With so many artistes springing up every other day in the Nigeria music scene, fans can sometimes be inundated by the sheer number of options.
Some crooners, however, stand out from the pack, with a uniqueness that cannot be missed. One of such acts is Kelechi Wilson, better known as Kelly Wilson.
The Lagos-born Rivers indigene, in this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, told us that he sings and sounds like himself and not like any other musician.
What made you decide to do music, you could have been an engineer?
The passion really. Music is what I want to do all my life. I love performing, the passion to inspire people through music. It is not for the fame or the money. I remember when I was younger, whenever my father came across my music books, he would shred it because he wanted me to study law.
I never wanted that, rather I wanted something that would make me fulfilled and that’s music. At some point though, my father gave in to my dream, but that was not until he saw my desire and passion to do music.
Interestingly, when I did my EP (extended play), he sponsored it. If I had gone into music because of the fame and money, I would have given up by now due to challenges. The passion is what has been keeping me going.
How did music start for you and what has the journey been like?
I started off from the choir in church, like most people. I had to leave the choir because I felt people were not seeing the whole me and what I had inside. From there, I was part of a group. We did a remake of the popular song, Yangba.
It was quite popular. After then, we won’t our separate ways and I’ve continued my music journey ever since. I must tell you, my brother, the journey has not been easy. It’s been really challenging. But inspite of the struggles and setbacks, God has been faithful.
One major constraint, which everyone complains about, is finance. God has been the one financing it. I was formerly an RnB singer, doing love songs and all that, but I realized that it wasn’t what the people wanted. The people want you to make them dance, make them happy.
Not that love songs won’t make them happy, but the audience for those songs is small. Those that want you to make them dance are the majority. So, I had to rebrand to dancehall. If you listen to my songs now, you’d still feel the RnB flavour.
You said you had to leave the choir so you could express yourself more. Was it that you restricted or something?
Not really. I was singing ten or then. Infact, it was while in the choir that I realized what I had. The choir was like a grooming ground for me, it really built me. If I had not been in the choir, I probably won’t be this good.
So far, what would you say has been the highest and lowest points of your career?
I think for the highest point, that would be when I performed for some top dignitaries in Abuja. That was last year. That day, I felt like the biggest man on earth. I can’t really say I’ve had a low point.
Tell us more about this song, Sincurriculum.
Sincurriculum is like your better half, like a twin. On the song, there’s one slang you’ll hear, that is nwene, which in Ikwerre means your close brother or sister. You know, sometimes you can be in a relationship with someone and when people see two of you, they’d think you are related. That is what the song is about. The video was shot by a new kid on the block right here in Lagos.
Any other song coming up soon?
Yes, I’ll be offering Your love and Never give it up. Your love is a highlife time. I went down to the east, while never give it up is afro RnB tune. That is what you should expect from me.
What collaborations should we look forward to?
Yes, I’m looking forward to a collaboration with 2Face. He’s someone I admire and I would want to do a collaboration with him. Hopefully, it will be before this year runs out.
What are the plans for your album?
After two more videos, the album will drop. It will be coming out early next year. You should look forward to good music on the album. Expect songs that would wow you, that you would want to listen to again and again.
You realized that there are a lot of artistes also doing what you do. What stands you out?
My sound, my style and my voice. My style is electrifying and unique. When you listen to my songs, at once you’d recognize it’s Kelly Wilson because I don’t sound like anybody else. I sound like myself. Also, I’m a very versatile artiste, I could do any genre be it apala, fuji, highlife, RnB.
Define your music style.
I do music. Music speaks only one language, no matter the kind of music it is.
You said you could do any genre, but which do you regard as your specialty?
That’d be RnB.
When you made the switch from RnB to dancehall, did you have to change anything?
Yes, I did. As a dancehall singer, people want to hear you and be happy. As a RnB artiste, you have to be emotional.
Let’s meet you.
I’m Kelechi Wilson, known as Kelly Wilson as a musician. I’m from Rivers State, but I’m also a Lagosian. I’m sure you are wondering why I said so. I was born here, I grew up here and I still plan to be here. They call me Port Harcourt Omo Eko.
I’m an HND student at Lagos State Polytechnic studying Business Administration. I’m from a family of five boys.
In five years, where do you see yourself as an artiste?
I see myself on the world stage. I see myself as an international artists, one of the biggest singers from Lagos, Nigeria.