Julie Coker talks life in the limelight, record relaunch
By Bose Panama
Former beauty queen and veteran broadcaster, Julie Coker, recently celebrated her life in the limelight as well as the relaunch of her record. The event which brought friends, family and fans together, took place at the Brilliant Corner in Daltson, London.
Vanguard Allure was there for an exclusive interview with Ms Julie Coker.
Talk us through your journey from broadcasting to becoming a recording artist.
My mother was a lead singer of an Itsekiri group in Lagos. So, l grew up with music and growing up around music, accelerated my momentum to join in. By the time I was 18, I was singing and knew all the songs used for this album
How did you get into actual music transitioning into a recording artiste?
During FESTAC “77, my mother was to record the songs prepared for Festac 77; this was a project to promote cultural awareness at the time. On getting to EMI studio, the then producer, Odion Iroje saw a potential for a marketing strategy to help EMI records. He then asked me to sing in the studio. It was effortless and seamless for me, because not only did l know all the songs, l had previously sung the chorus many times, so the harmony was not complicated.
I sang in the studio, and a CD was created.
How do you feel given the international interest generated for your record from Australia, United Kingdom and America?
It is the Lord’s doing.
How do you feel now realising that your music has a global feel, that got everyone, black and white alike dancing to your music?
It is simply amazing. During Festac “77, people liked my music, but l did not know it would go far, let alone this far.
Can you tell us about the creative process for this London record relaunch…?
Chris Webb of Calista Records, took control of the creative process, tracing an original CD in France. A man in Paris had his own signed original copy, so the culmination of the intense interest and hard work of Calista Records, gave us a night of entertainment at Brilliant Corner, here in Dalston.
Can you tell us about the awards you have given to Londoners today?
Yes, today is a special day, launching ‘life in the limelight’, showcasing music artistry also afforded us the opportunity for people from all walks of life to receive awards, for contributions to the Richard Coker Foundation.
Recipients are from industry experts, Education and Journalism. Mrs Remmy Diagbare, the Allure Editor, was one of our award winners.
Can you tell us a little about the Richard Coker Foundation?
Richard Coker Foundation was set up 15 years ago, following the tragic loss of my son, Richard Coker to sickle cell disease at the age of 32 years. The Foundation was set up to enhance health and help underprivileged children in urban areas, aiding the eradication of the Sickle Cell Anaemia disease.
What has been the impact of the Richard Coker Foundation so far?
We have done so much; promoting awareness and contributing to research for United Kingdom hospitals on sickle cell anaemia. We collaborate with global companies running different initiatives, from funding to research and education. The Foundation has links with Cyprus University, that is now able to grant certification in Cyprus. Previously, students on completion of their courses in Cyprus would have had to come to the United Kingdom for certification. Now, thanks to Richard Coker Foundation’s collaboration with Cyprus University, accreditation can be done in Cyprus. Thanks to the Foundation, we see the significant and life-enhancing impact.
For the success of tonight to whom are you most grateful?
I am grateful to the Almighty God, Chris Webb: Calista Records, Babatunde Epega, Lead strategist and fundraiser, Chief Richard Macgrey representative of the Olu of Warri, ljakpa descendants Mrs Mayomi Edeh Jemine, Clara Omano, the staff at Brilliant Corner and the Nigerian High Commission staff in attendance.
Bose Panama is a London-based Immigration lawyer and Allure contributor.