An Interview with Music Artist King Uche
King Uche is a Nigerian-American artist who currently lives bicoastal in Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California. His music has a touch of originality and uniqueness from Hip-Hop and Afrobeat sounds of West Africa, mixed with the optimistic taste of life in California. His latest EP entitled, “UCHE MUSA,” deals with real-life events: the reign of Mansa Musa, the Nigerian civil war and the fight of King Uche to survive being born in the ghettos of Nigeria.
All this gave him the inspiration for his music, which the singer wants to make as a sort of spiritual stimulus for all those who lack motivation and impulse. Despite his failures and his past, King Uche’s determination has not waned, and he uses his music to provide comfort and companionship to anyone who listens to him.
With his single and music video, “Drip Like Indomie,” out now, we took some time to hear more from King Uche. Read below to learn more about King Uche, the story behind his latest single, and what’s to come.
Hi King Uche! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
Hi! The name King Uche derives from my Nigerian name Uchechuwku. When I moved to Los Angeles, CA, people started calling me King. I’m guessing due to my demeanor and goals of one day taking over the world! That is how I came to be called, King Uche.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I represent two continents and separate ways of life. I was born and raised in a small village community called, Dikenaifai, in Imo State, Nigeria. I migrated to Miami, FL in 2000, when my mother got remarried, and then after my college years, I moved to Orlando FL. I moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue my entertainment goals.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
In the beginning of my aspirations, my main goal was to become a music manager and an eventual mogul. Living in Miami, FL, and consuming the lifestyle, I noticed sharply how big music, particularly Hip-Hop, affected the community and youths. I had many friends and extended family members who wanted to become famous rappers and musicians. Having the entrepreneurial spirit, I sought to help these individuals to reach their goals by creating my own independent music record label called, “Sufferings and Offerings Music.”
I had a big dream of managing everyone and leading them all towards the path of success, but I sharply learned that just because someone says they want to be something or achieve something, it doesn't always equate to action to get the goals achieved. For instance, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I started to network with producers and studios. When I got comfortable I flew my cousin out, who makes Rap music and always talks about how we wants to blow. I invested my money into him to get studio time and network with the community I was building.
To my disbelieve, he used and abused my generosity and love; contacting producers and doing studio sessions without my notice and expecting me to pay. The final straw was when he told me that he only sees me as family and would rather work with and sign to a non-minority man.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
Most definitely it has! I believe your upbringing shapes everything about a person. I was brought up under a very humble environment that was defined by extreme poverty. My family never had anything handed to them and everything we’ve have ever achieve came from the work of our hands.
I come from a Catholic family with very religious and spiritual doctrines. Living in such desperate conditions, happiness was our wealth. We did not let our disappointments define us — values I learned from my grandparents (R.I.P.)! Living in Africa, I noticed that our music defined our moods and our moods defined our music! We lived in the worst of conditions, but our biggest jewels was always the HOPE of a better day. Hope and faith are the key elements of the Afrobeat music I was raised on. The drums, sounds, and aesthetics kind of materialized those elements of hope, faith, and triumph. This is why Afrobeat music is always upbeat and uplifting. Most of ours lives sucked and only music, God, or money brought Africans peace.
Coming to America and then intertwining with the community here, I noticed many of the same elements of hope, faith, and triumph, but in a much more darker light. I also noticed a new element in the music and that was the hate and degrading elements that’s been machined into the Hip-Hop community. The killers, thugs, and promiscuity. It wasn’t what I was used to in Africa even though those elements still very much existed.
These ideas, beliefs, and upbringing is what makes up my music.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
As stated by Jamsphere: “It should be said up front that King Uche’s “Uche Musa” is a wonderful EP, one that manages to pay deference to the past while still sounding somehow both of-the-moment and futuristic. It delivers a blend of Afrobeat, RnB and Hip-Hop unlike anything else currently available in pop culture. It’s songs are simple yet complex, both in lyrical content and emotion. One could compare King Uche to any number of cultural touch points or contemporaries and not be wrong.”
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
Crazy thing is that, outside of music, I am a Frontline ICU Travel Nurse. I’ve been in the healthcare profession for approx. 8 years now, and I use my personal income to fund my music aspirations. So healthcare, now transitioning into mental health, is my second biggest passion besides music and is what keeps me creative.
To help support my music aspirations, I also created my YouTube channel and have since started creating travel vlogs and content that I’ve spread across my social media platforms. In the past 2 years, I’ve amassed over 800,000 YouTube views and over 500,000 streams on my music across the DSP’s!
Who are some of your main musical influences?
At an early stage, from Africa — Awilo Logomba, Flavor of Africa, Psquare, Tekno, Phyno, Davido, WizKid, Skepta, Shatta Wale, Fela, Burna Boy.
At an early stage, from America — Jay Z, Rick Ross, Birdman, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Diddy, Drake, Young Dolph, Kodak Black, Meek Mill, Lil Boosie.
What are some of your future music career goals?
My rollercoaster ride to success has barely started. I’m trying to enjoy myself and take my time with everything. My EP, “Uche Musa,” is out now and has gained over 400,000 streams.
Last month my artist, “Martins Luv,” released his EP, “Lions Heart,” which has amassed over 300,000 streams in 1 month and was top 10 on the iTunes charts in Nigeria and Boomplay Africa.
Starting in 2022, my second artist, 99Drizzy, will release his own EP, “Just Getting Started.”
My first single ever released was called, “Owu Gini,” which was released in October of 2019. In fact, I only did that 1 song that year, the rest were done in 2020 during the pandemic. 2020 Discography: “Danny Phantom,” “Crash,” “My Lady,” “Type I Like,” “When I Was Broke,” “FLYGERIAN MUSIC (EP).” 2021 Discography: “TYPE I LIKE (EP),” “Money Mitch,” “Take Off.”
Being independent means that you don’t have any big labels backing you. I work for every dime I spend on my music and that on its own, seeing me come from nothing to something and then make something out of nothing is a milestone enough for me. My debut EP, “Flygerian Music” gained 400,000 streams in its first 2 months on Spotify alone!
Now onto your release, “Drip Like Indomie.” What inspired this song?
“Drip Like Indomie” is a single off of my debut EP, “Flygerian Music,” which has amassed over 500,000 streams across all platforms! When I was writing this song, I wanted to create a catchy and vibrant Hip-Hop song with Afrobeat and Grime music elements to it. I’ve been told that I’m a naturally fly, flashy, but also humble dude; therefore, I wanted a song to match.
What is “Drip Like Indomie” about in your own words?
Indomie is the African version of oodles and noodles. American rappers like to associate instant noodles as a sign of poverty. Well in Africa, Indomie is our instant noodle. It fed me as a kid and helped me stay alive during my hungriest moments. So I celebrate its beauty and richness with some cool, fly, flashy tunes. Watch the video, share the video, and go stream my music today!
How did the music video for “Drip Like Indomie” come about?
The music video for “Drip Like indomie” was actually rushed and shot within 3 hours. Having released the original song in 2020, I felt like it was one of my fan favorites and really needed some visual representation. Being an indie artist is hard because you are responsible for the planning, financing, and the execution of everything you do.
I wanted to shoot 4 music videos, so I flew my cousin and videographer from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles to shoot the videos over a 4-day weekend that I had from work. I rented out the apartment complex from one of the homies from LA, put out a Craigslist ad for models and luckily landed a very cool model and muse who starred in the video. Since there were 4 videos to shoot in 4 days, every day was for a specific video.
We started Saturday, where I shot my “Love Go” music video. Having put a lot of thought into my other videos, I was running out of ideas for ’’Drip Like Indomie.” I’m just glad it all came out very good in the end because the morning off I was just regurgitating ideas with my videographer since the only thing we had was a model and a song. Luckily, it all tied in perfectly and we shot a nice piece of content. Definitely was a learning lesson to always stay prepared. PP-PPP: Poor preparation leads to piss poor performance usually, but I’m glad that this video turned out very good and was far from piss poor according to the fans and supporters who watched it.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “Drip Like Indomie?”
My music is meant to motivate my fans and not so much talk about myself. I want to create fly and relatable content for the youth and overall everybody; something that connects to Africa and the diaspora at large.
Listening to my music, I want my fans to feel a sense of jubilation. I want them to know you can feel liberated just being you! I actually just released another jam called, “Liberated,” which talks about this. I tend to put my struggles in my music, so that my listeners know not everything is sweet as it looks. It took a lot of hard work and preparation to get where I am in life. If applied, hard work and preparation can lift mountains and shift the heavens to force the doors to your dreams open.
I always want people listening to my music to know that they have the power to change the circumstances around them. I have a new saying that a hater is someone that chooses to hate on you because they haven't learned how to love you or have been conditioned not to love you or what you represent. Coming to America, I felt like I have never been hated any more in my entire life than when I came to this country and the most hate comes from my own because I choose to be proper, sound proper, and live proper. That’s why my chorus starts with, “haters all over me,” because we live in a world full of hate and envy. I want to use music to turn that hate into love, not just towards me, but for anyone with hate to learn to love those that hate. At the end of my song I mentioned, “I will kill Satan,” because the biggest threat to love is the Devil and his ways.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
To be honest, I just received my blue badge on Facebook last week and sad to say that I see that as my proudest moment. I say this because when I started this journey, everyone I knew pretty much laughed at me and didn't want to take me serious. That blue badge tells the public I am an authenticated persona and public figure. It was a spirit lift because recently I started doubting myself like is anyone actually liking my music. I started doubting if I was wasting my time pursuing this dream and boom out of nowhere I get an email that I’m a verified artist. This just confirmed to me that whatever led Jay-Z, Kanye West, or Drake to the superstar level they are at, I can be led to that same level and even achieve higher than they!
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
My biggest lesson in life is not to put blind trust in people, regardless of your history with them or no matter how much you love them.
My second biggest lesson is that no one can and will ever want to help you get to where you want to get besides YOURSELF so TRUST & BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! FIRST!
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
I am not only an independent recording artist, but I am also the founder of Sufferingsofferings.com, an independent record label and merch company.
I have 2 artists, Martins Luv and99Drizzy, and 1 producer — Genesix-DidIt- on my roster.
Martins Luv just released his debut album last month, which I am currently finishing my promotion on and I’m getting ready for my artist, 99Drizzy’s debut project.
These 2 artists are aspiring talents from my home country of Nigeria that I was introduced to online. They showed promise and dedication unlike the American artists/cousins I tried to sign.
Moving forward, I am only focused on improving my processes, building my American team (I’ve yet to find an engineer to lock in with in America; this is one of my biggest aims to find the perfect engineer to grow with), and breaking records!
Where can we follow you on social media?
Subscribe to my YouTube channels:
King Uche Official: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvlUJQbt72_aV-HFSexs-1Q
Sufferings and Offerings Music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLJcApD4wF46tqmt8QtJHUg
All my links can be found on https://linktr.ee/kinguche.
My official website is https://kinguche.com/.
I can be reached at email@example.com.