Mercy Chinwo is a PORT Harcourt (Rivers State) born talented singer, Mercy Chinwo was the winner of the 2012 Nigerian Idol reality show. The pretty artiste who mesmerized millions of viewers with her fantastic vocal delivery and great performances, most notably, Fela Anikulapo’s Zombie, may not have lived up to the high expectations of Nigerians when she won the competition 17 months ago.
Mercy, in this interview revealed that the much publicized promise of a N7.5 million recording contract was never fulfilled to her by the organizers. She also spoke on why she’s been working low key, her family, love life and much more…
Winner of the Etisalat Sponsored Nigerian Idol Season 2 competition, Mercy Chinwo showing off her brand new Toyota SUV car at the Grand FinaleIt has been So long since you won the Nigerian Idol reality show. How has the experience been?
I’d say it has been a great privilege for me to have won a competition of such magnitude which changed my life. It’s been God all the way and I’m grateful that I’m here. I have been recording, performing at events and trying to make sure I get myself out there and keep my fans updated with whatever I’m doing and it’s been fun for me.
Do you agree with the school of thought that your career has stalled since you won the reality show?
Says who? I won’t say yes, because I believe that when someone stays back to work hard for what he or she believes in, there’s always growth and I believe that a time will come when people would begin to appreciate what I’ve been doing and what I do.
People have been wondering why you haven’t dropped any material?
I know their expectations are high and I want to use this medium to say I’m sorry for keeping you guys waiting. It’s a promise that I’ll drop some very good songs very shortly. It’s more like a one-man hustle right now for me. I’m proud to say it’s a one-man thing because if you don’t go through challenges you won’t know your strength.
I understand that part of the reward for winning Nigerian Idol was a N7.5 million recording contract, is it true that you didn’t get it?
As I speak to you, I’m a one-man standing. I am not in any record label, I am alone. I have to say the truth. I am not or was never tied to any record label. I get a producer do my song and keep the hustle going.
But you got the cash prize?
Yes, I got N7.5 million cash.
Has it not been difficult doing everything on your own?
It has been fun for me. I get to learn every day but it’s annoying when you know that you have this thing on the inside and you’re not supposed to be there and you don’t get that push. I had to take my destiny in my hands and do it by myself, and I’m proud to say that life has taught me a lot of things.
Are you open to joining a management or label if a suitable offer comes or do you prefer doing it solo?
Two heads are better than one. If a record label comes up and then have a good plan and offer for me and my career, it’s not just about the money, I will be glad to do it. But I’m not on any record label now.
You made your acting debut recently in Yvonne Nelson’s House of Gold. How was the experience?
I happened to travel to Ghana. At first, I was shy and even scared because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. When I watched the movie, I was so amazed at my performance. The movie is a cool and entertaining one. The role I played was funny. I happened to be a maid that ended up as the madam of the house. Trust me, I enjoyed myself.
Do you now plan to take more opportunities in acting?
Yeah, nobody would want to be successful with something and stop. Everybody likes progress. I love progress and I’m happy that you all love the movie, House of Gold. I wish to do more.
What’s your relationship with Omawumi?
She is my mentor and my friend. She’s like a mother to me. She has been my backbone. She has been of good help to me and I’ll thank her for everything. I love her so much.
But there are whispers that she’s the one hindering your progress by hiding you?
Not at all. Omawumi is one person that would encourage talent if she sees one. On no account should they say that. Nobody is in charge of my destiny and nobody should say what they don’t know.
How has the transition been from Port Harcourt to Lagos?
Lagos, for me, is a hustling city and I like it. There’s this feeling I get staying in Lagos. Nobody’s ready to go out there and do what you are supposed to do for yourself, that’s how I see it. If you want to make it in Lagos, you need to work hard. The difference between Lagos and Port Harcourt is this, when it comes to entertainment, Lagos is its home and I would say it anywhere. Lagos, for me, is the place to be.
Did you record any song before Nigerian Idol?
I’ve been recording before Nigerian Idol, getting myself prepared in case I get any opportunity. You never can tell who would want to help you.
Tell us a little about your background.
I come from a humble background. I’m from Rivers State. I happen to be the first child in a family of six and my parents have always been supportive. Even when I started as a child, they encouraged me and helped me.
How was growing up for you?
Growing up for me was fun until I lost my dad. Ever since, it’s been wishing I had someone that I could call a dad.
Is Mercy in a relationship?
Yes, I’m in a relationship (laughs). No, I’m not.
Who is your ideal man?
Any man that would stand by me through thick and thin. Someone I would call my friend and he would treat me as his sister.
A word to your fans?
I know a lot of people are waiting, they still love me and they want to hear from me. It’s not going to be too long. I promise you’ll get something from me very soon. My latest song, Padi Padi, will be out in a matter of days or weeks.