Interview with R&B Star Chiké

Hip Hop in Nigeria has been seeing a huge infusion of pop and R&B, and Chiké ranks high on the list of R&B artists on the list of rapper

Chiké‘s mainstream introduction to the Nigerian audience came through ‘Boo of the Booless’ which found an eager audience with listeners who were stunned by the album’s quality.

While Chiké must have set out to offer a chunk of his talent on his debut album, nothing could have prepared him for the life-changing success it brought along. With the success that stretched for two years, Chiké’s spent that time reaping the fruits of his hard work while occasionally lending his talent to other artists.

Almost 3 years after dropping his debut album, Chiké is set for his second act ‘The Brother’s Keeper’ on 25th August 2022, and there’s no mistake regarding the expectations. I asked Chike what similarities his upcoming album has with his debut album and he tells me ‘The Brother’s Keeper’ is still quintessentially Chiké.

”I can tell you that my sophomore album is still me, Chiké, and that’s a huge similarity. I’m one of those artists people listen to because they want to hear me, and made sure that regardless of what I’m saying they can still hear me on the ‘Brother’s Keeper”.

One striking feature of the ‘The Boo of the Booless’ is its wide appeal. The album resonates with listeners irrespective of gender, age, and language. I asked Chiké if the universal appeal of his music was a targeted attempt with songs crafted for specific demographics. He tells me that if at all his music appeals across demographics, it’s absolutely organic.

“I don’t create music thinking of demographics. Sometimes, it can be subconscious but I have never entered the studio thinking of demographics. I just try to convey whatever I’m feeling or experiencing through my songs. It just happens to resonate with a wide audience.” He replies.

While Chiké’s music is widely consumed across multiple demographics, females constitute a chunk of his fans, and the ‘Boo of the Booless’ did a lot in inspiring this trend. I asked him if his new album will try to balance the scale. He reveals that ‘The Brother’s Keeper’ is simply his way of sending a message that we should all strive to be better people.

“Be your brother is just being a human being to another human being. At the time the album name was selected we were not done recording most of the songs. The name choice simply conveys how I was feeling at the moment.”

In 2021, Chiké’s only release was the remix of his hit single ‘Running To You’ that features songstress Simi. The single enjoyed chart success across 2021 and it earned him three Headies nominations. in 2022, he released two singles ‘Nwoke Oma’ and Flavour assisted ‘Hard to Find’, which is the first single off the album, and the superstar doesn’t intend to drop any more singles before the album drops.

“The fans will get to enjoy the full album when it drops on August 25th,” he shares.

Chiké prides himself on his stagecraft which is a defining quality that allows further highlights his artistry. He has great statesmanship that wows the audience and makes him a top choice for events and parties across the world. I asked him if his new album ‘The Brother’s Keeper’ is made with the live audience in mind and he replies in the affirmative.

“Of course, I consider these factors when making the album. For me, I always want to reach out to more audience and this plays on the creative process when making an album,” he told pulse.

Hip Hop in Nigeria has been seeing a huge infusion of pop and R&B, and Chiké ranks high on the list of R&B artists on the list of rappers. In his first album, he featured Zoro and MI Abaga. More recently, he has a song with Falz. In ‘The Brother’s Keeper’, Chiké taps rapper YCee for a Hip Hop track. I asked him what should fans expect from the track and he tells me the usual offering.

“You can expect the usual Chiké. I let the rapper do his thing and I do my thing. I sing. That’s what I do,” he says.

With a large audience that includes older citizens who don’t necessarily know their way around the DSPs. I asked Chiké if he’s considering putting his music on compact disk in consideration of his older fans and he tells me it was something he was going to look into.

Chiké is one of the superstars who keep the art separate from the artist. He leads a quiet life and doesn’t maintain a busy presence on social media. I asked him if he was going to be more socially active to carry along his constantly growing fanbase many of whom are emotionally invested in him. Like a star who bends over backward to accommodate his fans into his life, he tells me he’s trying with an introspective sigh.

“I’m trying to be more socially active and engage my fans more. I know there’s room for improvement” he says.

Afrobeats is on an ascension and Nigerians are making their mark on the biggest stages globally. In terms of recognition, the elusive Grammy Award has been brought home by Burna Boy thereby opening the doors for other mainstream Afrobeats acts. With a huge talent, impressive stagemanship, and the ability to make quality, I asked Chiké if he would someday like to win the Grammys and he tells me that while he’s not crazy about awards, he relishes the feeling of getting his art accorded its deserved recognition.

“When I started making music, I didn’t know what was the Grammys. It’s the highest recognition in music so why not?” he says.

Chiké’s sophormore album is set for an August 25th release date. Listeners will be expecting a vast offering of his distinctive talent and I asked Chiké to qualify the album in one word.

“Growth” he says confidently.

The superstar artist has come a long way. From the Album of the Year nominated ‘Boo of the Booless’ to ‘The Brother’s Keeper’ which is expected to be a groundbreaking album.

“Growth” indeed captures his artistry.

Author Profile

Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


Leave a Reply