Helen Epega Biography: Age, Husband, Children & Net Worth

Helen Epega – Song Queen

Stage Name: Helen Epega
Real Name: Helen Parker-Jane Isibor
Occupation: Musician
Date Of Birth/Age: 1981 (43 years old)
State of Origin: Oyo State
Gender: Female
Nationality: Nigerian
Marital Status: Baba Epega (Husband)
Education: Brunel University London
Known for: Song Queen

Helen Epega, also known as The Venus Bushfires, is a Nigerian/British opera singer, songwriter, composer, visual and performance artist. Born in 1981 in Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria, she has left a mark on the world of music, creating the first opera in Pidgin English. This biography explores her early life, career, and artistic contributions.

Early Life in Nigeria

Helen Epega was born into a family of five children in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her parents, a medical consultant, and a storybook writer, both shared a passion for music, this created an environment of creativity and expression. Despite being born into a family with medical inclinations, Epega’s upbringing was rich in artistic influences. The family’s interest in music laid the foundation for her future endeavors.

At the age of seven, Epega relocated to London with her family in the 1980s. Growing up in a multicultural environment, she embraced her Nigerian heritage while adapting to the diverse cultural landscape of London.

Education and Career Beginnings

Epega attended an all-girls convent school, where she started her academic journey. Subsequently, she pursued a degree in Communications and Media at Brunel University London, graduating with a good degree in the field.

Her artistic journey took an unexpected turn when she initially embarked on a career as a rapper. However, it was her discovery of politically aware musicians like Fela Kuti and Miriam Makeba that started her passion for socially conscious music.

Discovery of the Hang Drum

In 2007, during a visit to Ibiza, Epega stumbled upon the hang drum, a unique and melodic percussion instrument. This encounter marked a turning point in her musical exploration. The hang drum quickly became her favorite instrument, adding a distinctive element to her sound.

Creating Pidgin Opera

Epega’s groundbreaking venture into the world of opera began with the inspiration she drew from Wagner’s Parsifal. Fueled by this inspiration and with the support of funding from Arts Council England, she composed the world’s first opera in Pidgin English, titled “Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera.” This innovative piece blended traditional opera elements with African instruments like the kora, talking drums, djembes, and the hang drum for percussion.

The premiere of “Song Queen” took place at The Place in London in July 2015. The hour-long performance marked a significant milestone in Epega’s career. Over time, she expanded the opera, allowing it to reach a duration of one and a half to two hours. The opera has been showcased internationally, including performances at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Lagos between 2016 and 2019.

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The Venus Bushfires: A Creative Collective

Epega’s artistic identity extends beyond her individual achievements, as she is also known as The Venus Bushfires. Described as “a creative collective of one and many,” this alias shows her deep connection with nature and her experiences. The name was inspired by witnessing a bushfire in Benin City, which symbolizes the potential for rebirth and growth that follows destruction. The inclusion of “Venus” pays homage to the goddess of love, aligning with Epega’s passion for astronomy and the stars.

Recent Work and Achievements

In 2021, Epega added another milestone to her impressive career with “Sounds of Us: A Sound Art Snapshot – Life, Love, Fear, Hope & Protest In The Time Of Pandemic Lockdown.” This recent work showcases her ability to adapt and create art that resonates with the current global context.

Husband and Kids

In May 2015, Helen Epega married Baba Epega, the chairman of EMC3. 

Net Worth

Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor’s net worth is worth over $1 million. You can find her on Instagram.