Self proclaimed ‘Africa’s Boyfriend’ and global star CKay chats with TIME on his rise to fame, African music going global, in particular Afrobeat(s), his plans to continue to explore more sounds with the genre which in turn, he will create a unique style from and the the most anticipated item of all—his album which is dropping later this year. Amongst other things CKay said in the interview, he mentioned music legends that has helped shaped and nurture his sound but says he has no plan to be their carbon copy in any shape, form or manner as that would do no justice to their legacy, so to speak. Here is why.
Although giving credits to pioneers of African music from Nigeria like the late Fela Kuti (widely considered the father of Afrobeat), Victor Uwaifo (who also doubles as an artist—sculptor and art lecturer), Rex Lawson and Chief Stephen Osadebe—all legends and pioneers of the Igbo Highlife sound, CKay distinctively says, “I’m an African living in the 21st century, that is talking about his experiences in the 21st century, I also try to innovate the genre as much as I can.” This is because “I feel like there’s no point in me making Afrobeats, if I’m going to make Afrobeats exactly the way my predecessors made it, you know, like if I’m not bringing anything new to the table.”, CKay explains of his unique style of blending Afrobeats with other genres, especially R&B as easily noticeable on the pandemic viral hit – “Love Nwantiti”.
CKay is currently on his first ever world tour which has seen him take his unique blend of Afrobeats with other genres to cities like New York, Los Angeles and London but fans worldwide are eagerly waiting on his debut album to see how the viral hit star turned global phenom continues to push the boundary with his music.