Fast rising artiste, Kingsley Ukeh aka Kukeh B is in pain. His mother didn’t live long enough to witness his rise to stardom.
He opens up to TS Weekend on his agonies, career and what he hopes to make out of it. Enjoy the read.
My name is Kingsley Ukeh but I go by the stage name Kukeh B. I have been in music since 2002. I was attracted to music at a young age. When I was young, my mother was always singing around the house; she was a music lover.
I lost my mother in 2009. She was a pillar, a real mother and it pains me that she didn’t live to see me become an established artiste, being a music lover herself. I am the eldest child in an extended family of over 37 children; I take care of the family and nobody is assisting me.
My mother was the one taking care of us when she was alive. My mum worked in the General Hospital as a nurse before she established her own clinic. I was about to gain admission into the higher institution when she died. I was in Lagos while she was in the East. I spent over six months in the East taking care of things. By the time I came back, things were very tough. I had to put my education on hold to face business, believing that when I stabilise every other thing will follow. I worked with Skye Bank, but due to the economic downturn, our manager was relieved of his job. With his exit, I also lost my job in the bank and had to look for another means of sustenance.
I have been in music since 2002. I have dropped several songs that are available on the Internet and some radio stations. I have many songs but I have not done any video yet. My song, African Lady was released two years ago. It is not easy to promote a song let alone doing a video. It requires a lot of financing. I have spoken to many (video) directors but the fee being demanded was so exorbitant that I couldn’t afford it.
Kind of music
I do reggae, R&B and highlife. I don’t do rap or Afrobeat.
Let the music play
My music is online and on some radio stations including Naija FM, Star FM and Max FM. What I am trying to do is push the music out to let people know about it.
I don’t collect any royalty for the songs. I wont allow the radio stations to pay me even if they want to. I want my songs to be played; I don’t want them to refuse to play my songs over demand for royalty. Let the songs keep playing. I want everybody to know what I have.
Collabo with other artistes
It will be good to do collabo with established artistes like 2face, Kiss Daniel, Phyno and Flavour. But I don’t believe it is all about featuring an established artiste. When you are good, you are good. We have several artistes that did not feature any established artiste before making it. Kiss Daniel did not feature anybody to make it.
If you remember Humble Smith’s Osinachi, it’s because the song is good that Davido called him and jumped into it. That’s how it should be. It’s not for up and coming artistes to be running around, begging established musicians to feature in their videos. Established artistes should help up and coming ones to keep the industry alive.
In the reggae genre, Lucky Dube was my inspiration. He is late but I still love him. In hip-hop, it is 2face; he is making us proud. Also, we have modern highlife artistes like Simi, Flavour and the rest. Although, I don’t do Afrobeat, I love Fela.
Between record labels and artistes
Record labels sign artistes for a term; it is not forever. When the term runs out, the artiste may decide to go. The only thing that brings quarrel is when the record label wants to renew the contract and the artiste says no. Two things that bring quarrel among men are money and women.
Apart from music, I also have shops that I manage. I also use my car for Uber taxi. These are actually where the money for my studio sessions and online promotions comes from.
I will like to attain the same heights as 2face Idibia in terms of holding the ground and remaining relevant. From old school to new school, he is there. I don’t want to be like 2face but I will like to attain the same heights like him or even greater.