Limpopo singer, Kenechukwu Okonkwo popularly known as Kcee, is well respected and recognized by music lovers in Nigeria.
Since he, alongside his brother, Presh won Star Quest talent hunt in 2012, he has been consistent, dishing out hit after hit.
Ahead of his ‘Thanksgiving Concert’ in December, Kcee opened up on his 24 years musical journey, bond with his younger brother, E-Money and what fans should expect from him. Please enjoy it.
What’s the need for ‘Thanksgiving Concert’ at this period of time in the country?
It’s long overdue. I am somebody that likes to take my time before I do anything, because I don’t like to fail. I always like positive results and I have been successful for the past 24 years of my career. I think it’s the right time and the situation in the country warrants this. It’s a way of appreciating life, that we are still alive! There have been a lot of killings, things have been going wrong in the country, and I think it’s the right time for thanksgiving. So, the ‘Thanksgiving Concert’ will hold on December 28 at Eko Hotels Convection Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
With your experience in the industry, why the need to partner with Achievas Entertainment?
They have been here for a while and they know everything about the business. The CEO of Achievas Entertainment, Ossy is my friend and we have known each other for a long time. The partnership is like a family for me. It is also going to help me achieve the dream the way I am feeling.
What are the things you have set aside for your fans on that day?
There will be a lot to be unloaded. We are still planning. It’s basically my concert; it’s going to be more of Kcee and trying to sell myself to the people. A lot of people don’t understand my energy; they don’t know what I can do. I want to wow people that already know me on that day. I am a very versatile guy, and I am bringing that on stage for my fans to enjoy.
With so much going on in the industry, do you think you have actually got your crown in last 24 years?
The truth is that if you keep waiting for the industry to give you flowers; you will die. People can’t quantify what you do and sometimes they just appreciate those that they love and believe in, even in the Grammys. There are so many people that didn’t get awards and it didn’t stop their songs from blowing. With due respect, I don’t care about flowers; I prefer rewards to awards. The biggest flower I need is a reward from God; and He’s been doing it, and I’m still consistent. For instance, so many of my colleagues have got so many awards; 10 years after, they are no longer relevant in the industry.
Are you saying the industry has some kind of cheats in it?
It’s not just the industry; life is like that. People identify with people they want to identify with, they appreciate people that they want to appreciate, flowers are just to appreciate people and they don’t check the statistics. The number of people that vibe to my ‘Cultural Praise’ are more than the people online. If you want to judge the song, don’t just check online, go to the grassroots. How do you want to count those people and quantify them?
A lot believe you are too comfortable to be chasing shows.
That’s a big lie. I am not too comfortable because I have been performing on stage up till this present moment. What they don’t understand is the fact that I’m more focused chasing my passion; and afterwards the rewards will come. Everybody’s time differs, there are some people I have known in the industry for over 15 years and are just been relevant now.
What then would you say is your driving force?
My passion gets me going, and this is evident because of my love and passion for music. Most people don’t know I was raised in a music home. My father was a Disc Jockey (DJ), and when I returned from school I was usually in his record store. I began playing in parties alongside my brother as a DJ. The love for music started when I was a little boy.
Tells us a bit about music in Ajegunle city?
First of all, a lot of people don’t know the genesis of Afrobeats music in Nigeria; they only talk based on their personal perspective. I know the story even before Daddy Showkey started playing music in Ajegunle. But he is the pioneer; most of the artistes in Ajegunle then were coming to my father’s store for signing, because then it was the marketers and DJs that sign artistes. I was raised in Ajegunle and that was where it all started. There was a time Ajegunle was championing Nigerian music. Now, nobody talks about those artistes and when the music started in Ajegunle.
Was there a time you considered being a DJ based on your father’s influence?
Never! Because he, being a DJ, I had already started thinking of singing and upgrading. So, I have never had that slighted thought.
To what extent would you say growing up in Ajegunle shaped your brand?
I think part of my major success is the training I got from Ajegunle. The fire I have in me is still the same. When you are around lack, when you are struggling for your life, you can run with all your strength. I was in that situation, you think your own is worse but your neighbour’s own is worse than your own. You are struggling to get out of there. God put me there to get that strength and energy, and I also appreciate people and situation. I stop and listen when I see people in need, and I understand.
A lot of people think you went into gospel music to gain relevance, how true is that?
That’s not true. I’m versatile and I have flair for every genre of music. I’ve done dancehall. I started with dancehall from Ajegunle. I have done reggae. Anybody that doesn’t know me will not know this history about me. You think I went there to be relevant, but I didn’t even know it would be this big. Not every artiste will take the risk of doing the cultural, local sound from where I’m coming from. A lot of people didn’t want me to release it, but I so much believe in it and I did it and it worked.
Do you have any plans in giving back to people in Ajegunle?
We have the Five-Star NGO handled by my brother, E Money and me. I don’t think any artiste in Nigeria has reached out to people more than my brother and me. Go and check the records. I hardly project things like that. At the end of the month, I know how many people I take care of. A lot of people on social media were taking advantage of it. I know people that will die if something happens to me, because they know what I give. It’s more important to me than showing off.
What advice will you give to people in the trenches who have low self-esteem?
The advice I have for them is to believe. Some people think because they don’t have it now, they can’t have it again. They think because someone else is rich, they won’t get there. Even the gate man can be rich tomorrow. If you are in the trenches now, it might be a journey for you to get to wealth.
What is the secret of the bond between you and E-Money, your brother?
The fact is that we share this undivided bond as brothers who support each other. Don’t forget he started out as my manager.
Are you saying you have never had brotherly fight?
It has never happened. We have never had a fight. Never! We have never fought; we know our boundaries and have never crossed them. Like when we were younger and my brother would say ‘hi’ to any girl. That is it, I will never say ‘hi’ to that same girl again. If I, or my brother, try to ask a girl out, it’s over for the other person. So, the truth is, if my brother and I were that loose, maybe women would have come in-between us. I can boldly say we are the definition of real brotherhood, we’ve never fought and I am proud to say that. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but we pray everyday that we don’t experience it. Yes, we’ve never fought!
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