Bloody Civilian Reveals Why She’s So Angry

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Born Emoseh Khamofu, her stage name 'Bloody Civilian' gives you a clue that she's no ordinary individual.

Bloody Civilian is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer who has made quite an entrance to the music business.In just eight months, she has caught the attention of everyone from Amazon and Apple Music to British Vogue and NME magazines.

Her first three songs, including the provocatively named How To Kill A Man and I Don’t Like You, have amassed over 11 million streams, and her track Wake Up, featuring Rema, was included in the soundtrack to the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.Her stage name gives you a clue that she is no ordinary individual.

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She says the name Bloody Civilian was inspired by the military violence in her homeland in northern Nigeria.Quote Message:

“It’s pretty much a term that’s used on my people and I decided to change the notions around the name. I thought the name worked for things that I believe and what I stand for.”

“It’s pretty much a term that’s used on my people and I decided to change the notions around the name. I thought the name worked for things that I believe and what I stand for.”

Born Emoseh Khamofu, her parents moved to Abuja where she grew up. But she recalls getting calls from relatives in the north keeping them informed of what was going on there.

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“My village kind of no longer exists where it did before so it’s moved as a result of crisis.”

Bloody Civilian is not the only musician in her family. Her father is a bass guitarist and used to play gigs on the weekend. He wanted her to study music.

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“Music for me was always the thing I could do that no-one could take away from me. I could always do it in isolation and I wasn’t making noise for the most part. It kept me out of trouble”.

“Music for me was always the thing I could do that no-one could take away from me. I could always do it in isolation and I wasn’t making noise for the most part. It kept me out of trouble”.

She says she creates her art based on her experiences and tries to be as honest as she can.Her song How To Kill A Man was inspired by the anger of women which she believes is often censored. She cites examples of the way she has been treated in the past.

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“There was a time I was in my car in Abuja and I remember I got hit from the side. But because I was a woman in the car, a whole community of people came and beat on the car until I was tipping from side to side.

They were yelling things like “prostitute” – basically saying that for me to drive a car that size I had a Sugar Daddy. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have the same experience if I was a guy.”

“There was a time I was in my car in Abuja and I remember I got hit from the side. But because I was a woman in the car, a whole community of people came and beat on the car until I was tipping from side to side. They were yelling things like “prostitute” – basically saying that for me to drive a car that size I had a Sugar Daddy. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have the same experience if I was a guy.”

She also described a time she was shopping in a market in Kaduna and her headscarf slipped off her head, and someone called her a prostitute.

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“I had to drag the scarf back on my head and cover it. I’m not even a Muslim. I’m not even religious. These things are definitely in my past. I’m very free now. I live in Lagos. I do whatever I want, no-one tells me what to do. I can just be a creative and do the things I’ve always done and be the person I’ve always been.”

“I had to drag the scarf back on my head and cover it. I’m not even a Muslim. I’m not even religious. These things are definitely in my past. I’m very free now. I live in Lagos. I do whatever I want, no-one tells me what to do. I can just be a creative and do the things I’ve always done and be the person I’ve always been.”

She says she called her latest EP Anger Management because she has many frustrations.

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“I talk about drugs and the epidemic, and how young people in Nigeria have nothing else to lean on sometimes except these little ways that we escape, and I’ve been there as well. A lot of these things have frustrated me because there’s a whole system behind it and people are benefitting financially from the things that we struggle with.

“This is a very angry EP. I’m basically saying that these are things that make me very upset. I want to talk about them and hope that people cannot feel alone about the things they’re experiencing.”

“I talk about drugs and the epidemic, and how young people in Nigeria have nothing else to lean on sometimes except these little ways that we escape, and I’ve been there as well. A lot of these things have frustrated me because there’s a whole system behind it and people are benefitting financially from the things that we struggle with. This is a very angry EP. I’m basically saying that these are things that make me very upset. I want to talk about them and hope that people cannot feel alone about the things they’re experiencing.”

Bloody Civilian admits she toned down the EP due to the experience she had with her earlier singles.

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“The swear words were causing little problems here and there so that was an easy decision to make because we didn’t want it to ruin our whole campaign, with getting flagged and taken down and banned.”

“The swear words were causing little problems here and there so that was an easy decision to make because we didn’t want it to ruin our whole campaign, with getting flagged and taken down and banned.”

One of the tracks that resonated with her the most while writing the songs was Family Meeting.

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“You know we have this saying that the village raises the child? There are pros and cons with that. Kids don’t grow up with privacy. If anything goes wrong, it’s a whole family affair

“Where you can come home and there’s a whole meeting being held with distant family members coming to say: ‘This is how this should be handled,’ like a judgement day. I just felt that would be a funny kind of story to describe in a song. It’s a compilation of African stories really.”

“You know we have this saying that the village raises the child? There are pros and cons with that. Kids don’t grow up with privacy. If anything goes wrong, it’s a whole family affair where you can come home and there’s a whole meeting being held with distant family members coming to say: ‘This is how this should be handled,’ like a judgement day. I just felt that would be a funny kind of story to describe in a song. It’s a compilation of African stories really.”

The BBC.

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