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IKE CHUKS – IGBO RAPPER TAKING OVER THE SCENE

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Ike Chuks is a British-born Nigerian UK Afrobeat singer, dancer who’s now making a name for himself among well-known artists in the industry. As it is his birthday it was only right to catch up with the man himself.

Talk us through the creative process for VIBE YEAH?
It was pretty simple and easy, the beat was produced by a good friend of mine Two Seven, I had the beat for quite a while but I  wanted to take my time with it. I was at home with a few friends having a drink up and I played the beat, we all literally just vibed through it. As we were all vibing I came up with different ideas for the hook and then I came up with ‘we got the vibe right here, we got the vibe right here yea yea yea’ so that was the first line then the rest of it kinda just rolled over as I kept on going. So the hook, first and second verse were created on that day,  when I got to the studio I felt I could adapt the hook and add another element to it hence why they hook has two parts to it. I have noticed that in my music when I say things it starts to happen in real life I wanted to create something that was vibey and speak certain things into a existence.

Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
I would like to do a collaboration with Nasty C his a dope rapper from South Africa and i like his flow and his style. I have this particular beat and track that I have made and I feel it would be dope if I got a verse from him.

What makes your music unique?
The unique thing about Ike Chuks music is the fact that I am an indigenous rapper, I can sing, the way I flow on my tracks is quite unique I do not think I have heard anyone else in the industry that sounds like me. When you hear any of my tracks you know it’s Ike Chuks, you know what to expect a lot of people expect to hear igbo in my tracks which is what has really put me out there. The fact that I rap in igbo gave me that unique flo from the beginning. Also being a dancer helps me think of how I would dance to my music with my flow which has a wavy vibe to it almost like a surfer.

What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilise them?
Having connections in the music industry is very VERY important. You have to try and network as much as possible, meet people and keep good relationship with people. Certain things are just natural, sometimes the energy may not feel right when you meet certain people but if you are a good person it is worth to utilise those connections well and go to places you may not usually go to by basically stepping out of your comfort zone. I personally feel that If you do not have any connections in the music industry you cannot get very far especially in the Afrobeats scene. Some people are lucky in the sense that they blow up from social media and everything is internally done it’s almost like they do not need anyone because they have their fan base online. If there’s any artist out there that has blown from that then they are in a very strong position. Knowing the right people has definitely helped me in my career I have quite a few close friends in the industry that have helped me get to where I am today one of them being yourself (Stefi Koko).

How do you get people to take you seriously as a musician?
It’s all in your craft, the more you focus on your craft the more they will take you seriously. The more you put out incredible creative music, the more you make people want to pay attention to the type of music that you are putting out. So it’s all about your craft and making yourself better as an musician no one will take you seriously if you sound like an amature. I did not really put out any songs until I felt that I was ready; with my first track I wanted people to take me seriously from the get go. I advise musicians to just keep developing themselves and get better there is no such thing as perfection you can only try to get to perfection and even when you get to a certain level you need to keep trying to beat that, set the bar high, beat it then keep raising it every time.

What’s next for Ike Chuks?
Right now the goal is to keep putting out good music, keep creating, keep shooting visuals and putting it out there for the brand to keep growing and for people to stay in tune with what Ike Chuks is about.  I just put out a track Runtown (No One) today as it is my birthday.

 

Interviews

HOT SEAT : NQOBILÈ

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Joining us in the Hot Seat today is the beautiful South African born, UK based international Dancer Nqobilé.

Inspired by dance and the New School era of Afrobeats, Nqobilé brings a truly unique and eclectic vibe to the Afropop scene. 

We had a chance to talk about her latest release ‘Look at Her’, her decision to tap into her passion for music, who’s on her playlist and much more.

 

SK: “Look at Her” is your first official single as an artist, at what point did you realise music was something you wanted to take seriously?
NQ: YES! Omg I still can’t believe my 1st single is actually out, finally. It’s all exciting. 2014  is actually when I proper made the decision to tap back into my other passion : MUSIC. After I wrapped up the CEO Dancers North America tour I got into the studio and started playing around with sounds.

SK: Talk us through the song, what is the message behind it?
NQ: With Look At Her I was in such a good space in life and was surrounded by great energy in the studio. When it came to creating and executing the song, I wanted to create a sexy, ballsy, feel good song. Essentially a feel good anthem highlighting and celebrating THE FEMALE. As much as it’s a easygoing dance song, it has under ones of female empowerment which I’m all about.

SK: How has your culture and surroundings shaped your sound and creativity, and in what way(s)? 
NQ: Being Southern African I’m super in touch  with my culture in every way. From the music I listen to, the food, language, fashion and dance. When I started embracing my culture a lot more I feel it opened a lot more unique doors for me, from literally me being myself. Everything about my culture is inspiring. And then having been in the Afrobeats industry for over 8 years I’m very influenced by the West African culture as well. I mix both cultures in music and performance for sure. 

SK: How have you managed to transition from the dance space to the music scene?
NQ: It’s actually been an organic transition for me. I feel music and dance go hand in hand. In my music you can hear and feel that dance energy, so I’ve made sure those two remain well connected and that way I also remain true to myself as an all round performer. 

