Naomi Achu is far from your average artist. As singer, rapper and songwriter, the Cameroonian stunner wears all three hats, dazzling audiences everywhere with her melodic voice, clever rhyming, seductive dance moves and performance acumen.
Born Fruh-Ngwing Achu and a native of the beautiful hilly town of Bamenda, Cameroon, Naomi is the last of six children in a Christian family. Her father, of Baforchu extraction, is a now-retired diplomat to the Cameroonian Embassy in London. Her Awing mother is an educator of primary and secondary school children.
Naomi’s career started very early. At the age of nine, living in London at the time, she wrote her first song. As a high school student at Saker Baptist College in Limbe, Cameroon, she sang gospel songs in a cappella. When she moved from all-girls Saker to co-ed Baptist High School in Buea, Naomi attained the title of music prefect, holding the responsibility of leading the school choir. Eventually Naomi began singing back-up vocals for recording artists at M1 Studio in Buea. It was through this gig that she landed another one: as the automated voice for MTN Cameroon (Mobile Telephone Network Cameroon).
During this time, Naomi continued to hone her songwriting skills. Moving from Cameroon to the United States, Naomi crafted her first record in 2009: a four-track EP entitled No Boundaries (now available on iTunes). Showcasing her singing and rapping skills, No Boundaries immensely raised her profile, as Naomi found herself swamped with offers from artists from all over the world requesting a guest verse or collaboration on their tracks.
It only got better from there. Naomi teamed up with fellow artists Eddy B and H. Bolo to form the trio Avin-u C and release the 2010 mixtape, Camerican Dream. And in the following year, she released her follow-up, Positive Energy (now available on iTunes and Amazon.com).
A 12-track album Naomi released under the Tribal Invazion label she founded, Positive Energy received rave reviews from listeners for its diverse sound and topics. Songs include “Alhadji,” which concerns taking advantage of gullible men of wealth; “Cadavere,” about a relationship gone bad; “Skin Tight Jeans,” a tribute to looking great in the club; and “Suffer Don Finish,” a massive, unrelenting jam African-style with hyped-up ad-libs from Congolese superstar Awilo Longomba.
With Positive Energy, more people took notice of Naomi Achu. In addition to substantial airplay on international radio and television stations, “Alhadji” scored Naomi a Best Blues/Pop award nomination by the Washington, D.C.-based World Music & Independent Film Festival (WMIFF), and its video held the No. 1 spot on Afrotainment Channel’s Top 10 program for several weeks. Also, she opened for high-profile acts like Fally Ipupa (DR Congo) and Timaya (Nigeria). Naomi closed out the year with a Best Female Artist award at the Cameroon Urban Music Awards (CUMA) and a spot on the Top 10 Most Beautiful Cameroonian Celebrities 2011 list at TheRichest.org.
The next year, Naomi reached an important landmark. On July 28, 2012, she won the Best Female Artist award at the Cameroon Entertainment Awards (CEA), the first of its kind for her homeland.
Outside of the music, Naomi Achu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Also, she is the founder and CEO of International Nurses for Africa, a non-profit organization committed to promoting health care in the continent.
Naomi draws inspiration from artists from a vast array of genres. They include Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, Mary Mary, Makoma, Mary J. Blige, Angelique Kidjo, Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu and Magic System. With a massive amount of talent and drive that is rarely matched, the best is yet to come for the self-styled “Queen of Bamenda.”