Uriel is relative to the popular musician and activist, Charlie Boy, they are first cousins as her late father was a blood brother to the Justice Charles Oputa of the famous Oputa Panel.
In an interview with Punch, she spoke about a lot of things
I come from a family that is entertainment-oriented and I had always known that I would become an entertainer. I am the only girl out of five children. My mother and my brothers were into music; so, it seemed like the natural path for me to follow. I always wanted to become rich and famous, so I could look after my mum.
I had my education, from elementary to university level, in the United Kingdom. I studied Nursing at the university. However, I am not comfortable about releasing the details of my childhood; I don’t want to mention the name of the schools I attended. I’m not trying to hide anything about my childhood and upbringing. Before you get into Big Brother, you have to show the organisers your birth certificate and proof of educational qualifications. I chose to study Nursing because I had always been fascinated by children. I actually wanted to become a midwife.
I’ve been in the entertainment industry for over 10 years. I started recording songs in the UK and the first song I ever produced was titled Tell Me. It was produced by someone named Olly Jay. I continued doing my thing in the UK until I decided to move back to Nigeria about five years ago. I had been releasing songs and performing at shows in the UK before then. When I got to Nigeria, I first contested in the Glo X-Factor competition. I also auditioned for the Project Fame, but things just weren’t working. The industry can be very tough. I auditioned for Big Brother Africa three years ago. I made it to the finals but I didn’t make it through. I contested two years ago as well but I didn’t make it through the final round. I felt really terrible. I knew I had a purpose and I wanted to be famous, so, I continued pursuing my dream. I then applied for Big Brother Naija last year and I eventually made it through. After I left the ‘house,’ I didn’t want to go into music immediately. I decided to explore other areas such as the media, and securing endorsement deals. I will also be starting my own TV show very soon.
Shortly before my stint in Big Brother Naija, I released a song titled Desire. It was done in house music style because that was what I grew up listening to in the UK. It was with a blend of Igbo language, which is my heritage. In all my songs, I always try to combine my British and Nigerian identities. You can basically define my music as Afrohouse/Igbohouse. I haven’t paid attention to my music career for a while because I have chosen to try out other areas.
Charly Boy is my uncle and he inspired me in a very huge way. I was encouraged by what he had achieved with his entertainment career. However, I wouldn’t say that anybody really paved the way for me in the entertainment industry. I struggled for everything and where I am now. I made sacrifices like everybody else, and it took me about 10 years to get to this spot. Meanwhile, this is nowhere close to where I want to be. I believe I still have a long way to go.
Big Brother Naija
Big Brother was a very great experience for me. I enjoyed every aspect of the show and I am so happy that I was able to make new friends. It is a great platform; so, it has done a lot to boost my profile.
I have a very great relationship with my mom. She’s my inspiration and my rock. She has dementia but we are dealing with it and we have a happy relationship. She has always been supportive of my career and she taught me almost everything I know right now.
For this year, I’m focusing on getting more endorsement deals and doing more TV jobs. My show, Make Me by Uriel, which runs on Instagram, will soon start to show on TV. A lot more things are coming this year. I feel very positive and excited about the possibilities ahead.
A lot of people think that you are ready-made and had money waiting for you after the show. Sometimes, people don’t believe you when you say that you’re still climbing up the ladder and trying to make headway. Many people also say terrible things about you simply because you’re in the public eye. I am a free person and I say things as I see them. But I have discovered that that doesn’t go well with some people. However, I get messages everyday from people who tell me that I have touched their lives with the things that I do.
I am a very deep and happy person. I am also very smart and I don’t need anybody to validate that. I am a caring person with a very big heart. I’m also very observant. You cannot lie to me or cheat me. I know that some people would have tried to cheat me but nobody has ever succeeded in doing that. That’s because I ask questions and take precautions.
There was a time some people criticised me, saying my boobs were drooping but I don’t want to say anything about that again. I’ve grown a thick skin so things like that don’t even faze me anymore. Whenever things like that occur, I always retaliate in a positive way, because I believe positivity always cancels out negativity. When somebody says something nasty to you and your reply to them is positive, they would be shocked. It makes them evaluate their action, and they understand that what they just did was uncalled for.
I am single at the moment. When it comes to the things I love in a man, I don’t really have a particular taste. I just want a man that is not a liar. I want an honest man. I am not fixated on looks, because it fades away. I consider things like good character and intelligence more important.
I don’t really relax and I haven’t been able to unwind for a long time now. However, I also relax by spending time with my family. I am in the UK right now and I am having a very good time.
I like to appear classy, trendy and urban. My hair is my favourite part of my body and wigs are my favourite fashion items.