Rising Nigerian star CKay has a lot to celebrate.
His single “Love Nwantiti” has become the continent’s biggest song right now after reaching the top of the music charts around the world.
The single peaked at number one on the global Shazam charts in over 14 territories last week, and its remixes have already garnered over 40.5 million streams, globally, on Spotify, and north of 90 million across all digital platforms.
And while he continues to ride the wave of success with “Love Nwantiti”, his recent EP “Boyfriend” continues to make all the right noises, too.
The 26-year-old singer, songwriter and producer used the downtime afforded by Nigeria’s lockdown to record “Boyfriend”, which is inspired by multiple guitar genres and showcases his romantic side.
In it, he goes full-on lover boy mode in his declaration of adoration for “Isabella”, laid over a bouncy Afrofusion beat.
Elsewhere, he experiments with Spanish guitar chords on the lamenting “Jeje de Whine” and acoustic strings on “Show My Side”, which features alternative pop vocalist Amaarae.
“I started working on my EP ’Boyfriend’ in the heat of the pandemic last year. It’s my second official EP. Simply put, it’s a collection of love songs.
“The EP was inspired by several moments in my love life at different points in time, from falling in love in ’Felony’, to late nights in ’Show My Side’, and ’Jeje de Whine’, to breaking up with ’Mezebu’, and getting back together on ’Kiss Me Like You Miss Me’. Every song tells a story,” CKay shared.
The star, who was born Chukwuka Ekweani in Kaduna, the capital city of Kaduna State, explained that he wanted it to give his fans an experience they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in African music.
“The sound of this EP is Emo-Afrobeat. it’s my sub-genre in Afrobeats. It’s very heavy on emotions. A lot of guitars, pianos, melancholic chords, heartfelt singing, humming, and chanting, combined with storytelling.
“In terms of lyrical content, I’d describe it as heartfelt and conversational. It sounds like I’m talking to someone, which I mostly am,” he revealed.
In “Boyfriend”, CKay collaborates with American artist Amaarae, Brazil’s Bianca Costa and Ghana’s KiDi.
The challenge with putting this body of work together was the different locations everyone was in.
“Getting all the collaborations done over a distance was quite a challenge, but the internet prevailed at the end of the day.
“Everyone I featured on the EP has something special to offer, and they perfectly fit the vibe of the record. They definitely all delivered. From Oxlade to Kidi, to Amaarae and Bianca Costa.
“The EP is about love from a young African man’s perspective. I represent the ’African Boyfriend’ because of the predominant theme of my life and the subject matter of my music. Naming the EP was pretty much a no brainer for me,” he said.
Commenting on the difference between this EP and his debut EP, ’CKay The First’, he said that this one was a little more specific.
“I was talking about a specific part of my life on this EP, my love life. On my last EP, I spoke about a variety of things like police brutality, my personal struggles in life and all, love included.
“On this one, I felt like I had a lot more to say about love.”