“A Hurum Gi N’anya” loosely translates to “I love you” in Igbo, the principal native language of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria.
Nigerian-American singer/songwriter Mary Akpa uses this saying in the title of her new single to explore the true meaning of love, and the importance of self-love.
Born in Nigeria and raised in Southern California, Mary Akpa brings a seamless blend of soul, jazz, electronic, and African influences.
Deeply inspired by community and heritage, Mary’s career spans numerous years over several continents. At the age of 18, she was discovered by Arista/La Face records, ultimately becoming lead singer and songwriter for an all-girl band.
She spent time touring both domestically and internationally, including performances in Germany, Istanbul, France, and Iraq. She’s written with and for numerous artists and was featured with an a cappella vocal group on NBC’S The Sing Off, all while recording two jazz albums, two electronic/down tempo albums and releasing her debut EP, Brave.
Mary’s 2016 single “That Day On The Train” boasts her reinvigorated, more personal approach to music, chronicling the beginning of a love story. Serving as the lead single from Mary’s UNSEEN EP, the song earned Mary some much deserved attention in her home country, landing big placements on Good Morning Nigeria and Cool FM.
Mary’s experience and identity as a Black, Nigerian-American woman plays a key role in her creativity and activism. As an artist committed to social change, Mary co-founded Naija Girl Tribe, a non-profit supporting Nigerian girls through mentorship, personal and career development, and peer-focused counseling.
Released on all digital streaming platforms for Valentine’s Day yesterday (2/14/2021), “A hurum gi n’anya (I do)” follows “Black Body” and serves as the second single from Mary’s forthcoming album, expected this Spring.
Mary shared a mini lesson in Igbo, with a breakdown of the new single and a conversation about its meaning on YouTube of which you can watch in the player above.