Berrykiss' correspondent Ibrahim Omotosho [twitter handle - @heem_tosh] engaged Zara Gretti in a chit-chat a while back (not quite.. but don't ask moi to explain this.. winks). This was for our "19 Questions" feature with An Interesting Personality. Enjoy!
1. What's your full name?
Margaret-Mary Joseph... there are a lot of Nigerian names in the middle, never fear for all the oyinbo-ness :D2. Your education background?
Did my primary and some secondary education in Lagos, Nigeria. Completed high school in the Philadelphia area, and attended The University of Pittsburgh.3. Your childhood?
My childhood was spent in Nigeria around lots of family and creatively expressive people. I won't exchange my childhood for that of a Prince William, Omo Dangote, or a Brooklyn Beckham.
Reading novels, googling random stuff, writing, cooking...
5. How long have you been into music?
Professionally, I disovered myself as an artiste and started recording in 2006. I'm still on that path.
6. You first concert?
I remember being taken to some shows in Lagos when I was younger, but the first concert that's clear in my memory was seeing Femi Kuti in Philadelphia sometime in 1999/2000.
7. At what point did u finally decide on doing music?
The moment I stepped into that studio in 2006, I knew there was no turning back.
8. What genre is your music?
I express myself and create, and don't like to box myself. I do deliver in rap, melody and with a Jamaican patois feel. I include my language Yoruba in my writing and there's always a pop feel to my work.
9. What your first major hit?
In my humble opinion, I haven't had one yet, but The Flyest, Aboko Ku and Teno are definitely audience favorites.
10. What's your relationship with others in the industry?
There are so many people in the music industry, so that's a very wide net to cast. I do have lots of friends in the industry. #NoNameDropping. **REALLY?! What could it hurt?..**
11. If you weren't an artist, what other profession do you fancy?
I completed my NYSC service year at Rhythm 93.7fm, it was a great experience. If I had another job I'd definitely be an on-air personality (radio and tv).
12. How did you arrive at the name 'Zara Gretti'?
I adopted the name Zara in 1999 and I added the last name Gretti in 2011. Gretti is a derivitive of my first name Margaret.
13. Who is your mentor?
I love Madonna, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, and Rihanna... **We heart Rihanna too**
14. I read an article about you and Toni Payne splitting, what happened?
We didn't renew our contract, we still remain friends.
15. Who manages you?
I am currently represented by Vinny Egigba of EgoFix Entertainment. He's also known as Mr. EgoFix.
16. Tell us about your record label.
I am an independent artiste and signed to no label. I'm my own boss lady but I won't turn down a lucrative and sensible contract if one comes my way.
17. Got any album out, when is the next one coming out?
I don't have an album. Currently working on an EP that should be out soon.
18. What's your philosophy about life?
Put God first and LIVE!
19. How do you define your style.
I'm most comfortable wearing nothing. That won't fly in public though... (LOL).. So no makeup, fancy earrings, dreadlocks let down, a comfortable small/loose dress that allows for mobility, and slip-ons rock!
In a related news: Zara Gretti released the video for her single “TENO”, shot in April, 2012 over two days in Maryland, USA. The visual direction was a collaborative effort by the amazing pair Champion Studios and P.K design to bring Margaret-Mary Joseph aka Zara Gretti’s vision to life.
The release of the video shall coincide with the launch of www.ZaraGretti.com. There’s also an E.P in the works with Atlanta based Jamaican artiste Dré (@DreggaeMusic) and the Production team Blackfyah from the Virgin Islands.
For more on Zara Gretti, you might want to visit the Zara Gretti Chronicles on youtube. All we can say is this sister rocks, and we wish her the best in her music career.