A Nigerian heiress, whose father is said to be one of the world’s wealthiest men, has set her sights on becoming the next Rihanna.
Ambimbola ‘Bim’ Fernandez, the daughter of gemstone entrepreneur Antonio Deinde Fernandez, has celebrated the release of her first single by sitting down for an interview with the New York Post.
The 24-year-old, who is based in New York, told the paper that she has embarked on her career without the help of her dad, who is reportedly worth a staggering $8.7 billion. She did, however, admit that he gives her a hefty monthly allowance which pays for her luxury Manhattan apartment among other living expenses.
Speaking to the paper in her New York City home, which is flanked by original artworks by Picasso and Dr Seuss, Ms Fernandez explained: ‘I think that, unfortunately, everyone’s perception of socialites has been pretty accurate so far, which is what I want to change.’
Ms Fernandez’s first single ‘Let’s Take It Naked’ was released today on SMH Records’ site, with an iTunes roll-out expected soon.
She cites Rihanna as one of her biggest musical inspirations.
Money can’t buy a record deal, she said of her situation. ‘It can’t buy good music. You can either sing or you can’t.’
A song about nakedness is perhaps a little more explicit than what one would expect from a well-heeled socialite, but Ms Fernandez says that ‘it’s not even that racy of a song!
‘It’s very poppy, like, ‘I think you’re cute! Do you like me? So let’s get naked!’ I want it to be that song where it’s like, “Turn that song on! Let’s get ready! Let’s do shots!”
Her record label says that Ms Fernandez has not put any of her own money into the music project.
Her father, 80, owns four residences: A mansion in Larchmont, New York (where Ms Fernandez also resides), a home in Brussels, a Palace in Nigeria, and a French chateau that was once owned by Napoleon.
Mr Fernandez is apparently transported between each of his homes on one of his three private jets.
He made his fortune by operating a series of diamond and gold mines across the Central African Republic, and is notably reclusive for fear of abduction and robbery.
He is so private that blog entries written about him across the internet almost describe him as a mythical-type person. Figures regarding his exact wealth, properties, and other assets appear to be widely rumored and disputed.
Ms Fernandez’s starkly different outlook on publicity and self-promotion has worried her father.
‘He’s terrified because I’m his baby – especially with [me] revealing [my] wealth. And me being alone in the country, he’s terrified of someone kidnapping me and holding me for ransom,’ she said.
‘He also just doesn’t want people taking advantage of me because I have been sheltered my whole life.’
Last year, Ms Fernandez finally decided to see-out her life-long dream of a singing career after her mother died of colon cancer.
Her only prior professional music experience was a vocal cameo in Cobra Starship’s 2009 album Hot Mess – a feature she booked after meeting the band’s lead singer Gabe Saporta backstage at a show.
In November, she signed her record deal with SMH and is now topping off negotiations for her reality TV pilot to be picked up by a major network.
Ms Fernandez herself sees its release as an opportunity to prove her own potential.
‘People think I’m exactly like Paris Hilton, that I do nothing, I don’t work for myself, I don’t take my own money, I just spend my dad’s money, and I’m a spoiled brat. I hope they’re not right.’
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