SK: How do you think women can support each other more in our industry?
NQ: I’d love to see more women dominating spaces, being respected and celebrated  equally. Not just the women on the forefront either, I’m also talking about the women behind the scenes that make things happen but aren’t celebrated enough. It’s no secret that behind every successful artist/performer especially in my industry there’s an amazing talented woman connecting the dots, making it all happen. This needs to be highlighted more. 

SK: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
NQ: Production wise Diplo and Pharrell Williams are a dream. DJ Maphorisa is super amazing as well, that collab would definitely be for the culture. There are so many amazing artists I’d love to collaborate with for sure. For now I can so hear a #LAH Remix with myself, Zlatan, Sho Madjozi and an East African artist produced by DJ Maphorisa. Oh gosh, I can so hear it. The dancefloor deserves that remix. Haha.  

SK: What other genres of music asides pop do you think you would be willing to explore?
NQ:  I’m not really tied down to a particular genre. I’ve been developing and perfecting my own sound and I’m definitely now confident with that infusing elements of my Southern African background, dance culture and a bit of the Vogue Ball dance scene as well. I’d love to play around with the Latin or Brazilian Funk sound actually. I find that genre super sexy and energetic. 

SK: What top 5 African artists are on your playlist currently?
NQ: Busiswa, Adekunle Gold, Kabza De Small, Prince Kaygee and DJ Maphorisa.

SK: What’s next for you?
NQ: I’m super excited to release MORE MUSIC. I’m definitely looking at a feel good EP.

 

Be sure to stream and listen to ‘Look At Her’ from Nqobilé on all digital platforms here.
Follow Nqobilé on her social media pages for all news and music updates (@nqobile_danseur)

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Interviews

HOT SEAT : TMXO

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In today’s Hot Seat we are joined by Timi Aladeloba, popularly known as TMXO a Nigerian artist, Grammy nominated music producer and executive.

 

Q: How did you start making music?

A: Curiosity. someone handed me a CD with FL studio, never looked back and here we are.

Q: How would you describe your individual sound?

A: Lots of soul and heavy groove someone recently called it Afro-Butter, apt if you ask me.

Q: Who are your main inspirations?

A: Environment, art and everyone who did it before me

Q: How does Nigeria inspire your creativity?

A: Being Nigerian is an added advantage creatively we get to consume art from all over the world and still have the Nigerian advantage when interpreting, I think the best music producers in the world are from Nigeria.

Q: What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?

A: Funny how my set up has shrinked over the years from the first set of equipments my parents got me  to just my laptop, headphones and my hard drives I think the more you know the less you do or need(?) Loool. And technology has changed over time so I don’t really need much I guess.

Q: Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?

A: If we can spend time together being random then that’s the first step, it can take any form really

Q: Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that’s particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?

A: I usually start by gathering my references and forming a Pallete, like a mood board sort of and the spirit leads from there and the things that fascinate me the most at the time are very relevant and affect the outcome of whatever I’m working on but the technicality remains the same, I just find new ways to do the same things.

Q: Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?

A: There’s nothing new in music it’s a cycle and every thing resurfaces and takes a new form every other complete cycle, but it’s all about the feeling, finding different ways to make people feel different things.

Q: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention

A: Alpha P and Omahlay

Q: What is next for TMXO? What do you want your supporters to know about you?

A: This is just the beginning, more Fayah!! Lool brap!

 

Connect with TMXO – Instagram @tmx0

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Interviews

60 SECONDS WITH GRACIOUS K

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Meet Gracious K British artist popularly known for his hit single ‘Migraine Skank’, which is still a solid banger after 10 years. He talks Ghanaian Heritage, first dates and what the music scene is like now.

SK: How would you describe and rate the music scene in London right now?
GK: Very exciting. There’s a lot of opportunity right now and I feel as though we have many genres within genres. It’s a great time

SK: How does your Ghanian heritage influenced your work?
GK: Initially I didn’t really tap into it, I grew up listening to Hip life and Hi life music, but being a Grime baby I never thought to infuse my Ghanaian roots into music. After travelling back home a few times it gave me perspective and added a different melody to my style.

SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
GK: You can tell that I’ve grown up. It has the same feel but an updated version if that makes sense.

SK: Your style is so unique. What or who inspires your looks in your videos and when you are performing?
GK: I really look at people like Pharell and Kanye. I’ve always liked trying to stand out and in a time where soo many people look the same it’s imperative.

SK: What are you bringing to this space that you feel is missing?
GK: Hmm, energy, good vibes. I’ve realised that I have a natural ability to make music that makes you dance so I am trying to bring more joy to people through song.

SK: How do you deal with female attention in the industry?
GK: I just smile and face front lol

SK: If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play?
GK: Probably some Jodeci, H Town or some Silk in the background. Chilled RnB music always does the job

SK: What would be your idea of a perfect first date?
GK: I don’t know if there is a perfect first day, but I do know that I would like to do something that allows me to get to you know. Cinema you’re silent and food she’s tryna look cute. Maybe an intimate drinks settings and then hit a game type settings to lighten the mood

SK: Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
GK: Erm Lil Boosie 😂

Follow Gracious K – Instagram

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