Chukwuka Ekweani has come a long way from being an in-house producer at Chocolate City to releasing the shabbily-produced “Who The Fuck is Ckay?” mixtape before finding the perfect sound for his softcore vocal chords, then going on to put out his debut EP, “Ckay the First” (2019); that sound would go through a further phase of refinement, leading to CKay’s sophomore EP, “Boyfriend” (2021). This sound CKay has tagged ‘Emo Afrobeats’ shines in its glorious array on his debut album, Sad Romance.
CKay prides himself as Africa’s foremost lover boy, so much that he proclaims himself as ‘Africa’s Boyfriend’ but for that to come into fruition, the talented singer-songwriter-producer must have gone through a series of dates and/or relationships or at least, must be able to relate to lovers’ tales and this he encompasses in Sad Romance, a 12-track album with features Ayra Starr (come close), Davido, Abidoza & Focalistic (WATAWI), Mayra Andrade (samson & delilah) and Ronisia (lose you).
Aside from the slow tempo emotional vocals flowing through Sad Romance, Ckay meticulously incorporated elements of Jazz (saxophone), Afrobeats (log drums and shakers), R&B (F major, Bb, E flat and C major keys) and the melodic, expressive, often confessional lyrics of Emo coupled with the strings of the acoustic guitar in strikingly narrating of being love-struck (samson & delilah, you, emiliana and love nwantiti), needing physical touch and sexual affection (by now, soja, mmadu and come close), asking to keep it casual (WATAWI) while confessing his cheating chronicles (you cheated, i cheated too and leave me alone) but begging for a second chance (lose you).
CKay also showed the incredible ability to build strong chemistry with his colleagues, dueting with Ayra Starr, Mayra Andrade and Ronisia in come close, samson & delilah and come close respectively while taking his low-voiced tone mid-tempo to fit the Davido- and Focalistic-assisted Amapiano WATAWI.
Listen to the 37-minute, 12-track debut album—Sad Romance—by Chukwuka Ekweani, widely addressed as Ckay: