Pie Radio Nigeria speaks to Kenny Chalk about his latest EP ‘Kenny Chalk is The Man’ and the story behind it. He discusses how he got into music, the genres he resonates with and what challenges he faces. Kenny also shares with us his favourite track off the EP, which artists he would like to collaborate with, what his greatest fear is and gives a message for his fans.

When did you start making music?

I started making music in my secondary school days and writing songs for my church youth programs. I had a book in which I wrote my songs which I can remember vividly, I titled it ‘Rock and Roll’. Then two of my friends and I in boarding school came up with a music group. We performed our songs during social nights, it was fun. Professionally, I started making music 2014-2015 but I wasn’t Kenny Chalk, I was called ‘K-Snow’. In 2019, I rebranded and the name Kenny Chalk was born to live forever.

What’s the story behind ‘Kenny Chalk is The Man’?

Hmm! The first dream and prayer of every creative (musicians, producers, artists, actors, actresses, etc) is for our names to be recognised by the world and to be celebrated. Naming my first EP ‘Kenny Chalk is The Man’ wasn’t because I didn’t know what else I could use to title the project. But I thought about the essence of the project, which is for the name Kenny Chalk to be recognised by the world.

So I decided with my team that we are going to call this EP my name. If you listen to the project and my previous songs, you will notice I always refer to this project, saying tell me “who is the man”. I want to be heard, hungry for the world to know I’m great at making music. I needed to share with them a part of me. ‘Kenny Chalk is The Man’ EP is for the world to know I’m the next man to join the table of the best musicians in the world. That’s it!

What kind of sound do you produce and what genre do you resonate with?

I’m very careful about answering this question, because I love to resonate with a whole lot of genres but it’s safe to call my genre Afro-fusion. Trust me you are going to hear me produce some music that is not related to Afrobeats or any other Afro genre, but my African language will always be represented in all my songs. So look forward to hearing me jump on hip-hop, rap, blues and many other genres.

As a fast-rising artist in Nigeria, what would you say is your major challenge right now?

The most challenging part is the music business. To be truthful, creating music is easy for me. But the process of creating it and promoting it might be difficult when you are not financially capable. Music is a big investment. You have to pay a producer before you can create, pay someone to engineer it, pay for promotions and marketing and spend a lot on looking good.  Another challenge for me is going out to connect because you have to spend when you are out. But when you don’t have enough, how do you connect? I hope you can relate and understand how this situation is very challenging for every rising artist out there. That’s why a lot of us work hard and pray for someone somewhere to invest in our creativity, dreams and passion.

Who in the industry would you love to make music with and why?

For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of and looked forward to making music with Justin Bieber, Kendrick Jamal, J Cole, Aṣa, Wande Coal, Olamide and Burna Boy. I’m still very much looking forward to that dream and I know it will happen. Aside from them, I’ve also fallen in love with other musicians that I would like to make music with. Including artists such as Niniola, Amaarae, Tems, Simi, Obongjayar, Sarz, Ella Mai, Little Simz and Jorja Smith. I just love their music a lot. I really can’t wait to have all these artists collaborating with me.

What’s your greatest fear?

Just imagining after many years of dreaming and chasing one passion, to then give up to go and look for a job that makes you unhappy. I think I would be forever depressed. It’s either music or nothing for me. But saying and thinking of that alone gives me strength and scares me as well. Aside from that, my other greatest fear is having a broken home when I finally decide to marry the woman of my dreams. 

Which among your current songs do you love the most and why? Is there a story behind it?

‘Kenny Chalk is The Man’ is my latest project and my favourite song off the EP is ‘When’. Why? Because the music was created in a very depressing moment for the world; the pandemic period. When we all had to stay in our houses, missing our friends and lovers. The song is about a lover boy missing his lover, who is far away from him and he really can’t take it anymore. It’s music I relate with personally.

If you were asked to quit music and offered a day job with a monthly take-home of up to a million naira, would you?

A million naira is a whole lot of money to be honest. But I won’t be happy with just having money. If it was the money for me, then I would have been out searching for a job or already working. As I said earlier, my greatest fear is not winning with music, losing and giving up on my passion. So music is my life and I will make a lot with it. Just stay tuned to Kenny Chalk steady.

A word for your fans?

To be honest I don’t know what to say. But the best I can say right now is that although I can’t compel or force anyone to love my music, to those that connect with me musically, we are flying. I will try my best to drop the best of the best of songs. On God.

You can keep up with Kenny Chalk on Instagram where he has been giving more insight into his latest EP.