BY ROTIMI AGBANA
2019 is around the corner and one artiste sure to be on the music radar is no other than BO Entertainment’s best-kept secret, Chidokeyz.
Born Chidiebere Omeje, he began his music grind as far back as 2012 and has impressive results to show for it. Having sealed the year collaborating with Davido on ‘With You’, Chidokeyz lets us know of the music gourmet cooking in his kitchen, his beginnings, struggles, next moves, opinions on critical issues in the music business and more.
What’s the story behind your stage name, Chidokeyz?
Chidokeyz is cut out of my real name Chidebere. When I was in school, my friends usually called me ‘Chido Chido’, so when I started music fully I felt like merging it with vocal keys and music keys.
Do you play any musical instrument?
No, I don’t play any instrument.
When did the music dream start?
I recorded my first song in 2012. I got signed last year, 2017 July and that’s when everything started professionally for me.
How would you describe your music career so far?
It has come good so far. It wasn’t easy before I got signed but I thank God for the platform I had in school. People liked my song in school and they called me for school shows and that was where the record label owners saw me. In 2017, I got signed and I dropped my singles and video.
In 2018 I also dropped a couple of singles including one with Davido and since then it’s been good. A couple of months back I had my media tour in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. So I am just growing.
Let’s talk about your discography. Out of all songs you’ve done which will you say is your favorite and why?
Of them all I still prefer ‘Special’ but it doesn’t mean others are not good. The content is special to me and I recorded it when I was still in school.
Who are your musical influences?
Fela, his sound influences me every time I listen to him. I also listen to Wizkid, 2Baba, Drake, Alkaline, Bob Marley, Popcaan and other dancehall artistes.
What childhood experience would you say ties to your current reality?
I remember when I was younger, any song I liked, I listened to it back to back and I’d usually memorise the lyrics. Whenever I was with my mum and I sang these songs, she always asked where I learned them, but I figure out now that it was out of passion.
How did BO Entertainment sign you?
Back in school, I had this friend who was and is still a fan of my music. He personally told me that there are people he plays my song for whenever he comes to Lagos and they appreciate my sound. He said they wanted to have a chat with me, so when I was in my final year in school, I came to Lagos for the second time. I met with one of the label owners and they said they liked my content and they were waiting for me to be done with school. When I finished school, we proceeded.
How would rate your stay at BO Entertainment?
It’s been good for me to be honest. The feedback I’ve been getting so far from the songs I dropped has been motivating and it has been keeping me going. It’s a different thing to do your music and it’s a different thing to get the right response from people. If I were to rate myself, I would say 8/10.
What’s your relationship with your other label mates, musically and otherwise?
Musically, we rub minds, we’re creative. But even before we got signed to the same record label, we were more like brothers because we grew up together in Abuja.
Which of your peers do you have great respect for?
Artistes like Tclassic, Zlatan Ibile, Singah, those are the people I’m close to. They like what I do and I like what they do also.
How are your fans receiving ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Allowance’?
I was planning to drop another song but I had a couple of people come over to the studio to do a listening and they advised me to drop Allowance and Cinderella. So far it has been massive, especially Allowance. Cinderella is a vibe but people like the lyrics of Allowance.
You recently featured Davido, which was a huge move; what advantage has that added to your career?
It has increased my fan base. Some of Davido’s fans were able to listen to the song. When I was on tour, I found out some people in Tanzania and Kenya already knew the song even before Ghana, just because Davido was on the song. Now people take me seriously. I have a song with Wizkid, Ceeza Milli and Shaydee, although they are not out. Those are the collaboration I’m working on.
Is it true singles do better than albums?
I won’t say I agree to that, because as an artiste the respect you get when you drop an album is different from when you drop a single. When you drop an album it shows that you know what you are doing and people get to understand your sound better.
Should an album be expected from you soon?
Yes, early 2019, I’ll be dropping an EP.
What bothers you most in the Nigerian music industry?
Looking at the industry now, there are lots of artistes, so every day I think of how I can be better and how I can be more creative.
What have you achieved this year?
My tour, my big collaborations; 2018 was a good year for me.
What are your goals for next year?
More international collaborations; award nominations and an award win.