Oyindo Nkemjika, popularly known as Ketchup, has always known that his entertainment business would not be restricted to music. This explains his new interest in acting. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, the talented musician speaks about what has been keeping him busy, apart from music.
You have been active on social media updating your fans about your new interest lately. What exactly have you been doing before now?
I have been busy doing music for sometime. I am working my head off and making sure I keep my sound distinct and my videos cool. I have close to nine videos out so far, and I am also working on my first album. It is going to be filled with good vibes.
Recently, I released a new single and video entitled: Baby Oh featuring Davido. I just concluded a media tour of America. We visited different states in promoting my music. The outgone year did not go without winning an award at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) where I won Dance Hall Artiste of the Year. Currently, I am putting finishing touches to my upcoming video entitled: Good Loving and I have also engaged in some works with other artistes in Nigeria and abroad. Most importantly, Ketchup is looking forward to go into acting this year. Aside all these, I have commenced plans to give back to the society as part of my special way to mark the Valentine’s Day with my fans. I will be having a Valentine’s Day give away in conjunction with Pattaya Restaurant in the season of love.
I don’t want to restrict myself to music; I want to diversify into other things. If you have seen some of my videos, you would notice that I love to introduce some acting dimension. I think it will be ideal if I take it up fully. I am available to any movie producer willing to put me in a cast. I know I will do well, because I think I have what it takes, aside the fact that I am a very funny person. Nonetheless, I am not dumping music for acting; the two can go side by side. But music remains my first love. Music is my passion. Music is my way to give back to the world the blessings God has given me.
What do you do aside music and acting?
I have never had a dull moment in my life, because I feel I have to have something doing at a point in time. That’s the way I was brought up. I thank God that it is working for me. I always I engage myself in something reasonable if I am not singing or acting. I work with a record label (company), 606 Music. It has various divisions such as record label, real estate company and auto dealership. So, I try to do a little business with the company.
How did you discover your love for music?
I used to be a dancer before I started singing. Within a couple of years, I discovered I could sing half the songs on the airwaves at that time. This was as far back as my secondary school days. Gradually, I started remaking people’s songs in my head and at a point, I found myself working as a hypeman in a club, where I was surrounded by music almost every night. When it got to the time to hit the studio, it all just came naturally. I thank God for everything and the success I have recorded through music. At present, I have about 15 songs to my credit and a lot that are yet to be released.
How would you rate the acceptance of your last video?
It is gradually growing on the world scene and that is what the Ketchup sound does. I’m glad that the world is accepting my style of music and I’m happy about the response I am getting. This is one of the things that gave me the courage to step up my game with another video that will hit the music scene.
Some people described your accident during your last birthday as public stunt, how will you react to this?
I have made up my mind not to remember that experience again, but I thank God that I am not a forgotten soul by now. Yes, the incident occurred on my birthday. I went fly boarding with my friends and had an unfortunate accident. I am glad all that is past now and I am grateful to God for the gift of life. I have left that behind me.
You have engaged in a number of collaborations with some of your colleagues in the industry. What was the experience like?
I think the experience has been good and it is even good for the overall benefit of everybody. It is good to be interested in the progress of everyone; we are young and we are positive- minded. I did a collaboration of the remix of my song Show Me Yuh Rozay. It was a combination of Olamide, Phyno and Emmyace and me; the experience was a good vibe. We all felt the song was one of the biggest songs in Nigeria at the time and then being my friends, they decided we should have a remix. I am also happy the world showed love to the tune.
You have been in the industry for some time now.Do you think you are doing enough?
Well, to start with, nobody on earth ever feels they are doing enough. The more we get, the more we want. So, I believe that there is so much more to be done at every level I attain in life. That is why I keep putting in my best to whatever I lay my hands upon.
How would you describe the level you have attained in the industry?
I am not in the best position to classify myself in the industry; my fans can do justice to that. But I like to look at myself as a fast-rising entertainer and I think this is the best way to go. I thank God for the level of struggle and I am not relenting to get to the top of my game.
Your relationship with your South African and Nigerian girlfriends is portraying you as a play boy. How would you react to this?
To me, love is a beautiful thing and controversies are inevitable in my line of work. It is okay when people have different views of our personal lives in the public. I see no reason a man can’t love who he feels like without people having to get sentimental about it or digging into his personal life when clearly there is nothing to dig. Well, all that is in the past now. I am all about my career and being a better man. Though building a career as an entertainer takes a lot of focus and determination, it doesn’t stop me from being in a relationship or falling in love. Meanwhile, I do want to settle down, hopefully soon with that right someone. But for now, I am giving my best to be a better man for her.
What do you think people don’t know about Ketchup?
They don’t know I act, especially voice acting. I draw and paint and do a little bit of directing. I also love to be a normal person. On the other hand, I am not perfect and I am not a good cook.
What makes you stand out from other artistes?
I don’t get carried away by the hype that comes with being famous. I try to balance my personal life with my work. This could be what has kept me ahead in the game, as well as make my sound and style of music unique.
How would you compare the music industry to other countries, especially with your exposure?
To be candid, it is different. I think music is a little more organised and well-structured outside Nigeria. But Nigerian artistes and producers work harder than others over there; I stand to be corrected. I am confident that if we are better equipped in Nigeria with the right structure for our music, we would change the world.
What is the secret behind the name, Ketchup?
It used to be my nick name before I even started music. I got it from being a hype man, because I always stepped in and spiced up any event. There was never a boring moment when I was hyping with DJ Flava back then. I remember the night I was hyping and someone just suggested a name, Ketchup and the girls loved it and that was how it stuck till I started doing music. It was a memorable vibe for me. I love the name and it is working for me. In fact, life as a hype man was fun, full of vibes and the energy was always great every time I held the microphone. But I discovered that God gave me a bigger gift; I was born to entertain people.