A popular German philosopher, of the nineteenth century, Friedrich Nietzsche, in one of his famous works, says; without music, life is a mistake. So, if someone should look at his view critically, one would get his point and juxtapose it to what good music does to human’s life. In the same vein, music is life. When listening to good music with powerful lyrics, and melodious tune, one could easily feel the vibration. However, when a musician plays his/her song, there is this interesting message that comes with it; literarily, it maybe the leitmotif. But nowadays, in our contemporary society, we only have few musicians whose music invoke culture and tradition, even with the relevance of mother-tongues to passing a meaningful and well composed vibe; that is based on storytelling. Although, if we look at the music scene, we can see that music is a saturated venture, but startling musicians still give rooms for us to admire music. Assuredly, this is what you will find when you listen to Kendrick AWE’s songs. As an up-and-coming musician, he is eloquent with his style. Also, when one listens to his songs, there is this kind of exhilaration that comes with them because he is indeed a multitalented and multifaceted when scribing his lyrics together for his listeners to understand his poetic-flow. During this interview, he told Babatunde Alaran about his fanaticism to music. And I think you will enjoy it. Kindly take a read!
His music are available on Audiomack
In your single, Big Move, you sang about wishing yourself good things, so can you tell us, the inspiration behind the single?
Hmm. Well, the music is a big song for me; and actually I wrote that song when I was in my low. And it is reflection of how I see myself years to come, if I keep putting the hard-work. So, the music is special to me and the thought is derived from everything I hope to achieve in life— you know, they say hard-work pays, so if I keep hustling, I am certainly sure, that I will attain everything I sang about in the music.
Why the name Kendrick Awe?
First, Awe is my surname and the name Kendrick is actually borrowed from the foremost American rapper, Kendrick Lamar, because I see him as a genius in his craft. So, that is the way I see myself; because I am genius too. Kendrick is his name, but to me, that name is a symbol of brilliance. I purposely took that name because I love it and I love the real bearer of the name as well.
In your tracks, you often use idioms, which are relevant to Yoruba language. Is it because you grow up speaking the language or is there any reason why you put them in your music?
Well, I use idioms; perhaps, because I love listen to elderly people especially from my tribe. I understand the language and I like the language— well, I think my music is not limited to only Yoruba language, because I use English and Pidgin as well. If I understand Igbo, I could. So, whichever language I understand, I want to put it in my music. But specifically, I always want to use Yoruba because I understand the language so well and it is convenient for me to express myself in lyrics. And I believe Yoruba language is accepted all over the world.
What inspires your music, and why do you think carving out a niche for yourself would make people want to listen to your music style?
Well, my music is inspired by my life. My life experience and the events that I see because I have learnt from a lot of people. I tried to use those stories and sometimes I put them in my lyrics; by trying to explain them to my listeners. It has helped me actually because I am a conscious person and I can express myself in music flexibly. Thinking deep also has made me to speak about those events I experience while growing up. Actually, when I started music, I was just doing it for the love and the passion; but then, people around me were like ‘’ oh boy you just have to put the song out ‘’ and I began to share some of my songs with people to listen to them. It was from there that I began to put more energy and vibe into my music; even as limited it could be, but I love the comments from people. I love the acceptance. So, it was from that moment I began to prove myself but this is just the tips of an iceberg.
Why do you choose music?
I do not choose music but I think it chose me. Yeah, I think music chose me and I accepted it.
In your single, Temi Tomi Leru, you mentioned your late mum; can you tell us about her?
My late mum was a wonderful woman. She was a great woman and she was a lover of music. She supported music when she was alive. Even before her death, she knew and understood the love I had for music at my tender age. And during my first studio session, she supported in the finance. So, she was a wonderful woman and a quintessential woman because she gave me the full support to my music career. May her soul rest in peace.
For your single, Excellency, what inspires it? And what does, the music-single means to you?
The song Excellency is for everybody. It is not for me alone. If you listen to the music you would understand that it is for triumph. It is a song of victory. It is a song that explains one’s strength. Growing up you meet people and one way or the other, they shape you to something else, and as a result of that, you become a young guy or lady, who is trying to strive and all that. So, there will be lot of disappointments, heartbreaks, ups-and-downs and you have enemies around you. But at the end of it all, you still come out as a victor. And that is when they see you as the real king that you are. The song explains a lot. I think everybody needs to listen to the song anyways. It is a story of being a victor after facing life’s tribulations. So, it is a special song to me also.
You have been doing music for some years now; and what are those things that have been driving you to do good music?
I think I have no choice than to do good music, because I love listen to good music. So, why won’t I do good music? That is how it works for me. I just love listen to good music and I can make good music too for people to listen to. And at least when I listen to my music, I would be able to compare it with the good music I have always been listening to.
Tell us about your favourite track?
(LOL) I haven’t made my favourite track yet. Although, I hear people say this is their favourite track— saying this one is mine, or that one is mine. I love all my tracks anyways, but I can say this one is the most cherished or the favourite.
You dropped out from school to pursue career in music. So, if you don’t mind, tell us how the journey has been like?
Well, it has been music all true. I love music a lot. It is everything I want. But for school, fine, I have been studying since I dropped out from school. I studied some courses online because education is the key. But all my time have been devoted to music.
If not music what else?
If not music, business. I love business because it helps grow the economy
Who is that artist you feel like having a collaboration with?
Everybody around me knows how much I love BurnaBoy. Right from the days of his mix-tapes to his debut album to his present album; the African Giant. I am immersed with his music a lot and I really love his music and I will love to work with him soon.
While growing up, we know that Arodan literarily means receiving a fictionalized items from someone else.
So, why did you title one of your singles Arodan?
I title the song Arodan because when you listen to the song, you might not easily catch the message; perhaps, because of the idioms. However, a deep Yoruba person would understand that it is being upright as the king you truly are. A king can never be placed as a slave. The song explains that you are not a fool. That you can’t be directed wrongly, and you know what you are doing by ruling your own world.
Who is that music producer you wish to work with?
I love to work with Pheelz. I love him
It is because he has been holding it down with an invigorating spirit in his career. And secondly, Pheelz is very intelligent and smart with his sound. He knows how to work with artist and he knows what artist wants and he is versatile. So, I love his versatility.
What can you say about the Nigerian music industry for up-and-coming artist like you?
The Nigerian music industry is a beautiful industry actually. And what I can say is that we all need to be patient as an up-and-coming, by understating ourselves and know what we really stand for. We should hold our ground and be kings in our lane. Also, we also need to watch out for snakes in the industry and be prayerful because God is the answer. Lastly, we all young and promising artists need to keep working and grinding consistently. And I believe one day, we will all get there and for me, I am not stopping anytime soon. (Na to die dere.. oo) LOL!
Thank you for having this chit-chat with me
You are welcome, OG! I appreciate.