Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
My names are Chukwudi Ken Agali. 28 years old. I am from Delta State, Ogume to be precise. I’m from a polygamous family. My parents separated when I was much younger and I had to grow up with my dad’s elder sister. I have lived all my life in Lagos.
How was growing up like?
Like I said my parents were separated and growing up without my mum and dad was tough one. It wasn’t a bed of roses. I lived in Ajegunle and the likes of Daddy Showkey and Daddy Fresh were on my street. I had the believe in myself and that has kept me going.
How has the journey been so far?
Well I always saw myself as a star as I was celebrated right from when I was a child. I got used to people pointing and talking about me. It was so much fun. I grew up in the children choir and then I used to go perform from church to church. I got used to living like a celebrity as a child and right now it’s something that I’m used to. This is the kind of life I have always lived.
What was your motivation?
I think I motivated myself. I remember back then when I was in secondary school, I used to stretch myself to the unit. There was even a time I went for choir practice with my school uniform. Music was part of me and would always be a part of me. Music is something that I can do. I’m always ready to sing anywhere.
While growing up there were people you always look up to in the industry, who are they?
Well I used to love Michael Jackson, who doesn’t love Michael. Then there was also a time I loved R. Kelly for his trapped in the closet.
What would you say was the platform for you?
I think it was when I released “Slow Slow” in 2008. I met J. Sleek and I did a version with Dokta Frabs and that was the one I released.
Why the sudden switch from a song like “Slow Slow” to a song like “Gaga Crazy”?
I wanted people to know that I could do any type of music. I was just trying to diversify.
After the release of “Slow Slow” we didn’t get to hear from you again. Why did you go underground?
It’s not like I went underground or something. The fact is that I did some songs I did shampoo with Mo’Cheda and I did some other singles. The fact us that it didn’t get enough listening ears. The songs were not popular.
What’s the success of “Gaga Crazy”?
Look around and see (General laughter). Well it’s been good. God has been faithful so far so good I have been travelling from one country to another. I have been going on club tour. It’s been God all through.
Any embarrassing moment?
Well that would be when people started saying that I’m trying to sound like Wande Coal and that I should try to be original. The first stage performance I had for “Slow Slow” someone spoilt the show as he screamed “It’s Wande Coal ooo” I felt really terrible about myself. This was just me doing my thing. Though I didn’t let it get to me. I thought to myself that if I had come out before Wande Coal, people would probably be saying the same thing to him. So I wasn’t bothered but it was quite embarrassing.
But in sincerity were you trying to be like Wande?
Not at all. I was more than original. When I open my mouth to sing that’s the voice that comes out. I wasn’t trying to be like anybody.
Are you currently working on something new?
Yeah sure, music is my career. I’m dropping a new single in a week time and I’m also working on my album. The album would be hitting the streets in November. You know to top the “ember” market (General laughter).
How do you mix up with other celebrities?
I keep my old friends. I don’t really have celebrities as friends. It’s not like I cannot mix up properly, I just choose to keep a few of then as friends. I try as much as possible to just start on my own.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I plan on having a foundation. In some years to come I see myself giving neighbouring countries a helping hand. Also helping less privileged within and outside the country.
A word for up and coming artiste.
Keep it real, keep it original. You don’t always have to start big. You can start small. You can become a studio rat tog et to where you desire. Try and put your best to whatever you do.
There should be a phrase that has kept you going. Can you tell us of such phrase?
Yeah. Talent is 20% of what makes you but hardwork and God especially is 100% of what makes you in life. God has been there for me and I really appreciate him.
One of those memorable moments.
That was when I performed Gaga Crazy at Governor Oshiomole’s victory party in Edo State. I danced with the Governor on stage. It’s one of those moments I recollect and count as a huge success.