With a career only spanning across five years, Nigeria’s award-wining artiste Mr. 2Kay has chart-topping singles including “Bad Girl Special”, “Pray for Me”, and “Belema”, major collaborations and two albums to show. His latest and second: ‘ELEVATED’ is a beautiful body of work that expresses Mr. 2Kay’s growth as an artiste, both vocally and
musically. Mr. 2Kay has in the past scored several hits and collaborations with top Nigerian stars including Flavour,
Iyanya, Timaya, Chindima, Patoranking, Doray, Idahams, Cynthia Morgan and Seyi Shay. Among awards Mr. 2Kay has bagged over the years include Artiste of the year in the Niger Delta for over two years in a row and Best collaboration at Nigerian Entertainment Awards – New York in 2015. The album “ELEVATED’ includes collaborations with top Nigerian acts artistes including Efya, Cynthia Morgan, Harrysong, Idahams and Lil Kesh. He asserts that his visit to East Africa will present him with his first time opportunity to work with East African acts – something close to his heart. He is in Kenya to promote the new album and his latest single/video – “Banging” a bona fide feel-good track and if you listen you can feel that both Mr. 2Kay and Reekado brought their best
in the studio: the result is an incomparable synergy set to unite music fans from West to East Africa.
Discovered sat down with him to find out a little more about Abinye David Jumbo aka Mr. 2Kay.
Where do draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration was given by God and my day to day life and my environment. I grew up with my mom, who was a petty trader. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon so life wasn’t as rosy. We had to find our way. I went out there to help my mother hawk stuff on the street then come back home with money to put food on the table. While other kids were in school I was doing that for over three years. It affected me psychologically and the only thing that kept me going is music and my love for music. That’s how I found music. I became a friend and a lover.
People in your field that you admire?
Wizkid, Davido, 2Face Idibia and Tiwa Savage. Being in the same industry they have influenced me personally on how they are growing in their music. Looking back they went from nothing to something and if they can get to the point that they are now, I also can do that.
How do you influence the youth of Nigeria?
There is a slum in Nigeria, Potokat called the Waterside, I grew up there. A lot of people believe that if I can make it out of there they can also do the same. I inspire and encourage people through my music. It’s my way of telling people to be strong and courageous and no matter how long it takes there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am my music, it’s my voice, so through that I mentor youth. I talk to them also on my social media platform about staying away from drugs and working hard to reach your goals.
Why did you decide to come to Kenya? (March 2018)
I am doing an East African tour and when you talk music and talk about East Africa you have to come to Kenya. I am super excited to finally come into Kenya as my first stop in launching my brand in East Africa. I’ve been working hard to create content for my fans and it’s time to meet and share with them on a one – on – one basis. I’m here to promote my album ‘Elevated’. You know, moving from one point to another. I feel like I have elevated form all obstacles, rejection, failure, tribalism and life struggles as well. ‘Banging’ is the perfect song to introduce me to my East Africa because it represents all my sounds as an urban contemporary artiste. I want to connect with
my fans so East Africa. While I am here I would love to meet Nameless because he is a legend in the business.
I would also love to work with Sauti Sol, I love their song Melanin.
How did Nigeria get their unique sound?
Nigerians are very consistent with what we do. We are very innovative. We research a lot, listening to different African sounds, bringing them together then come up with our own. The Nigerian sound is very dominating,
we make you like it, force it to you. You hear it the first time and you may not like it, but the next time you will be like, ‘Oh that’s my jam,’ that’s what the Nigerian sound does to you. We don’t stop pushing until we are on top.
Biggest creative challenge?
I don’t have much of a challenge when it comes to creating my music. I work with people who understand the industry and everything about it. So to be honest, I don’t face any challenges when it comes to creating.
How do you manage to stay on top?
Consistency is important, doing your research trying to know what’s new, and staying updated. It’s the same as your I Phone the way you always update it, it’s the same way with your craft. You have to keep upgrading yourself, because if you don’t people will forget about you. People like new thing, think ahead of time, and plan ahead of time.
How do you deal with public criticism?
You have to be strong, God and prayer helps in that area. Staying focused as well. Critic are out there to help you build work better and to grow your talent. Besides there will always be negative comments out there. I don’t like focusing on the haters, I pay attention to the positive comments, people who love me and what I do.
What is your message?
Put God first in everything that you do. Believe in yourself and what you do. Just because it’s not paying up today it may pay up tomorrow. Don’t give up and start jumping from one thing to another. Believe that what you’re doing is going to work out.
What is your favorite song in your album?
God can bless anybody. I talk about myself in that song. Listen to it you’ll understand me more.