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Interview: One on One with Chike

Chike Photo 1 scaled

On this edition of iMullar’s ONE on ONE interview, Edwin speaks with multi-talented singer Chike, who discusses his sophomore album “The Brother’s Keeper,” an album which sparkles with classic Highlife and R&B/soul.

Chike Ezekpeazu Osebuka (born January 28, 1993), popularly known by his stage name Chike, has been an inevitable force for years, from his debut on Nigeria’s Project Fame to “The Voice of Nigeria.”

Chike

He was destined to be a TV star, but his diversity as an entertainer morphed into a new figure after he got the role of Mayowa Badmus in African magic’s television show “Battleground.” Chike’s second album carries the baton of his 2020 debut album, Boo of The Booless. Making his emotional attunement a key to his crooning.

EQ: Congratulations on the release of your second album Chike, two years in the making, it’s finally here, how do you feel?  Accomplished?

Chike: I feel proud of myself. It’s taken so much out of me. I am happy I get to share it finally.

EQ: Kicking off your album with an Amapiano song is something I didn’t see coming, is that a piece of an Amapiano project you have stashed on your drive or was that just Chike showing us how deep his diversity goes? 

Chike: So starting the album or creating with a song in that sound space has just happened. DeYasso just played the beat and I was enjoying myself, it was not pre-planned, it was an expression that occurred on that beat and it ended up starting the album.

EQ: 16 songs that explore chapters of your journey, what was the creative process behind TBK? How did it all come together? And how did you come to the conclusion that the album was done?

Chike: The creative process, as usual, involved me having an instrument around me, a guitar or a piano for me it stirs up the right emotions and aids the writing and creative process. Most times; I record a bunch of music then we put them together, sometimes you know the theme or the album title ahead but that was not exactly the case this time. The album had taken long enough, at some point we had to put out what we had and present it in the best way for the fans.

EQ: Every song on this album has a keen sense of place, and it’s easy to tell what each song represents, the most heart-felt records are about family, a default theme that has powered your songs, “Nothing Less, Nothing More” is my personal favourite, how did you manage to pen all your emotions on that record, were there limitations? Or did you just let it all out?

Chike

Chike: I think I let it all out, I would like to believe that. The album “The Brother’s Keeper” is very personal for me. I penned down what I felt in the moment about relationships with friends, and family without telling too much but being sincere and honest.

EQ: You are known for keeping it original with your trademark, which is soulful crooning and modernised highlife, a music tactic that makes you keep to yourself a lot, which explains just three slots for features, what warranted Flavour, Ycee & Azana to get these slots on your album?

Chike: We always make features, we go for features that elevate the music. Countless times, I have said that I always wanted to work with Flavour and when the opportunity came up we went for it. The album needed a hip-hop flair and “You Deserve” called for rap, and sat down and went through options and we hunted for Ycee, ‘” My Africa” is a Pan-African anthem about love across borders and we need a female singer from Southern Africa and Azana ticked all the boxes.

EQ: Your Family has been a constant support in your career, you come from a family that basks in music so surely, there was a lot to pick and learn from, but what is that one piece of advice from a family member that has stuck with you throughout this journey?

Chike: Without sounding too biblical, one piece of advice I have gotten from family is asking God for guidance and help. I have applied this and still applying this.

EQ: Now that the album is out, what’s next for Chike? Live Performances? More visuals? A break or headed back straight to the studio?

Chike: The album is out now, we are doing a press tour, live shows, sharing, talking about it, and I am still recording, I never truly stop recording, I just had a session a few days ago, and when the inspiration comes you have to go for it.

EQ: Thank you for your time and this conversation, wishing you all the best Chike!

Chike: Welcome my brother and thank you too!

Listen to Chike’s latest album below:

The iMullar is the definitive voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.

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