Nigerian-born fusion artist and producer, Ace. Picture: Supplied
Nigerian-born fusion artist and producer, Ace, has just released his latest single, in which he teams up with South African hip hop artist Anatii.

Ace, whose real name is Chuks Austine, was born in Kwara State in western Nigeria. He moved to South Africa to study and started out in the entertainment industry as a model. However, a bad day on the set of a television advert prompted him to follow his lifelong dream.

“I was late for my shoot, so I had to wait until the crew was ready for me, which is understandable. At around 4pm I decided to leave the shoot and at that moment, I questioned myself.

“I just knew there was something else I should be doing with my life, so I started connecting the dots and, because I have always loved poetry, music somehow seemed like the natural thing to do,” he said.

That was back in 2009. Fast forward to this year and Ace has collaborated with some of the biggest stars on the African continent, with his latest single set to make him a household name in Mzansi.

“I actually recorded Summertime a few years ago, but this year I decided to start a new project so my actual plan was to make new music,” he said. But that didn’t happen when Anatii got involved because he loved Summertime after listening to it and added his own lyrics.

“I was introduced to Anatii through a friend. We met and I played him some of my music and he liked it, but instead of wanting to make a new song, he liked Summertime so we added his lyrics to it and that’s how it came about,” said Ace.

“Summertime is representative of who I am. I am a fusion artist and that’s what this track is. I have never wanted to be put in a box, especially with my music. I really enjoy different sounds and genres and making them work together,” he said.

He said working with Anatii was a very humbling experience. “Anatii is a talented producer and artist. It was a humbling experience because I didn’t think many artists as big as he is would collaborate with a newbie like me,” he said.

Ace, who writes his own music, is also an independent artist. “There are many challenges with being an independent artist, but I have been lucky enough to have worked with people who have trusted me and, for me, the internet has been a major part of my success because that is where it all started for me. I was making music on my personal social media pages after my epiphany when I was approached and, ever since then, I have been using the internet as a tool, which is why I am releasing an EP first,” he said.

He is also working on his debut EP, titled Concocting a Wave, which he hopes to release later this year. Ace says he wants to bring a new sound to Africa. “I am trying to start a new wave of sound in the industry. I want people to see that genres can be put together to make amazing music.”