2,197 total views, 2 views today
American-based Nigerian music act, Ifeanyi Kalu, better known as Cecil just breezed in to the country for the release and promotion of his latest work entitled ‘I Am African’. Meeting with a select group of the media including www.beats-onit.con in Lagos recently, the Ohafia, Abia State-born Cecil, talked about his sojourn in the US and what motivated his foray into the beat scene as well as his aspiration in the entertainment industry.
What do you want to achieve going into music?
I have been in music ever since I knew nothing. My mother was in the choir back in the Assemblies of God church in those days and my father, a Reverend. I started following them in the choir until I became a choir master. I left Assemblies for TREM, Dopemu. I was a chorister. All my life, I have been doing music. I had worked in aviation for years. I had also worked with Fan Milk. I worked to the level of being the regional manager, eastern region but I was still writing songs. I play the piano, sax, bass and drums.
What is unique about your music?
There are challenges everywhere you go. It is all about the artiste, step up the beat, always be on point, know what you want. I am introducing myself in a manner that the world would understand that Africans have come to stay. The song is about Africa awakening.
Is this your first single?
I have over 30 songs on spotify, amazom, apple music but this is the first time I am doing something unique. I started a project I call, ‘I am Africa, Introduction 101.’ I am simply Introducing Africa back to the world. I live in Pennsylvania. I discovered that even in Pennsylvania, there are some old folks who do not know where New York is. You would understand that if they do not know where New York is, what do they listen to? What television stations do they watch? You find out that they do not care about CNN or the BBC, they just stick to their local channels. When you mention Africa so many of them say Africa is a nation. Africa is not a nation but a continent. But I found out that it is not about them but us. We do not know who we are. This awakening is to bring the realization to know who we are. If we and our leaders in Africa understand who we are then the change has come. The song is a remix actually, the original is out there. I am doing the remix with my brother, Eedris Abdulkareem who has taught me a lot in just a little while. Many people talk trash about Eedris when they do not know him. If you don’t know people don’t say jack.
What inspired the song?
I have been in the United States for five years now and I live in a neighbourhood full of whites. One day, I came out from my building and one of them asked me how I got the house I’m living in, how I came to America and all that. That is some racist stuff. Our black brothers in America are suffering for ages and it is because we the blacks do not know who we are. The day we understand the power we have, we would stand firm and the world would respect and love us.
Are you not afraid of associating with Eedris taking into cognizance that he has become controversial recently?
I cannot be afraid to live. Anybody that is afraid to deal with Eedris Abdulkareem is afraid to live. He is real. He says things the way they are. I have seen it, you have seen it. What should I be afraid of?
What are you expecting from L’akreem Records?
I expect the best of the best. As a matter of fact, the world should wait. We are coming out stronger than ever. We worked with three different producers. Working with Eedris was fun.
What where you doing before you came into music?
As I said before, I have been into music all my life. Every other job I have been doing was just to make money to push my music. I have been an independent artiste all my life. I have been working so I can sponsor myself and push my music and that is how it’s been. Music is my life.
You said you have like 30 songs, please, tell us the titles of some of these songs?
I have two albums and some singles. The titles are ‘Paradise’ and ‘Oyin Momo.’ One has 12 songs and the other, 15 songs. I have a song I made for Christmas last year entitled, ‘Seasons.’ I hope it will win an award someday. ‘I am Africa’ is a project I started. It may have like 5 songs or more. A time will come when we will associate with other top artistes in other parts of Africa. We are bringing Africa to the world. I have singles such as ‘Igbakalam isi,’ ‘Obim.’
What is your impression of the Nigerian music industry?
The industry is going hay wire. We just had our brother that won the Grammys. It is not easy. ‘I am Africa is for the Grammys.’ I always come back to Nigeria to produce my songs.