Presh, one half of defunct Pop group KC Presh, is making a comeback after taking a year long break from the music industry. Since he embarked on a solo career, his former music partner KCEE has gone on to achieve massive success as a solo artistes.
In an interview with THE NET, the singer revealed his thoughts on his friend’s success and what he is doing to achieve as a solo artiste.
What were you doing when you left the scene?
I was still doing music and reinventing myself. I did a lot of travelling and toured a lot. Just that it didn’t make the news, but I was still doing music.
Why did you split with KCEE?
When KCEE and I were together, he was taking away my style of music because that wasn’t really me; it was the commercial side of us. But now I have woken up that thing inside of me; the singing, dancing and gingered Presh, all put together. I needed to bring out the other parts of me and it needed a lot of work that was why I went away.
What is your relationship with him now?
It is very normal and cordial. I remember on his birthday, I sent him a birthday message. I still have it on my phone and I can show you. KCEE and I are still brothers and we are both doing music successfully. I am not in competition with him, if I am not happy with him that makes me an enemy of progress. I am so happy for his progress. Even the last AY show, when he was performing, I was dancing. There’s nothing to regret about our decision to go solo. As far as music is concerned, Presh has somewhere to go to and that is where I am heading.
Are you envious of his success?
I don’t think so. I am happy for him and what he has achieved so far. There is no need to be jealous or envious of him. I want him to be successful. This things happening to him is what I want, and I’m sure if you ask him now, he will tell you the same thing. I love KCEE, so there is no need to be envious of his success. I want him to succeed more than this.
Tell us about your new record label deal.
I’m currently signed to EricManny Records and we’ve been like a family. They saw the potential in me and were like, ‘you know what, let’s do this. Presh, you are talented. Let’s hit the world. Let’s show them what you have inside of you.’
It was widely believed that the record label came to rescue you because you were broke, how true was that?
(Laughs) That’s a big lie. Presh was never broke. If I was broke, I would not have travelled for all those trips and tours I told you about. I would not have been in those countries. It is so sad that in Nigeria, once you are not in the limelight, people think you are broke. Even during those trips, I did shows. I deliberately made up my mind at one point that I didn’t want to be making public appearances because I was rebranding and repackaging. I went behind closed doors to get myself ready for the world again.
Now that you are back, how has it been so far?
Having a record label makes it much easier, and aside from a label, I now work with Flytime Management. A lot of people are putting heads together to make this thing different than when it was Presh and KCEE.
When is your next album coming out?
I don’t know. I don’t think I will be releasing an album anytime soon. I don’t have plans of dropping an album any time soon. I don’t think I want to do an album now.
Why is that?
I think it’s the present set up of the music industry in Nigeria. For instance, when you need an album you need to give it all your time and attention. It would restrict your movement and all that. However, when you drop singles, you make progress. Aside that, Nigerian music is dynamic and things change every now and then. For instance, if you are busy in the studio working on a particular album and suddenly other partners disengage, you start all over again.
What stands you out in the industry?
I think, it is my voice and my personality. I am very simple and focused.
Tell us about your personal life. Are you thinking of marriage?
At the moment the only thing I am thinking of is my music. The only thing I am engaged to is my music. For now, I am engaged to music. In fact, I am dating music. For now, what I feel for is my music and nothing else; that is what I am pursing.
A lot of artistes have had ‘love children.’ Are you hiding yours?
No, I don’t have. You can go round to find out but I bet you, there’s nothing for you to find. If I am going to have one, I will let you know. For now, it is music that I want to marry. Maybe when I’m done with music, I might think of other things. But for now, it’s just music and nothing else for me. I love women and relationships, they are dear to me but for now, I have to take permission from them to marry music.
Tell us about how you started music.
I started music when I was very young. I started out from the church to being the music director. I met KCEE and from there we formed the group KCPresh. We grew up in the ghetto street of Ajegunle, Olodi Apapa to be precise. Some people don’t know we are Ajegunle boys, ghetto boys. I was a music director and KCEE a choirmaster. Each time we sang in church, people always appreciated it so we decided to form a group and see if people would appreciate. A year later we formed a group called Sweet Boys in 2000. We were singing gospel, however, when we felt we should go professional, we had to change the name because we had other groups like Plantashun Boiz. In 2001, we started doing some studio work. Shortly after, we met Eedris Abdulkareem who told us about Star Quest and we registered and won and that was how everything started.
Away from the music now, who is Presh?
Presh is a God fearing dude who just loves doing music, having fun and is an easy going person.
Why did you choose to do music?
Like I said earlier, I actually started in the church as a Music Director. It’s just something I can really explain but I guess God mapped it all out.
What are your sources of inspiration?
As a solo artist, I would say my inspiration comes mainly from God, and my mood. I might be feeling so in love at a particular time and just want to write about it. I might be feeling pain about the society and I just write about it. My song writing is from what I am feeling at that particular moment. I grew up listening to a whole lot of artists and I grew up in the church, so every sound I heard had an impact on me in different ways.
Tell us some of the challenges you have faced in this industry?
Every profession comes with its own challenges so it is nothing new. The type of song to write, distribution, getting money from your songs, there are so many. But that can’t stop us from doing music. We will continue to do music.
What was your first song as a solo artiste?
My first song as a solo artiste is ‘O bad’ featuring Ice Prince. Harry Song wrote KCEE’s hit song.
Would you accept help from anybody to write a hit song?
You say help as if songwriters are not being paid. It is a job and they are getting paid for it, so they are not helping. It is standard practice that artistes buy songs from songwriters. If a songwriter comes to me with a song and I like it, I will buy it. But for now, I do my own writing myself and hope it comes out good.
Who are you looking foward to work with now that you are back?
I have worked with a couple of artistes already and I’m hoping to work with more. For now it is not advisable to start naming them because you don’t know the songs that will be released and the ones that will never be released. I am working with new producers and trying out the new things I learnt while I was away.
What do you hope to achieve now that you are back?
I want to be known and remembered for what I will achieve as a solo artiste. I have achieved a lot with my former partner and colleague but now I want to do it alone.
What is your advice for up and coming musicians?
I will always tell any upcoming artiste to try and do it alone. Performing as a group is not an advisable thing to do. Struggle alone and see where it leads you.
Do you regret your partnership with KCEE?
I don’t regret it. I and KCEE had a lot of good times but what I’m saying is that my experience as an artiste that has worked as a group before made me realize that it’s not a good career move. I’m not saying I regretted my time with KCEE.
If given the chance, would you do it again?
Because of the experiences I had, I will say no, I would choose to start a solo career and see where it would take me.