Zochi Was Alone, But Love Has Made Her Whole Again

The Prairie Afrobeats artist applies her persuasive purr to a romantic sentiment.

Zochi finds herself fulfilled by divine love in her new single and video Alone (Whole Again) — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

While the supposedly religious try to claim God’s favour for themselves and deny it to anyone they see as “other,” Canadian Afrobeats queen Zochi — a real-life royal princess — has something more open-hearted in mind. Her new single finds her praying for the consummation of a same-sex attraction — not just because she wants it, but because the Lord must too.

Taking inspiration from 1 Corinthians 13:13 — you remember, the one that says love is even greater than faith or hope — Zochi applies her persuasive purr to a romantic sentiment that’s positively holy in its urgency. “Maybe you’ll show up this time in the night when I’m all alone,” she imagines, in what could be a reference to the object of her ardour or to God himself. “This your love you give me so / E dey make me whole again.”

Photo by Andrew Parry.

“Since embracing fearlessly my sexuality, my experiences with God’s love — for me, and for other people — testifies to me that the book is true,” she attests. “Not only is this song important to me, but I also believe love can and will save the world. It doesn’t matter who is loving who. We just must love.”

It’s hard to disagree when the argument sounds this gorgeous. The instrumental track Zochi and producer RoyMade (b) have assembled has the reassuring calm of the truly divine, and her vocal — her first experiment with writing to the cadence of African instrumentals — has her singing against herself on opposing tracks, with some judiciously applied autotune for extra character.

It took some doing, however, for the song itself to be made whole. Zochi recorded an early version in 2021 that had a different backing track, only for its foundational beat to be purchased out from under her by a certain act who now owned the exclusive copyright. So she sent her vocal stems to producer RoyMade and instructed him to devise an entirely new underpinning for them. “That was how Alone (Whole Again) came about,” she explains. “I did it alone, and now it’s whole again.”

Photo by Andrew Parry.

As for the video, she says, “I just wanted a visual that feels good because the meaning of the song feels good. The song’s emotions or feeling is like the type some accept, and some don’t. Yes, that latter hurts when you’re not accepted, but the feeling — being yourself loving who you are are/becoming — itself before validation from people, for the one who is experiencing it, always is good. So, we stick to that and don’t care what people say about who we are. I have a wild imagination, I love art, I love drawings, I love architecture, and I wanted all those elements in my video. So, I linked with Anastase Maragos and Ariana Donovan to shoot a video that allows us to play with our imagination and I think and hope my viewers will feel seen and accepted for who they are, after watching the video.”

Born in Nigeria but a resident of Regina since 2013, Uzochi Lolia Ifeanyiukachu is one of the only Afrobeats artists in Canada, and she has the recognition to show for it. In 2022, she was nominated for Contemporary Artist of the Year at the Sask Music Awards. She’s also been seen on high-profile TV programs, and heard on Black-focused radio in Canada and Kenya. And about that royal title: Her grandfather is the late King Samuel Paul Uwakwe of Okrika Rivers State Nigeria. He is also referred to as The Amanyanabo of Okrika.

Watch the video for Alone (Whole Again) above, hear more from Zochi below, and join her on her website and Instagram.


Photo by Andrew Parry.