By Anozie Egole
Although he is still a green horn in the industry, Deekay as he is popularly called is certainly out to take the industry by storm. In this interview, the Nigerian born-Ghanaian singer talks about his music and how destiny brought the Aye crooner, Davido and himself together. He also explains why he dumped basketball for music.
HOW did you meet Davido?
Davido has been my friend for a very long time. We met in Ghana when SoundCity launched its TV station there. Wizkid and D’banj were also in attendance. A friend of mine was preparing to shoot a video for him and that was how fate brought us together. I later had a meaningful discussion with Davido and thereafter, we exchange contacts. That was how we became friends. In fact, when he launched his first album and subsequent ones, I was in Nigeria to support him.
Did you set out to become a musician?
Not at all though I have been singing since childhood. When I travelled to Ghana, I was still in secondary school. Then I used to play basketball. With the passage of time, I started thinking of delving into other things. I tried my hand at rapping and I did a song. When I gained admission into the university, I actually did not want to go into music. But a friend of mine kept encouraging me to give it a shot. However, I embraced music after I performed during one of the programmes that was held in my school in those days.
I did not attend audition for the show, but I pleaded with the organizers to give me a chance to prove my mettleand afterwards they were amazed at my stage craft. But before then, I had started building my career in music. It was about the same time I met Davido that I did a song titled, “High Fever”, featuring him. The song was released in Ghana. The song was a big hit. As a result, I had to abandon everything I was doing in Ghana and returned to Nigeria.
Do you think Nigeria has the biggest platform for music in Africa?
Of course, everybody knows that Nigeria has the biggest platform when it comes to music in Africa. Even people from Tanzania and other African countries storm Nigeria to do music.
Why did you study Building Technology instead of music?
I didn’t start out as a musician. I never studied music even when I was in secondary school. All along, it has been Building Technology. But if I hadn’t studied Building Technology, I would have become a pilot. As a kid, I always imagine being a pilot.
What’s the idea behind your latest single, Repete?
When I came into the music industry, people only knew me as the guy who used to dance in Davido’s music videos. I am a good dancer. If you have watched most of Davido’s videos that were shot in South-Africa, you will notice me there. I danced in “Gobe” and so many other videos. Basically, my fans know me as a dancer than a singer. They just know me as Deekay, the guy that dances for Davido. At a point, I was rooting for Davido. We go to shows together till date. My new single, Repete is a song that you can dance to and be happy. Shizzi did a nice beat.
How would you describe your kind of music?
I can’t classify my music into any genre because I do different styles of music. I’m a rapper, I do Afro beat, highlife among others.
Would you describe yourself as a dancer?
I was never a dancer and I did not start with dancing. I just danced in Davido’s videos just because I am a good dancer. I was never part of the people he invited to come and dance in his videos. I just danced for the fun of it.
What are your fans expecting from Deekay?
I am coming out with a lot of singles. I’m doing a remix of “Repete” featuring Olamide. I have “Bigger Bone” my second single where I featured Patoranking. I also have another single which I did with Davido. I have done the song for over two years now. I think this is the right time to release it.
If I had released the song earlier, people would have thought I was trying to live under Davido’s shadow because I featured him in the single. That’s why I released my first single earlier. But I think this is the ideal time to release the song. I got about two hundred thousand views on Youtube alone on my single.
Did your parents support your decision to go into music?
My mother wanted me to do music but my father never supported me. At a point, my dad was indifferent. Later, my mother insisted that if I must do music, it must be gospel. So that was the problem I faced at the early stage of my career. I had to back out because I was not ready to do gospel music.
Who are your role models?
I have only one, and he is Kanye West.
Why do you address Davido as your boss?
Davido inspired me to do music. He’s a good musician, if he is not I would not be where I am today.
What’s your assessment of Davido’s latest video, “Fans Mi” which has been generating a lot of controversy?
It’s only pounded yam, not cocaine. Davido has been shooting videos and he has never introduced anything like that in his videos. He has shot over 20 music videos. He has shot the videos of his last album, but he felt the videos are not up to the standard he wants. That is why he has not released them.
At the end of the video, he still eats pounded yam, meaning that he has a storyline which relates to drugs, not drug. The other thing we need to know about the video is that it is an American video. It featured an American hip hop artiste, Meek Mill, and that’s their standard over there. The artiste he featured in the video is a big American musician. In eight days, the video had about one million views on You Tube. That means people like the video.
How do you describe the Nigerian music industry?
The industry is growing. If the country has no good platform I won’t be here. This is because people will be seeing you as a stranger and it will be difficult for them to adapt to your kind of music and personality. The Nigerian music industry is doing better than any other industry in Africa. It’s more competitive here and we have many talented artistes in the country.
Most songs of today lack good content. Do you agree with this observation?
It is very true. But, I won’t do that. My latest single Repete is a danceable song. It’s for people to dance.
What challenges have you faced so far?
Sometimes, there are some heights you would like to attain. But when I look at who I’m living with, my friend and my boss, knowing fully well that he is the biggest in Africa and we stay together and do everything together, I feel inspired. I am not saying that living with Davido is a challenge to me but it inspires me and makes me to excel. Another major challenge is that sometimes you want to do certain things and you need money to enable you execute them, but it’s not available. So it all boils down to lack of finance.