A typical ten-year-old is not often associated with genius, but once in a lifetime we meet a child prodigy who defies stereotypes. Natasha Iloabachie, from Ogidi, the same community as Chinua Achebe in Anambra State, is just a 6th grade student at Justine Thomas Kindergarten and Primary School, Enugu, but she left everyone in awe by his artistic talent. This multi-talented child has two music albums to her credit and is also a prolific creative writer
At birth, she was proclaimed an extraordinary child. It didn’t take long for this to manifest. “Shortly before I was 10, I wrote two songs,” she says daily sun. indeed, she was thrilled to finally be able to express the desire she had harbored for years.
Soon after, she became more inspired, and by the age of ten she had written 27 songs in just two months. “Then I produced my first eight-track album,” she reveals.
While it takes many months and even years for adults to release an album, it only took little Natasha three months to create her songs and release her first album. Currently, she has written 38 songs. During the Yuletide shortly before she publicly presented her debut album, her mother thought it would be a good idea to produce some Christmas songs. A second album was in preparation.
She remembers: “I was happy to take up the challenge and that’s how my second album of Christmas carols was born. Although there is an irresistible urge for this youngster to write songs, she does not let her academics suffer.
“I have to pay the same attention to my studies to maintain my first position in class. So I try to balance my passion for singing and composing with my dedication to my studies. I am currently preparing for secondary school and will be writing entrance exams, although I am still playing and writing songs. I’m very careful in managing my time so that my studies don’t suffer,” she says.
The title of his first album is my god able. It was named after one of her songs which was adapted from Isiah 61. She says, “It’s more than just a title for me. It’s a reflection of what God has done for me and my family, that regardless of what we’re going through, God is capable. And because I have a special relationship with God, I decided to make it more personal, that’s why I titled the album my god able.”
While her first album contains eight gospel songs, the second is purely Christmas songs. It’s a three-track album, and they’re all available on YouTube. “As I said earlier, I wrote them before my album was released. In fact, that was precisely when my school, Justine Thomas Nursery and Primary School, was getting ready to throw a party. carnival that my mother suggested that I write the Christmas songs to be sung on that day,” she said.
The songs turned out to be hits in Enugu because wherever she went to perform, people reacted very well to the songs. There was one particular experience that upset her. “I remember when I went to play at the Dabota Book Club Christmas party, the DJ was so blown away that he asked permission to copy the songs and use them during the season. It was also played on radio stations throughout Yuletide. I was happy to have listened to my mother who was a pillar of support for me,” says the little prodigy.
His songs convey different messages, although the main purpose is to glorify God. “I like to use my music to inspire people to do the right thing,” she echoes. The first track from his gospel album is called “Wake them Up”. She complains that Christians no longer believe miracles are possible, but “we should wake up from our sleep and do the work that is expected of us and be a shining light to the world.”
In October 2019, she was invited by Coal City FM, Enugu to talk about her music. When her song was played, everyone was speechless. She recalls enthusiastically, “One of the visually impaired people in the studio said he could feel an incredible anointing from the song. I vividly remember when I was invited to a phone show at Solid FM, callers couldn’t help but say how blessed they were just listening to “Heaven is so Pure”.
The singer is honored that her music has had a positive impact on people. “This song in particular, like most of my songs, was divinely inspired,” she says. “It describes the beauty and supremacy of God. I want people to think of heaven when they hear the song. I want them to know that heaven is a place for pure hearts and the more they think about heaven the more they prepare to enter it.
One of his favorite tracks on this album is “Shine”. She explains, “God created everything in the universe for us to shine. So we must shine, because we have been called to shine and reflect the glory of God.
On how she wrote the title track, “He’s Able”, she recalls, “One day last summer my mother brought the Bible and opened Isaiah 61 and asked me to compose it, this God is capable of anything; he is capable of freeing captives and providing for the needy and has given us the power to do the same,” she says.
Her musical influences include Ada Ehi, Sinach, Asa and Mercy Chinwo. She likes the way they sing and hopes to meet them one day. Natasha is an upper class who doesn’t want to let go. Listen to her: “By the grace of God, I’ve always been at the top of my class, and I’m not going to let that change, especially now that I’m almost out of primary school.
Her mother, who owns a school in Enugu, was also supportive. My mother ensures that my studies and my musical career are well balanced. If you think Natasha would go the way of Wizkid going for Afrobeats with lewd lyrics, you’re dead wrong.
“God gave me the gifts to write gospel and secular songs. I don’t know which is more lucrative because I don’t sing to make money. I sing because it makes me happy and glorifies God. The secular songs I sing are also meant to promote peace and love. I am very careful with my lyrics, as I don’t want to get involved in anything that displeases God. My next album which will be released in February includes secular songs about things happening around and giving glory to God. I write about the things I see around me. Every song I write is about creation.
Her classmates and friends are so thrilled that they have one of their own as a teenage star. “Some of them were actually in the video, so they’re part of that journey. They’re also with me when I perform on stage. They’re so happy with me,” she echoes.
For a child, who at birth was proclaimed great, her mom cried “Thank God, finally” when Natasha’s first album came out, because she had been waiting for the manifestation of this prophecy given at her birth, which she would be an “unusual child”. “She is so happy and extremely supportive. Unfortunately, her father is late. “I’m sure when we meet in heaven he’ll give me a high 5,” she smiles.
His mother also acts as a manager. She’s the one who takes him to the studio and to musical performances, even when it’s not practical. Sometimes, when she has to perform at very short notice, it’s her mom who makes sure she’s ready.
“Sometimes she has to make a new dress or call someone to come to my house to do my hair. She also helps me train for my rehearsals. I am so grateful to God for giving me a mother like mine,” she says.
She aspires to be a doctor and a great musician, singing to the glory and praise of God, uplifting souls and making people happy with her songs. Natasha is also a writer and has a storybook lined up.
She says daily sun how she draws inspiration from her writings. “My environment determines what I write. You can also say that I am inspired by nature. I am naturally very observant. People, especially adults, think I’m too curious because I always want to know more about problems. Sometimes they say I’m too wise for my age, but I guess that’s what a creative mind is.
“I write from what I see and feel. It’s a bit different when I write my songs, especially Gospel songs. My inspiration for this comes from a deep communion with God and his word,” she says, adding that she does not, however, follow a strict writing regimen. “Basically, I write whenever I get an inspiration. Usually I write down my ideas as I go and write when I’m less busy.
What plans does she have for her writing? She says, “I intend to publish The turtle and other stories, but it will be after my joint entrance exams. Right now, I’m more concerned about passing my exams with flying colors, so I’m not letting myself or my family down. She also plays keyboard for the school band.