original songs online and to my Thiam, CEO of BuVision is a renowned executive whose resume includes work with Rihanna, Kanye West, Akon, and Lady Gaga. The former A&R at Def Jam and now EVP at Columbia Records says he “flew to Nigeria twice in one week to find the then 16-year-old singer-songwriter.”
As one of DSCVR Artists to watch 2024, Qing Madi debut EP is scheduled for release this November 2023. The buzzing single “OLE ft BNXN fka Buju,” peaked at no 3 on Apple Music Nigeria and across all African countries. Ole has accumulated over 100 million streams across all DSPs platforms. When you hear Qing Madi’s voice, you experience her heart. Her personal compositions are powerful yet soft, like her stage moniker. An explosive entertainer, Qing Madi is the star of her own show. Her connection to her supporters, her roots and the ways she makes sense of who she is as a person and who she is as a performer is special.