While Whitney Houston left us far too early, her soul lives on—almost literally. The transgender, German born Ikenna Amaechi is so good at re-creating the diva, a photo of her was mistakenly used on CNN when Houston’s death was announced. “They posted it among other pictures of Whitney,” says Amaechi. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
Most people can’t believe their eyes—or ears—when Amaechi performs, starting with her own mother. For her first professional appearance, “I invited her at short notice. All I can remember is that my mum lost it and was so proud of her son nothing else was really important,” she says. “She gave me the strength to even think about what I am doing now.”
Adds Amaechi, on “becoming” the legend: “It sounds silly maybe, but it is as if I can feel her, do you know what I mean? It is very natural for me to give that illusion.”
That illusion is going to be on full display at Industry tonight, as Amaechi’s pulling out all the stops. “I hope to knock it out of the park, you know what I’m saying? I didn’t come all the way from Germany to relax.”
Amaechi says that, after Houston died, “I couldn’t sing for months. I was in Thailand at the time, canceled everything in Hong Kong, and stayed there for many weeks, crying, crying, crying. My mother told me, ‘You know what, Whitney had a big sense of humor and did this little thing for you.’ I love to sing, I love to perform, and I always have the biggest respect for Whitney Houston. I always did in her good years, and even more in her not so good years … I will always love her.”
Ikenna Amaechi performs at Industry Bar’s Queen Party tonight, August 2, at 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.Industrybar.com. Ikenna’s saving all her songs for you.