Star on the rise: Nefe

Written by Evelyn Karungi
Today, I have Nefé on Breakthrough. I met Nefé while at Warwick University, and I am delighted that she allowed to be featured here. Nefé works with Deutsche Bank in London, and she’s also a singer. She’s so legit!
Enjoy the mini interview and do check out her single ‘Live your life’ on her first EP Smile. Also available on iTunes.
1. Nefé you studied accounting and finance, work with Deutsche Bank in London, how did you find yourself doing music?
Haha, I get this question a lot!
I’ve always been involved in choirs at school and in church, but when I moved to London, that dropped off with work and exams and I really missed it. So I decided to audition to be part of the worship team at my church, Hillsong. They liked me but noted I didn’t have any professional training, so they asked me to do some coaching and come back. I had met my vocal coach, Rachel Kerr at a friend’s graduation a few months before that and she had mentioned she does voice coaching so I got in touch.
Going professional was something I dreamt about a lot but never thought I would actually do- I can be quite risk averse. I told Rachel I just wanted a few gigs here and there but nothing major. She clearly saw something bigger than me and she put me in touch with her husband, CEO of Elegance Management… And here we are!
Really long answer, sorry! Short version- if you love something enough, with the right attitude and the right people around you… It will happen.
2. What inspired you to make the song ‘live your life’?
Quite a few things actually. In some ways, I felt like people kept dictating who I should be. ‘You shouldn’t go out too much, you won’t find husband in the club’ or people second-guess my genuineness cause I ‘smile too much’ or on the flip side, when there is a period when I’m down, it’s like ‘I thought you were a happy person’ and I just got tired of trying to explain and justify myself.
Also, I found that many people around me were battling with conforming to standards set by society- for example, some of my female friends always seemed to talk a lot about being marriage-ready and altering their lives accordingly. I just feel like the world would be a much better place if we all live and let live and that’s the message behind Live Your Life! I can go more into this but that’s the gist.
3. How would you describe the music you make and who did you get the most inspiration or influence from?
Haha I find this question really tough, as I feel like every song on Smile falls under a different genre. But I think it’s all inspirational. There are so many different aspects of life, and there’s a song for each one- if I feel it, I’ll sing it!
Gotta be my Queen Bey! She’s got songs for when you want to let loose on the dance floor and when you want to cry in a dark room. I love her!
Bruno Mars and Rachel Kerr too! Actually, I can list quite a few but I’ll stick to those three.
My family inspire me. Their love and support keeps me going. Every time I’m in the studio, I find that I’m always thinking about them.
4. What have you recently learned in the music world?
I’ve learned that you can’t just blow by releasing one EP.
I think one of the best things I’ve learned is that music really touches people, and even though sometimes it feels like no one is listening, there’s someone out there that has been impacted and that means the world to me.
I’ve also learned that while I might never be the best singer or performer, that’s okay, as long as I do my best and give it my all, I have every reason to be proud of my achievements.
5. What advice do you have for people who are afraid to leave their careers to go after their dream? 
What’s the worst that could happen?
You only live one life, try not to have any regrets. It’s really hard, and I’ve been lucky in that I’m able to perform while I still work at Deutsche Bank, but with other dreams that balance might not be possible but sometimes you just need to take the plunge.
It’s very easy to want to do the right thing and be secure, especially when all your friends have jobs and are making money, you don’t want to be the struggling comedian or something. But I think satisfaction and happiness in life is key. You’re not going to be happy unless you at least give it a shot, so just go for it. As long as you won’t die, what’s really the worst that could happen?
6. Who would you like to collaborate with?
Who wouldn’t I want to collaborate with?!. There are so many talented musicians out there, I want to work with them all!
Rachel Kerr, Tiwa Savage, Luke James to name a few… And while we’re dreaming big Beyonce and Justin Bieber!!
Watch out for this superstar, follow her on twitter @nefstar and instagram @nefenefstar

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