Kiddominant is one of the most successful crossover entertainment personalities in Africa, wearing many caps as music producer/artiste/DJ/label owner. Having worked with the biggest names in the music business, from Chris Brown, Davido, Cardi B, A.K.A, to mention a few, Kiddominant’s hits are some of the biggest songs out of Africa. ROTIMI IGE caught up with him recently and presents their online interaction.
How did you come about the name, Kiddominant?
When I was a young child in school, I used to make cartoon characters and Kiddominant was one of them. He was actually the strongest, like a hero. So, when I was trying to become a producer and an artiste, I was thinking of what name to use and that was like the first name that came to me, and I stuck with it.
What challenges did you face on your journey?
Most of the challenges came in the early stages of my career. I was a kid trying to learn production and staying in Nigeria, I didn’t really have access to the internet. I had to always tap from my neighbour’s internet connection. Also, there was an absence of role models at the time, I didn’t have mentors and I had to learn everything myself, which had its own advantages to some extent but it was quite challenging.
You are a DJ, producer, label owner among other things… How easy is it juggling all these projects?
It’s not easy, to be honest; but I feel like when you have passion and drive, everything just comes together. You just focus on the end goal and that’s what happens with juggling all those responsibilities for me, I focus on the end goal and I don’t think about it as work – I think about it as just having fun.
Have you ever felt like dropping the baton or frustrated by the industry?
Yes, once. I think that was like two years ago when I was nominated for Producer of the Year at the SoundCity Awards. It was very frustrating to see that after putting in so much work, I didn’t win that award. At that point, I felt like I was done with all of it, but I kept my mind strong, my focus tight and we kept it moving.
Critics say Nigerian artistes rely more on beats than writing reasonable lyrics. Do you share this same opinion?
Everywhere in the world, artistes depend on the beat. It’s not just in Nigeria. For Nigeria though, the lyrics don’t have to be so technical; just simple and entertaining enough for any listener to enjoy it. A lot of people think you have to write lyrics from a dictionary to be a great artiste. No. The most important thing about being a musician and an artiste is entertaining your audience.
Which artiste has been the easiest to work with?
There’s a bunch of them; I can’t just say one person. I’ve worked with a lot of artistes that were very easy to work with. Davido of course, Bas – J.Cole’s an artiste that I’ve worked with – he was very easy to work with. Cardi B was also very easy to work with. Summer Walker too – literally everybody who is a professional in this game. They understand the importance of making a conducive and convenient environment when working. So, shoutout to everyone I’ve worked with.
Rate the Nigerian music industry at the moment.
I think we’re on our way there. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the way. We’re growing slowly, gradually but we’re gonna get there. I just feel like we need to work on our structure, especially when it comes to royalties and publishing. And then again for producers and songwriters, artistes back home need to treat them better. Those are some of the things we need to work on. Also, our government needs to get involved in the royalty side of things; put laws in place that will make people that create music earn from what they create. A lot of producers don’t get royalties in Nigeria, and that’s bad.
If you had the power to change or put anything right, what would it be?
I’d definitely change our leaders in Nigeria. I feel like leadership is one of our biggest problems in Nigeria and a lot of our leaders don’t care about the people. I think if we have good leaders, Nigeria has the capability of being the greatest country in the whole world. We have what it takes but our leaders are not doing right at all.
What other projects should fans expect from you?
My plan was to drop three projects this year. Coronavirus delayed things, but of course, my fans now are experiencing my South Afrobeats project, which is a blend of South African sounds and Afrobeats and is also a genre that I just created. I’m also working on an Afrobeats project and an international project so you all should wait for that.
How has Covid-19 affected your work?
From the social media standpoint, it actually helped me grow my following which is like the silver lining in all of this. But in other aspects of life, I’ve actually been in the house for about four months now, and that’s crazy. I just feel like we can’t get things done; we can’t really be active and that’s messed up. But creatively, I’ve been really active, creating music, working on new songs and that’s like another silver lining to this.
How do you relax?
When I’m not making music? I just listen to music, play FIFA. I play a lot of games: FIFA, Call of Duty, 2K NBA… All of that. Sometimes, I like to just create art; I draw and paint, I watch movies. That’s what I do to relax.
If you were not Kiddominant, what career would you have chosen?
I probably would have been a footballer. I play soccer, I’m a supporting striker, so I play a lot of football. I definitely would have been a footballer if I wasn’t doing music.
Tell us a bit about your fashion sense…
I like urban, I like street wears. I like a blend of class with the street in my fashion. I like to mix stuff up. I like Italian designers most. I think they’re the best.
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