Fast-rising Nigerian afro-beat singer Chuwkuemeka Okoli aka Kholi says winning Grammy awards for an African artiste will no longer be viewed as a ‘favour’ after Burna Boy ‘convincingly’ impressed the world during the annual international music ceremony this year.
Only days after unveiling his first single Gamble, from his upcoming album Stones to Diamonds, Kholi has made his intentions clear: “Like Burna Boy and Wizkid, I want to blow big in Kenya and the rest of Africa before winning the world and that is why my eyes are set on Kenya now. Nairobi should get ready for me”.
“To win a Grammy should not look so hard for us the upcoming artistes in Africa. Burna Boy has opened the door we all waited to enter through. He showed the world we are talented and that African artistes are not pushovers when it comes to profiling the greats in music. I feel good about the attention Afro-pop has received so far and I am rearing to go,” Kholi told Standard Entertainment and Lifestyle.
Saying he has been drawing his music inspiration from Wizkid and Maroon 5, the talented and versatile singer - who also doubles as an instrumentalist - said African musicians should not be intimidated by the fact that continental music has been uncelebrated internationally.
“To be honest, this has been long coming and I am actually excited for the growth of this genre that represents the African sound. I must give it up to every artiste who is believing and pushing this new wave,” Kholi went on.
“Gamble is an actual representation of what Afro-beat fused with jazz from the back in the day would sound like. It is an expression of undying love and affection with an assurance of commitment to one’s partner. The percussions totally represent for African music and the guitar and sax bring the blend of jazz.”
Born and raised in Nigeria, Kholi loved music from a young age. He taught himself how to play the keyboard and drums. In 2017, he was spotted by the CEO of Flux Factory, which is a music record he later signed to. Since, he has developed huge music followership.
“My upcoming album is a culmination of what I have been building together since I decided to become a full-time artiste. It is my testimony. It is a journey everyone who listens to me can relate. It is an African story told by an African to the world,” he concluded.