Nigerian entertainment industry has produced yet another talented and lyrics rooted singer who is ready to storm the industry with his music dexterity. He’s Adafe Adetokunbo Michael, otherwise known as Tkay.
His music started way back in 2005, when he recorded his first single before taking a break to conclude his education.
To Michael, education is very important. It’s a necessity for everyone irrespective of what you’re doing, including music. The talented singer spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on his new single and what makes him different.
How was it when you started music?
2005 was just like a breaking point for me. That was when I started recording in a studio. My songs, which was produced by OJB, were played on several radio stations but because of financial challenges, I had to go on a low key for a while and focused on my studies.
I started recording again in 2012 and God has been wonderful since then. Right now, I’m trying to push my new song and video that I did with TY Mix. It is a combination of dancehall and our cultural music. The songs are presently enjoying massive airplay. We’ve travelled to Port-Harcourt, Ghana and other African countries but we want it to circulate here in Nigeria so that everybody can relate to them.
Where did you school and what did you study?
I went to Olabisi Onabanjo University where I studied Microbiology.
What was your parents’ reaction when you told them you wanted to do music after school?
It was easy for me because I’ve been doing music even while I was in school. They knew that someday, I was going to take up music as a profession. So, when I told my mom, she wasn’t surprised. But in my own family, school is number one. You must go to school first before doing any other thing.
In what way will you say microbiology influenced your music?
School is good. Initially, I wanted to study Medicine but along the line I had to settle for Microbiology because I like it. Microbiology makes me understand that everybody has a problem. And If I cannot treat you by getting a specimen and all that, I can treat you with my music. I like Micro-biology but music is just the major thing for me now.
Was it that music wasn’t paying?
It is not like music is not a good product, but I wasn’t doing it as a full time business. You must be able to take your music everywhere for it to enjoy the attention you actually need. But then, there were times I had somewhere to go but I couldn’t because of school. Then, school was number one while music is something I love doing. But right now, music is everything. That’s the difference between then and now.
What’s unique about you?
My style is unique. I’ve heard people saying I sound like this or that because of the Yoruba flavour but the style is different. When you listen to Tkay, it is serious music made friendly. I talk about serious issues affecting our lives. I talk about the less privileged and other societal issues but in a friendly way. The difference between my sound and every other sound is that, it’s rich and deep. I don’t need to blow my trumpet, my fans can testify to that.
From 2005 up till this moment, how will you describe the industry?
I think it was in 2005 that the whole thing started changing in the industry. But the difference between then and now is that we have heavy beats now. Music then was basically about your lyrics and your promo. But music now, it is all about your branding and the strength of your promo, even if the song is not on point and you have the right people working for you, you will get there somehow. You might not last but you will get there and your face will be known. That is why I’m trying to push myself there. Maybe when people listen to me they will understand that you can actually do commercial songs and still make sense. I think Nigerian music business has grown.
Who are your role models both local and international?
I like 2face even though we don’t speak the same language. I like R. Kelly, Sound Sultan, Asa, Beautiful Nubia and other talented artistes. Nigerian artistes are doing remarkably well.
In few years, where do you see yourself?
I wish I could carve a niche. I don’t want to have fans, I want to have followers. In a couple of years, I wish I could have people that will beat their chest and say you are the new Baba Fela, Ebenezer Obey and Sunny Ade. I crave the image of good music.
What is your relationship with women generally?
It is normal. Friends, we do business and talk.
Are you in any relationship?
No! My relationship is with my music.
Tell us more about your management?
Now, I have a small outfit I put together with a friend of mine. At the moment, I don’t have any record label but I have a movement called Talk2me Records. Meanwhile, we are hoping for a bigger business if eventually we see someone who is ready to play ball.
Don’t you feel sometimes that you should be the one people are listening to now?
I believe with time that will happen.
What is the concept of your new single?
Promoting African culture. What I’m saying in that song is that you can combine our culture with western culture. You can dance ‘Bata’ wearing high heels. If you want to go crazy by sagging your trousers, you can sag your ‘Kenbe’. No matter the tattoo you have on your body, you are still African. What you have in your body won’t change your bloodline.
Why the choice of Sanyeri in the video?
Sanyeri is a character many people love. Having him in the video would give it more popularity and acceptability. He is a comical person and I said in that song that Sanyeri is handsome with his tribal marks. It was a great experience working with him.
– RASHEED ABUBAKAR