They call him BK GMB and his recent single ‘Keke NAPEP’, upon release caught the attention of Nigerians because of his unique delivery and sense of humour. The talented Cameroonian spoke to ROTIMI IGE about his music, hustles and future plans.
Let’s get to know you a little.
My real name is Blessed Akum, born in Cameroon and also schooled over there. I was a nerd while in school, but the music was always in me.
How did making music start for you?
I started break dancing at the age of 13 and it made me a kind of of a local celeb among students. A year later, I took interest in rap music so, I joined a group of three called Crazibilities and I went by the name Zzedbility alongside Shagybility and Flintsbility, my band mates. We were the “Bility brothers” (laughs).
How did you groom your self?
I’m very hard working, I listen to people who are better than I am, people who got in the business before I did and I read a lot basically that’s how I groomed my skills.
Major challenges while grooming yourself?
Challenges while grooming was kind of the same with other artistes, like not much encouragement from parents, no sponsors and low funds to execute studio sessions and all that. It was hard but I was passionate. Gaining acceptance in this line of business is the main thing but I know I’m good at what I do and I guarantee that if anyone listens to me or watches me perform for the first time, I’ll make an impression you just might not forget in a hurry. Thus, acceptance is slow, but steady.
Musical inspirations while growing up?
I’m inspired by the likes of Jay Z, Young Jeezy, Immortal Tech, Haha Loco etc. In fact, some strange set of people that most rappers nowadays have not heard about.
What kind of music do you do?
I do rap music.
Simple, because I love it.
What inspires your rap lyrics?
My lyrics are inspired by the things I see around me, situations or events and most recently, trends. I try as much as possible to bring my lyrics closer to the people so they can somehow relate to it.
How has it been gaining acceptance as a rapper?
It has not been easy gaining acceptance as a rapper because afro beat is the happening thing in Africa but we, as rappers, try as much as possible to ‘Africanise’ the art by use of local languages, beats and percussions to convey our messages in the rap songs. So far, that seems to be working.
Tell us about some of your singles.
Okay, I did ‘Blackberry’, which gained some acceptance in 2010 and also ‘O n da mi Lorun’.
After that, I put out a couple of other singles that didn’t do too well as I deviated from the rap genre, but ‘Loosing my mind’ featuring Pippy GMB was a huge success online and recorded 20,000 hits.
Your single, ‘Keke Napep’, took Nigeria by storm. What was the inspiration behind it?
Keke Napep… that’s a funny one. I had listened to Ace Hood’s ‘Bugatti’ and thought, ‘nice, I can rap to this pattern but waking up in a Bugatti in Africa was not realistic, so I decided to switch it with a common means of transport that everyone knows and is cheap enough for the everyday man to use.
That’s how ‘Keke Napep’ came to life. It has gotten a lot of attention and doors are beginning to open for me.
What plans do you have for next year?
I plan to put out the visuals for ‘Keke Napep’ early next year and a follow up single with a big name in the music industry.
(Laughs). I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet but the title is ‘No wire No Light’. My fans should anticipate it.
Any plans for an album?
Well, for now, an album is not feasible but I’m hoping real soon that when the ‘Bk GMB’ brand gains more acceptance, maybe nationwide, I will start making plans for an album.
How do you relax?
I watch movies a lot, that’s how I relax.
Playing Basket ball is maybe the only hobby, well I hope to add more so, I’m open to suggestions.