As the battle for the top prize in ‘Norkse Talenter’ (Norway Got Talent), gets fiercer, Nigerian-Norway based vocalist, Daniel Appyday, has emerged one of top contenders of the reality show.
Checks revealed that Appyday, who before leaving Nigeria for Norway, was well known for his gospel hits, Thunder Praise, Oku Muonso No Try Jehovah, Chukwu Ebuka and Agbaya, is the only Nigerian on the reality show and has made it past the first four of the five stages of the show.
The show, now in its eight season is one of the biggest TV shows in Norway. It is a spin-off of the popular ‘Britains’s Got Talent’ reality franchise. The winner of this year’s edition will walk away with $60,000 cash prize and a recording contract from Sony Music.
Born Daniel Ernest Emeka Okafor, Appyday is one of the 36 contestants of the thousands auditioned for the competition that made it to the semi-finals. His next performance on the show is scheduled for Friday, May 12, when the semi-final kicks off.
He disclosed that he has been working very hard with his team in preparation for his next show, even as he promised to do his best but counts on all Nigerians to vote for him so that he can get to the Finals.
According him, one unique that has kept going on the show is his ability to make new song for each of his performances rather than use songs from other known musicians which some other contestants do on in the show.
The singer, whose single, ‘Okro Soup’ released in 2016, got rave reviews and attention in Norway, Sweden and other European countries, before he left Nigeria, was well known for his stint in Nollywood following his lead role in now rested sitcom, Royal Tears, which aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT) network, where he played Ogaga.
He also played the role of Eze in Dance of Shame, which aired on Galaxy TV, and was also in After the Storm, which was broadcasted on the NTA Network. He moved to Norway in 2013, to pursue his life goals of acting, modeling, and singing.
His love for children made him found the ‘Excellency Nigeria Children’s Theatre’, a platform that is committed to grooming children with acting skills for both on the stage and of the stage performances.
To demonstrate his undying love for children, Appyday will be performing a new song, titled I Love My Baby, which he wrote for his son Elliot at the semi-finals. He stated the song presents parent’s sacrificial love for their children.
On the change of name, the University of Lagos Theatre Arts and PGD Mass Communication graduate explained he started from the scratch when he got to Norway; hence, it was necessary to rebrand.
According to him, while in Nigeria, he was a gospel artiste but in Norway, he makes world music, reason he changed his stage name. “When I changed my music, I thought it best to also change my artiste name. I chose the name ‘Appyday’ after rising from the many challenges I encountered in here Norway, when I came newly. I want to be happy the rest of my life and I wish my fans the same.”
Asked if his new style of music does not contradict his faith and belief, the singer said, “I couldn’t help it. It was an entirely new environment for me. I had no network or contacts, and no Job. The language was different. I had to start a language school to learn the language.
“Also, you must understand that music is said to be universal. I had put my music career on hold for some time when I got to Norway. Again, the people around me did not believe in my talent. I knew I could earn a living from my music but I did not get any meaningful support from anyone.
On the challenges encountered trying to push his music in Norway, Appyday explain it was the people around him, stressing that they devalued his talent. “To them I was wasting my time doing music and so they tried different ways to discourage me.
“It was very frustrating but I kept my dream alive within me. I knew that music would save me one day. All those years I spent not making music were dark years of my life, but I also learnt how to survive on my own in my new society without the help of anyone. I can boldly say that my rise today and the opportunities I have came from God and God alone, including Norway’s Got Talent.”
For him, winning the $60,000 prize money and recording contract will help him actualise his lifelong dream of having a foundation for the motherless and abandoned babies in Nigeria.
Speaking on the acceptance of his music in Norway, Appyday says, “The white folks appreciate my music style — afrobeat and dancehall. To my amazement, they found it addictive because of the beat, energy, and the swagger.
“I am calling on all Nigerians to vote for me on Friday May 12. You can vote by going to the site www.tv2.no. And voting must be from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. You can find instruction about how to vote on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ernest.emeka2.