SKRT Magazine catches up with Afrobeats artist, Keyz Emmanuel, He breaks down his new EP “TOOO SEXY 4 LUV” in interview.
Tell us about yourself ?
I’m a 22 year old creative personnel. I try not to call myself a musician because my journey to self discovery has made me realize that music is just one of the many things I’m good at. Born in Kano Nigeria, raised in Lagos, currently living in the United States of America.. I am a very unserious individual, yet extremely aware. I see life as a simulation, there’s no telling what will happen to our consciousness when we die, so why not make all the jokes, and have all the fun now in our only confirmed physical form. Crazy right ?
What genre of music do you major in ?
Afrobeats. I love Afrobeats a lot, one of the reasons being that I feel I can help take the genre to the next level. I think Afrobeat is one of the greatest genres in the world. She got so much potential, and I see the potential in her (Afrobeats). Let’s assume Afrobeats is a woman, cos it just feels right all the time.
Tell us about your previous projects & singles ?
I’ve had a couple songs in my time. Released my first project “TOOO SEXY 4 LUV” all I will say is that the brand is growing, and I’m happy that I’m able to track the growth. Started in 2018 with “Imabong” my first single, came a long way, but still grateful, and hopeful for more accomplishments.
You just released a new body of work. Tell us the back story and what the project emphasizes?
TOOO SEXY 4 LUV. It all started with a feeling. I really wanted this project to mean something, and really convey my thoughts on self representation. I love seeing beautiful people celebrating their confidence in self. Self esteem isn’t really taught anywhere, and it’s not really mainstream. The world frowns at confident people, calls them “Proud” “Ignorant” etc. The project in one sentence would be “ I’m sexy, and love is not on my To-Do list right now” it captures my NOW, and I’m super proud of it.
Describe the creative process behind it?
Like I said earlier, I’m very unserious, and I love to have fun. The process was just fun. I was feeling myself the whole time, and catching cruise throughout. Wayne Snow said “Artists are fools, and they shouldn’t be taken too seriously”. I just create.
Tell us who & what influenced TOOO SEXY 4 LOVE EP?
hmmm I think that would be me. People keep asking me why I don’t have a girlfriend or if I’m searching, and I figured I had to reply with a song, or a project in this case. I like to capture moments like pictures capture moments. I like to use my music to capture moments that affect my life so I never forget them. TOOO SEXY 4 LUV just explains my position on love. I’m 22, Can’t be focused on preaching love right now.
Give us a track by track breakdown of each track on the EP
1. SOMETHING– This song is the reason I named the EP TS4L. The song is just very classy. I said things like “Fake love everywhere like I really want it” so yeah *laughs* that’s that.
2. TAKEN– Disclaimer! I’m not taken, but if I was, this song would explain how sweet I could be in a relationship.
3. DTLA – I wrote this song about a girl I met in Los Angeles whilst shooting my music video for ‘io ballo’ (One of my songs) very lovely experience.
4. FRIENDZONE ft songbird- Wrote and released this song in 2020 because I was almost friendzoned. I said ‘almost’ because I ended it right there. I usually don’t like what I hate *laughs*
5. STAY CLOSE – Probably my favorite song, it’s like a closing prayer, after everything I said from 1-4, I’m still human; vulnerable, still need love, and a sense of belonging.
I feel like the project has a balance of chaos and redemption. One minute I’m talking all this big talk about how much I don’t need love, and on the last song, I’m actively looking for someone to stay close to me.
What more to expect after this release?
It’s time to get famous famous *laughs*. 2022 will be very interesting, I’ll probably blow up this year, I’ve got some interesting plans coming up, and I can’t wait to share them with the world.
If you were to make remixes who would you collaborate with ?
hmm. hit up Amaarae to be on SOMETHING remix. No response yet, but no worries, I and her will work soon. That’s about it.
Describe your experience so far in the music industry.
I’ve been blessed so far. The industry isn’t that bad as people paint it to be. No industry is perfect. I’m just blessed to be a part of it, especially the Afrobeats music scene. I’m glad that my music is penetrating hearts. That’s all that matters to me.
Are you romantically involved in a relationship?
*Laughs*, TOOO SEXY 4 LUV remember?
How do you uplift yourself mentally and spiritually?
– I drink a lot of water.
– I literally live in my head, always meditating.
– I just do things that make me happy, so I’m happy 98% percent of the time.
– When I’m pissed off, I take a deep breath, and walk away. That’s how I control myself from lashing out and causing havoc *laughs*. That’s it.
What impact do you plan to leave on society ?
I want people to be confident in themselves. Find your centre, and stay there. Life’s too short to be stressing over things you can’t change. I want people to believe in their guts, that’s your divine compass.
What are your thoughts on environmental crisis like police brutality and corruption ?
I think it’s really bad, however, I know it’s not alien for humans to be corrupt, and brutal. We are all animals, we all have elements of hate, envy, love, jealousy, despair, etc inside us. Some people just choose to lean towards the hate and wickedness because they don’t know any better. I think a solution would be making people understand that love is better, and can heal any situation. Lastly, I believe corrupt officials, and brutal police officers are misinformed and should be re-educated on the impotence of LOVE. Like the great wizkid said “More love less Ego”.
Who are your mentors?
I don’t really have any mentors. There’s some people I love and respect though. Elon Musk, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Kanye West, Maleek Berry, and myself. I love being me, I don’t think I would trade that for anything or anyone in the world.
What inspires, drives & motivates you?
My confidence in my abilities. With the things I know, and the things I can do, I’m most likely to make it in life *laughs*. It’s just a matter of time. I’m inspired by my self awareness. I’ve placed a bet on myself, and I know I’ll win, I don’t see it happening another way. I mean there’s a 0.3 percent chance that I’ll loose so there’s that *laughs*.
Where do you see yourself in a decade?
In 10 years from now I’ll be 32. At 32 I would have done sooooo much in the music industry, fashion industry, tech industry etc. I have so much plans man. Definitely going to space *laughs*, probably drop a couple Afrobeat albums, Pop album, RnB album, Hip Hop album too maybe. Win a couple Grammys, probably create an award show for young talents and give them their flowers. Sign artists from across the globe, infuse Afrobeats in every genre haha. I can go on and on, my future will be interesting, but I try not to think about it. I’ll figure it out when I get there.
Favorite whip/car ?
I wanna get a Tesla next year, so yeah, I like the idea of electric cars, I also hate buying gas.
Vacay country of choice ?
Hard very hard. I want to go to Ghana, it’s just something about Ghanaians that’s so pure. And I think Ghana jollof is great.
Favorite quote ?
1. “If you don’t know who you are, at least know who you are not”
2. “Your gut feeling is God speaking”
I coined them quotes.
Thank you for participating, Looking forward to seeing you at the next SKRTFest event.