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Thursday 17 September 2015

Anita Okekpe appears on BBC2

Six Southampton Solent University students have come together to form Restless Symphony, an up-and-coming a capella group set to appear in BBC 2’s The Naked Choir with Gareth Malone. We caught up with group member Anita Okekpe to find out more about the woman behind the voice.

Name: Anita Okekpe
Age: 23
Hometown: Originally from Nigeria, moved to Kent in 2008.
Course and year: BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance year 3

Restless Symphony are (from left to right) Ioana Simion, Siobhán Laurèn Hilton, Tassama Meshach Franklyn, Felicity ‘Fizz’ Dell-Smith, Anita Okekpe and Georgie Workman

What talents do you bring to the table?

I’m a singer/songwriter and I play the piano occasionally, mostly when I write my own songs. I love cooking and can make a meal out of anything – which comes in handy when you’re living on a student budget!

Who are your music icons and inspirations?

I absolutely admire original singer songwriters and musicians like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Laura Izibor and Chaka Khan. I am also inspired by famous entrepreneurial women, like Oprah Winfrey, Deborah Meaden, and Angela Merkel (to name but a few).

Why do you love to sing?

I love singing for many reasons. Watching people enjoy the miracle that is music either as a live performance or a song on the radio is nothing less than magical.

Why a cappella?

The voice is a very powerful thing and instruments have been known to over-shadow that, I have come to find people are always drawn to the power of vocals so what better way to entertain an audience than the beautiful blend of six powerful vocals.

What makes Restless Symphony so special?

Restless Symphony is six individual power vocals coming together as one. There are no assigned parts, each song is arranged differently because no two songs are the same, and so each song has its own structure and mood different from all the others. We all share the same passion for what we do and we work tirelessly to make sure we give our best.

What song do you think best describes you and why?

It’s hard to pick just one song but off the top of my head I’d say ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’ by the Scissor Sisters because I believe there is a time for everything. I have days when I am absolutely up for joking around and days when I am just not in the mood.

What do you love most about your course and Solent?

I would have to say the performances. The main reason I decided to quit sound engineering was because I wanted a microphone and a stage. I just wanted to perform to an audience. Secondly the lecturers, I have to say they are the most supportive and encouraging people I have ever met in all my time as a student.

Best piece of advice given so far?

Don’t rest till you get there, and even after you get there don’t rest, work to be the very best you can be, you’ll rest when you are dead.

What are you aspirations for the future?

I want to be recognized and respected for what I do. If world domination comes along too, I won’t complain.