I’ve Been Ghostwriting Songs Since I Was 13 – Qing Madi


Qing Madi is a Nigerian singer-songwriter who’s rising fast and rising high.

In an interview with BBC, the 17-year-old broke onto the music scene in 2022 when she released See Finish on TikTok. That track was a freestyle to express her emotions about a friendship gone wrong.

She was taken by surprise by just how quickly it blew up – and the reaction when listeners found out that she was only 16.

“They threw a fit and were saying: ‘No way, why would you write this type of song? What have you seen [of life]?’

“So, everyone starts undermining my experience because it doesn’t feel right that I could come from this type of place when I’m this age – so I felt like I was low-key bullied.”

In fact, Qing Madi has been ghostwriting songs for other artists since she was 13 – but she always did her best to hide her age.

One of the people who enjoyed See Finish was another Nigerian musician – the Afro-fusion singer, songwriter and record producer, BNXN, formerly known as Buju. He approached Qing Madi to collaborate and in 2023 he featured on her track Ole.

Born Chimamanda Pearl Chukwuma, Qing Madi grew up in Benin City before moving to Lagos.

She started performing at school talent shows and in her church choir when very young. It was her mother who first spotted that she had the potential to go far in music.

“I wouldn’t make friends. I would just sit in a corner and sing to myself. So my mother paid very close attention to this.”

Her childhood home was close to a bar that played music all night long, mostly tracks from the 1980s and 1990s.

“The melodies were what basically helped me fall asleep – that was like my lullaby.

“And that’s why I know a lot of old school songs and my people are, like: ‘Ain’t no way you 17 girl’.”

Qing Madi is also influenced by the trap and rap music that she was introduced to by university students who came to her mother’s shop to buy things. They also played her Kendrick Lamar, who is her favourite artist.

She’s been selected by Apple Music as one of their Rising Class of 2024.