Spout Podcast
Spout Podcast

Episode 38 · 5 months ago

Ckay

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In 2019, Ckay would release the now-viral hit “Love Nwantiti,” not knowing that 2 years later, it would make him the first African artist to ever achieve 20 million Spotify listeners.

Hours after playing London’s O2 Arena, Ckay joined us to talk about the importance of believing in yourself and holding yourself accountable to your dreams. He also shares a playlist for anyone ready to deep diver into afrobeat.

...music is everywhere, but with so many genres and songs to choose from, it's impossible to hear it all. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes we can find ourselves in a bubble only hearing music from artists similar to the ones in our heavy rotation that all changed with tiktok. The APP has opened up a whole new gateway for both artists and entire genres of music to share styles once only popular and select corners of the globe now able to explode worldwide. And that is exactly what happened to seek a CK was born in Kaduna, on northwest state of Nigeria. He fell in love with musical instruments at a young age, which prompted him to learn piano from his father, who was a choir conductor at their local church. Fast forward a few years, and with the help of recording software called Fruity Loops, CK was producing music for his band before ultimately launching his solo career...

Sleep after being discovered as a solo artist, CK, despite his parents' wishes, relocated to Lagos, where he joined Nigerian record label Chocolate City. He released a few MPs with the label, including Who, the Focus, CK and CK. The first which led him to release his newest EP boyfriend under a new label, Warner Music South Africa. 2019 C k would release the now viral hit That is Love Nuwan T. T. It became a pretty major record in Nigeria, and even though he followed up with a remix in 2020 to push the song even further, it wasn't until 2021. The song finally caught fire worldwide, thanks to Tiktok CK had an international hit, Love Nuwan T t. Charted in Africa, Australia, Europe and New Zealand have even...

...reached number 23 in the UK His social pages have since exploded to 2.1 million followers on YouTube, 1.6 million on Tiktok. And in October of 2021 C K became the first African artist ever With more than 20 million Spotify listeners. Thanks to Tiktok, viral moments can breathe new life into an artist's career. It can take a lifetime of hard work behind the scenes to catch fire just once, but when that happens, it's absolutely worth it. My name is Eric Zachary. Visit the spot podcast where famous people spot up about more than their famous for and today. That's CK Africa's boyfriend C K. What's up, man? How are you? How are you? What's going on? I'm good. I'm good. I I can tell you're you're kind of exuding that awesome energy. Does this have anything to do with just jumping on stage? So to like, that's insane to me. That has to do with that. Yeah. I mean, it doesn't get much...

...bigger than that man like That was. So it was like it was my first time performing at the 02, you know? And, uh, it was crazy to see to see the love man. Like, you know, it was It was it was surreal. It's your cancer. So you're very emotional, You know, you're all about the love, and it's gotta be It's gotta hit heavier. When when that's reciprocated in that large of a crowd form. Like it was so crazy and a big shout out to whisk it for having me on there. Big shot. Speaking of whiz kid, you know, um love, nuance et man, this I don't have to reiterate how much of a monster this song is, right? Like, you know, this this isn't crazy. Uh, you deserve it. But I think a lot of people in the western market the you know, the states and what not specifically, you know, we're finally opening our ears to more international music and, you know, K pop Korean music. And, um, you know, Afrobeats is a perfect example of that. People use artists like you. They hear a song like this and they go, Okay, I...

...like that style, but I know nothing about it, Right? So when it comes to the CKs, the whiz kids, the burner boys, who else would you recommend for someone that's diving into afrobeats in the sub genres of it, I'll say, I'll say you should check out. You should definitely check out. Oh, Molly, you should check out Oxford. And there's a couple of artists as well that are not even Nigerian that make that make afrobeats. Um, there's this artist I really, really love. Her name is Myron. Brad, She's from Cape Verde. She makes amazing music. Another thing you guys should definitely check out. Check out, um, array. I mean, her song is doing crazy in the US as well. So I'm sure you guys have hurt her, but I'm gonna raise Really amazing. She's gone in and this goes on and on, man. Yeah, that's A good. That's all I want. I just wanted to jump off point, you know, for people that wanted to go a little deeper than just the headlines kind of thing. But, man, the story of love nuance et I'm...

...sure you've told this 1000 times by now, so we'll buzz through it real quick, right? You know, the song came out 2019 already a commercial success in Nigeria and you know, some of the different Western African markets and then gets reinvented on tiktok by getting remixed, and it just blows up from there now one of the most Sha Zam songs in the world. That is absolutely insane. And what I love about this story the most is that it started with a risk of a chorus that doesn't have lyrics, you know, I was issued freestyling. Um, so I make my beats most of the time, So I was literally in my living room. I didn't even make loved ones and see in a studio like I would usually do, like, I was literally in my living room and I was just making a beat. And after I made the beat, I just free styled on it so freestyles on it. The funny thing is, so I made this around midnight, and I was supposed to put words to the chorus the following morning. So, you know, after I slept, I woke up and I listened...

...to the song again. I'm like, Yo, this is this aspire as it is, but I was just like, you know, let me just try to put some words in it. So I try to put some words in it, and it just wasn't, you know? So I left it like that, and, you know, we put it out. Do you remember what the words were that you were originally gonna try to put on it? You remember? That's the point. They don't matter anymore. You don't matter. Yeah. This episode of the spot podcast is brought to you by Green Chef. So full disclosure. I've been meaning to try out a meal kit program for probably years. At this point, it's just one of those things I'm like. I'm going to get to it. I'm gonna do it. I'm going to cook for myself. I wanted to be healthy, and I just didn't, for whatever reason, finally tried out Green Chef, and I cannot tell you how much of a game changer this is. You start off by selecting the type of meal kit you want, right? So whatever you're feeling that week or whatever diet you're on, you have Keto and paleo vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean and more. I went with the...

