Saturday, November 21, 2015

'I've Been Compared To Asa a Thousand Times': Asikey Bares All In Exclusive Interview

She has got one of the most powerful voices in the country. She is young and audacious. I recently caught up with amazing singer, songwriter and guitarist, Asikey for a quick chat which ended up to be a fun-filled one.
She spoke about the challenges she has faced, her secret powers and everything music. Welcome to Asikey's world

Who is Asikey?
Hmmm. Asikey is a 20 year old singer, song writer, acoustic guitarist and maverick.

Being quite young, at what age did you decide to pursue a career in music?
I think I was 18. Yeah, 18

How did your romance with the guitar kick off?
(Laughs) Very funny actually. My younger brother and I bought one together when I was 16 and I took it more seriously.
I learnt the basics in a one-day class with a music teacher and I left off practicing on my own.

Does your spirit get dampened when you realize the number of upcoming music artistes in the country struggling to be heard?
Seriously, I don't know how I feel when I think of it (laughs). But it certainly doesn't bother me.

Why exactly have you chosen music as a profession? What do you hope to achieve by doing music?
What I hope to achieve is the joy of doing music and I am already enjoying that.

Just for the joy? So, is it safe to say you only make the kind of music you enjoy?
I'm not talking about enjoying the sound as much as I am talking about enjoying the fact that I'm doing something that's a part of me; something to express myself.

Asikey is a very catchy name. What does 'Asikey' mean?
Asikey is short form for my name Asikiya. It is what close friends and family have always called me since I was born. Nobody calls me Asikiya except you are being formal.

What does Asikiya mean?
Oh okay. Asikiya means "I don't reject it" in Kalabari language (laughs). The name was given to me because I was the fourth consecutive girl child (laughs). So they decided not to reject me though I was a taboo.

A taboo?
Yeah. They wanted a boy. Not a 4th girl.

You are from Rivers and partly from Adamawa state. You have also lived in a number of states. Which of those states do you have a deep spiritual connection with?
(Laughs) I don't particularly feel connected to any one of the states.

What are some of the states you have lived in?
Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Katsina, Enugu, Rivers

Strange that you don't feel a deep connection with any of the states.
I forget easily. Maybe that's why

Who is your biggest Nigerian music influence?
Hmmm.. Brymo for now.

How did the deal with Pendulum Records come about?
My sister gave one of my songs to the CEO to listen to. He listened and reached out to me.

Wow, just like that?
(Laughs) Yes, just like that. I must tell you though a record deal was something that was long overdue by then according to my plans.

Why do you think it was long overdue?
Cause I wrote down the next 5 years of my life before then and the deal came 3 months late.(Laughs)

You seem to be a soothsayer, when is my next big cheque coming?
(Laughs) That's psycho. You would probably scratch that out. Yours or mine?

(Laughs) I can only predict my own o

How many singles does Asikey currently have and what producers has she worked with?
I have 6 singles. I worked with students like myself back in school; SynX, Kaythur, Spane5

Can you tell us a little about your educational background?
Okay. I schooled everywhere I found myself. Majority of my primary education was in Delta state, secondary in Ogun State and my University Education in University of Nigeria, Nsukka where I studied history and international studies.

Why spend so much time studying history and international studies rather than music?
History is something everyone should know. Music is more restricted. Thats why.
If I didn't study History in School, I probably never would have.

Never would have?
Yes. I studied to know it. Not to get a degree in it or expect a job from it.

What producers do you look forward to working with?
Brymo's producer. Maybe Jesse Jagz. Certainly Cobhams

What's the greatest challenge you face rising through the ranks as a young artiste?
Frustration that came from doubt from time to time and the battle to forge ahead. Never has quitting cross my mind though.

Doubts from?

What has been the biggest turning point in your life? One moment you will never forget
Sometime in 2013. When I decided that I can be and do whatever I wanted. I started setting goals strictly and setting out to achieve them by all means.

What event spurred you on to make that decision?
I began reading help books. A lot of them; self-help books.

Let Us Be. What inspired that song and the beautiful video?
Oh. Thanks. The song was inspired by the obvious differences we have as individuals. Our various eccentricities. Those things you consider unusual in someone else simply because you do not have them as traits or something.

Under what genre of music will you classify your songs and what musician have you been compared to the most?
Okay, Pop and Soul. I've been compared to Asa a thousand times

Does that comparison pile too much pressure on you or is it one you are comfortable with?
It doesn't pile pressure on me. I'm basically indifferent about it.

What's your connection with Taylor Swift?
(Laughs) Okay. Some years ago I was listening to a presenter read out Taylor's biography on air
Before then, I'd already been paying special attention to her, listening and learning her songs
Really, its more like a psychological connection. I can't explain it
She has been my inspiration for many years. I have watched her grow and learned from her strength.

What should we expect next from Asikey?
More songs, collaborations, an album by next year, and definitely plenty of proof to show I'm making tremendous headway.

We wish you all the best.  Any advice to fellow young artistes like yourself?
I just want to let them know that their future is in their hands.

Thanks for your time
Thanks too. I appreciate.

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