Love Is Chike’s gospel and he has made a name for himself through a concept that is as primordial as time itself. A vast majority of Chike’s songs are heartfelt, tear-jerking, and emotive R&B ballads. Today, he is one of the genre’s beloved singers out of Africa.
Chike stole the hearts of many during the 2020 covid lockdown via his chart-topping debut ‘Boo of the Booless‘ and ever since, he has judiciously conveyed his craft into the nitty gritty of the
African sonic scene, crossing borders through pan-African collaborations and relatable anthems.
In this insightful interview, the award-winning singer and songwriter explains the conceptual motives behind his new music ‘Ego Oyinbo’, amidst other interesting discussions.
What inspires your storytelling?
Most times, true stories. My stories and that of others.
Share your journey as a modern-day artist who blends r&b with indigenous infusions as we have seen in your previous works.
The Journey so far has been wholesome. Growing up I listened to a lot of rhythm and blues music, with Highlife music as well. The Highlife and r&b I grew up listening to involved a lot of storytelling. Of course, as an Igbo boy, Highlife came by default. Both genres involve storytelling techniques and have played a role in my approach toward songwriting.
Your music has a unique ability to evoke deep emotions. How do you infuse your sound with such genuine warmth and heartfelt sincerity?
I sincerely believe that you are what you experience. Over time, I have listened to a lot of artists who are very warm and soft-toned. True artists pick a thing or two from others, there is no self- sufficient artist anywhere and I have been able to follow suit in the path of artists who aim to strike genuine reactions from listeners.
Your latest release “Ego Oyibo” is described as an “ode to old romance.” Can you elaborate on what old romance means to you and how it influences your approach to
To me, old romance doesn’t entail the complexities and characteristics that modern-day romance has normalized. It is simple, unconditional love. If you watched the music video, you might have noticed how we tried to be as precise as possible through detailing. In the video, I and the video director were intentional. We didn’t include flashy things like designer outfits, fast cars, and the like.
It was a simple visual that featured a romantic exchange between a man and a woman, like the good old days. Of Course, this is not to say these material things aren’t good. I am sure you
catch my drift (Laughs).
‘Ego Oyibo’ translates to Foreign Currency. How does this concept tie into the theme of love in your music?
Foreign currency of course does not mean love, even though money is a very important binder. It is just like calling somebody Akwa Ugo. Akwa Ugo in my language means golden egg. I mean, a golden egg doesn’t equate to love but these are just things that symbolize rarity. These days, true Love is hard to find, like foreign currency.
In “Ego Oyibo”, you delve into the significance of meeting a beloved’s parents and paying the bride price. Can you share your thoughts on these timeless customs and their importance in African culture?
I think it is important for every African artist not to lose touch with their customs and traditions because these are the things that differentiate us from the Western world. In the days of our
forefathers, long before Christianity came, Africans were marrying each other and there were traditional rites observed. So I try as much as possible to make sure this precedent and vital part of our being as Africans is celebrated and portrayed through my art.
Do you believe the concept of old romance resonates with your younger audience?
To be honest, I can’t know for sure. The best I can do is stay hopeful that my music leaves an Impact somewhere in their soul.
Love and culture are intertwined in your music. How has your cultural background influenced your perspective on love?
I would say based on where I come from, Igbo ethnic group, there are certain values attached to the culture. Values like commitment and brotherly love are significant in the Igbo culture and over time, they have subconsciously influenced the way I holistically view love.
The term “Ego Oyibo” has a catchy ring to it. Take us through the creative process of coming up with the title and how it captures the essence of the song?
As I said earlier, It’s a beautiful name that resonates well with a lot of people, irrespective of their cultural inclinations. You said it yourself, It has a catchy ring to it. ‘Ego Oyibo’ is a name that is synonymous with beautiful and special women and I wanted to explore it in this song. Where I come from, any woman that Is referred to as Ego Oyinbo is treated as royalty. You know, the kind that you wouldn’t want to see her feet touch the ground because of how flawless
she is and all.
What can we expect from Chike in terms of exploring love and culture through your music? Are there any other specific themes or projects you are excited about for the future?
For now, I am working on new music. When the time is right to roll out a project, I will definitely let my supporters know about it. In terms of exploring other themes, let’s keep our fingers crossed.