Popularly known as Kcee, Kingsley Okonkwo’s decision to part ways with his partner of 12 years, Presh, to pursue a solo music career in May 2011, has proven to be profitable. The award-winning act speaks on his journey to fame.
What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful to God for life, success and growth. It is obvious that I have grown from where I used to be and I have been consistent.
Did you nurse any fear of failure after you and Presh split?
I had fears during the first few months, but my can-do spirit kept me going.
Limpopo was a breakthrough …
I call it my Christmas gift from God. It came effortlessly, because so many songs I had worked on for longer periods did not have the desired effect. The single was put together in less than 40 minutes. While recording, I did not think it would be a hit. I only realised the song would go far after I listened to it. We popped champagne in the studio, while I sent the song to my manager and brother, E-money, who was in London at that time. He was happy about it. We shot the video for the song three days after it was recorded. We planned to shoot another video in Spain, but we changed our plan. ‘Limpopo’ was the first song I ever released, that became an instant hit the same day it was released. The feedback was amazing; the first time I performed the song was at the AY Show in 2013, a month after its release. I got a standing ovation.
To avoid being termed a one-hit artiste, were you under pressure to follow it through with another song?
Not at all. When Limpopo
broke, I was already enjoying a lot of luxury, travels and shows. Casually, I got another hit, ‘Pull Over’ which took me to a higher level. My challenge was how to beat the Pull over
fame because I became too big and Kcee became a household brand within weeks. I kept following up with hit after hit.
Are you overwhelmed by your achievements in the last two years?
I am overwhelmed because I have achieved so much within two years, than all the years I have toiled put together. That is why I always encourage my followers on Instagram not to give up because they cannot tell when their breakthrough will come. I am now associated with a lot of brands, so I would say God has been very faithful.
What are you most unhappy about in the Nigerian music scene?
I will say that we do not have a united front in the Nigerian music industry. We encounter lots of challenges and the earlier we unite, the less problems we would encounter while taking our careers to the next level. When a lot of artistes see the light, they become selfish instead of showing others the way. They also have cartels which you can’t run away from and I think Nollywood is more united than musicians. That does not take away from the fact that I am friends with all my colleagues.
Why are you not a member of the Copyright Society of Nigeria?
I was a member of COSON when I was still a part of KC Presh. Since joining Five Star Music
, I have ceased to be a part of COSON because I am not sure they are fighting a good cause. I don’t know the sharing ratio or how much we get from them. I don’t think they are transparent enough, and I don’t want to associate with anything that I feel is not transparent.
Is it true that album sales have dropped over the years?
The world has developed with the advent of social media
. People download these songs over the Internet and or they buy compilation albums because they do not want to litter their cars with unwanted CDs. But we still make money from other channels like iTunes. We even need to get paid for the download of our songs.
What happened to the Fine Face Competition you organised on Instagram?
I read most of the comments and it was entertaining. A lot of people come on my page to laugh and get excited. We had issues because when we were about to select the winners, we discovered people bought followers and votes. When we tried to disqualify them, they resorted to several forms of mischief. We couldn’t choose the actual winner.
How do you describe your style?
My style is all about me being myself. Most times, I dress according to how I feel and really do not care about what anybody thinks.
A good number of your followers on Instagram criticise your style?
Our thoughts differ; not everybody will be on your side. You can’t satisfy everybody and they all have a right to their opinion. That does not make me hate them. I am able to tolerate everybody.
Do you consider yourself stylish?
I don’t consider myself stylish, because I am stylish in everything I do I love to dress simple, classy and my style is sometimes complicated.
What projects are you working on currently?
I just released a new single with Iyanya and Harrysong, titled Feel
It. I will release another single next week. My last album is already two years old; I will release another before the end of the year.
Do you have any plans to sign on a lady to your label?
It is not about having a lady amidst us but if we come across a talented female artiste, nothing stops us from bringing her on board. A lot of females ask to fill the gap, but we are not pushing for that at the moment. However, we will sign on more people once we spot great talents.