...plant powered option and let me tell you this caramelized onion flatbread that I made I cooked. This not only was incredible, but I'm sitting there going. I've definitely paid way more for a chef prepared version of this that wasn't as good. And that goes for all of the meals that I prepared, by the way. Plus, the meal kits are beyond sustainable. Green Chef is the most sustainable meal kit, offsetting 100% of their plastic packaging in every box and 100% of their carbon footprint and emissions huge. The kids are so convenient they are so easy. Whether you are someone that knows what they're doing in the kitchen or you've never actually turned on the stove in your life doesn't matter. Green Chef makes it super easy, step by step from start to finish. So if you're ready to change the way you cook, go to green chef dot com slash spout 10 and use the code spout 10 to get 10 free meals, including free shipping again, that is green chef dot com slash spout 10. You did two things that morning that you know you deserve a lot of credit for that A lot of artists don't do. That's one taking a major risk. You know,...

...that's a risk having a chorus without any kind of lyrics or words. And number two, You did something that a lot of artists can't do, which is just let a song live and be and not keep tweaking it and keep going and keep changing. That's hard. Yeah, you know the funny thing. Like I feel like So for me, my main thing is I'm an I'm an artist, you know, like I see music as art. I don't see. I mean, it's a product, you know. It's a thing people buy and whatever, but like before it becomes a product, it's art, you know, like it's the artist pouring their emotions or their soul into the arts that they're making. So in that case I respected the art for what it was, because in the moment I was making the song and the vibe I was on, I didn't want to say words in the car. So the following morning I respected that, and I left it like that because it's art. You don't you don't mess with art. So what's a What's a...

...quote unquote typical rule in music that you learn to get over pretty fast? Well, for one, the course has to be a catchy word. Exactly. We've proven that wrong. That's one. And, uh, yeah, man, there's there's all kinds of conventions. There's there's conventions that there has to be an intro verse, one chorus verse to chorus bridge Dan cause than this. There is also a convention that, uh, what other convention is there? Actually, there's not. There's not that many conventions that I would say Apply to this one, but there's another convention out says the record so funny enough. Okay, so let me bust your head. So when I made the record, the version that's out is literally the first take. Wow, that is You didn't re recut it. All right, So this is like what you recorded in your living room. That's what you're hearing right now. That's gotta That's gotta make a lot of studio guys really bad. They spent as much...

...time in the studio I get. It goes both ways, even funnier, because at the time at the time, I didn't even like bro. It was literally meeting in the living room. But like, I didn't have the craziest equipment. I didn't have praises the acoustics at the time. At the time, I didn't even know I was about to make you know, the biggest song of my career At the time, I was literally in the living room with the basic sound card, the basic Mike Basic everything. And I was just expressing myself. And I feel like that's against the rules because you're supposed to be in an acoustically treated room. You're supposed to have, like, top notch equipment. You're supposed to. You did have a studio, by the way. There was a stupid with equipment, but you and you were intending to use it. You just didn't. In this instance, I just did it. And it's bigger than the songs I made in the studio, the the same ep. You know, that was, like, the only song that I didn't make in the studio.

Biggest song of your career to date. I want to add it to date there because we're just getting started, man. But you're not new to music. You've been doing this for for 567 years. You've been around it for even longer than that. You know, I was reading your dad was a choir conductor. So what do you tell that kid that that moves to Lagos and you're taking a chance and you're kind of going against the parents wishes at the time. What do you tell that kid now that you know what you do now? I mean, you're having doubts. I have to imagine to some extent back then. Funny enough. I mean, I had doubts, but I feel like I believed in myself more than I doubted myself because that's why I took this step to run away from home. That's why I chose to defy my parents because my dad was also a doctor, a medical doctor. My mom was a nurse and I have four siblings. Two of them are doctors as well. one of them is a mathematician that you and the other one is a computer scientist, you know? So it's a very brainy household. Yeah, And you're just like,...

I I need to do this. I need to follow the dream. Yeah. You know, what's even funnier is I was actually a straight a student. Like I'm really good at physics, chemistry, or rather, I will at the time. But I just wasn't interested. You know, I just wanted to do music. I was good at it. And I just knew that I just knew that this is what I was meant to do. So I just took this step and I did it. So if if I was gonna talk to that person right now, I'll just be like, You're not crazy, bro. Just keep going. Well, speaking of art, you know, letting it breathe. I love your style, man. Everything that you rock even right now to you know, the billboards I'm seeing in l. A and New York. The promo pictures, But just like your daily everyday look. So who are your style icons? Who do you look up to? Uh, um, I would say Lucas Abba is pretty dope. I like his style. Um Aesop Rocky Icon, Icon Right there. Um, who...

...else, Man? Uh, it's not a It's not a very long list. I like Lenny Kravitz style a lot, too. He's a really stylish person who knows how to dress. I'm having you read all off these artists. People should listen to her icons that people should look at because we're very, very short away from people naming you as that kind of icon. And I just I want I want the world to know No, this is I mean, I I you take it with grace, which is incredible, but I I've interviewed a lot of artists. I can see what it takes, man. You you got your head in the right space and you've got the full thing. But you're a producer. You're an artist, your musician. And, uh, I can't compliment you enough, man. I'm very excited to see what else happens with CK and Africa's boyfriend. Thanks for taking the time, brother. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me take it easy. I just want to see more of our conversation with C K follow spout underscore podcast on I G or Twitter or it's about podcast dot com. Be sure to...

...listen to the next spout podcast, Monday nights at nine. Wherever you get your podcasts. The Spout podcast is presented by Alpha Media and created by Phil Becker. It's about mhm. Yeah, mm hmm.

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