Chike, a Nigerian R&B singer, says artistes are more valuable when they are not easily accessible, noting that “there’s profit in scarcity”.
During a chat with BBC Igbo, Chike spoke of how his big break has had him cut down on public appearances.
“There’s only so much you can do about it. I like doing my things myself so fame was a serious adjustment for me. A lot of things I liked to do, I had to quit. You can almost not use the public car wash anymore,” the singer said.
“Not that I no longer like these things; I’m comfortable doing them but, in our profession, there’s profit in scarcity.
“If people start seeing you everywhere, it then looks as though you’re easily accessible. Continue that way, and your earnings will drop. I like to mingle with people but we can only follow up with what earns us money.
“What I’m trying to do is expanding my music audience beyond Nigeria. The western world is important but the East African market matters too. I’ve had a lot of western influence too.”
Chike also spoke of his music style and singing in his native tongue.
He said the wide acceptance of ‘Jerusalema’, a hit by Master KG, a South African musician, shows that the success of records is more dependent on melody than language.
“I want to believe that Igbo people in Nigeria and those exporting themselves are much. Up until now, I don’t understand what Master KG is saying in ‘Jerusalema’. And he did a feature with Burna Boy,” he said.
“It’s all about the melody. If you’re too conscious about accommodating languages so foreigners can understand, you may end up losing that appeal. I speak Igbo. I can’t blame others for not understanding my native tongue.
“Both of my parents are from Onitsha. That way, I had access to the culture and food. It’s unlike an Igbo man who married a northerner for example. For the music, once I include my language and ensure that it flows, that’s okay.
“In ‘Jerusalema’, people don’t even understand the lyrics and it was a massive African hit.
“In my next album to come in 2022, I won’t take away the support I got from those who understand my language. It not as if I spoke Igbo a lot in my first. But my mindset is that music is for the world, regardless of where you are.”
Chike is known for participating in Project Fame West Africa and finishing in second place on Season 1 of The Voice Nigeria. He made his acting debut as Mayowa Badmus on the Africa Magic Showcase telenovela ‘Battleground’.
In 2020, Chike released ‘Boo of the Booless’, a 14-track album, and performed on the 2020 BBNaija reality show.
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