Iyke Cele is an actor, model, influencer, dancer, singer, rapper, film producer and film editor who is currently making waves with his latest music video, “Possibility”. He started music at a tender age and began writing his own songs from the year 2005. In this interview, he explains why his music is different and what he aims to achieve with his songs. Excerpt:
Who is Iyke Cele?
I am Celestine Ayanaugwu Ikedi but everyone knows me as Iyke Cele. Music started early for me. Way back then, I used to play the “Eri Ubo” (thumb Piano) and I would sing the lead in a cultural group back home. Fast forward to today, singer/songwriter Iyke Cele is who I turned out to be, doing my own music.
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How is it like venturing into music, did you get support?
Well, yes and no. My father was not very comfortable with me choosing music as he believed that getting an education was the sure way to succeed in life. Sometimes, I would even defy my father and spend time doing music when he expected me to be focusing on school. It was tough sometimes but I guess it paid off in the end. In 2018, I released my first record, ‘Welcome to my World’ and here we are in 2022. I’m still here…still making music.
How much has music contributed to your life?
A lot actually. See, my music is heavily influenced by my life experiences. I find inspiration in things I have experienced directly and indirectly and that is the fuel for my music. Not all experiences have been pleasant but you really don’t get to pick and choose. So, I just find a way to make it all work. But these experiences made me the artist I am today…and the person I am.
Your music is different, can you tell us more about your style?
When I moved to Port Harcourt, I connected with a group of rappers and hip-hop was really where I put a lot of my energy to. 50 Cent was and still is my favourite rapper and, in some way, I tried to model my style parallel to his. Yes, before my time in PH, I was doing a lot of singing, R&B stuff, but the thing about music is that if you are really creative, you can find ways to make good music even in genres that you usually don’t mix with.
So, what’s your style of music now?
My style of music? I call it Hip-hop Rap/Afro pop. And it’s 100 percent original Iyke Cele. I’m going to trademark it soon…before it gets super popular. If you notice, my music is a fusion of Nigerian Pidgin English, Igbo and some English. That is the recipe for my music.
How different is your music from the average Nigerian or African artist?
My music is different. There is no contest. I get a lot of people jump on trends and get lost in the crowd but not me. When my music comes on, you’ll know it’s Iyke Cele.
Do you work with other artists?
I am open to collaborations. It’s a great way to expand the fanbase and also reach out to new fans. And I have been on stage with a lot of well-known artists like J-Martins, Kizz Daniel, Bracket, Olamide, Stone Bowy among others.
When you are not making music, what else do you do?
Well, I love photography and cinematography. I have shot a couple of music videos myself. I’m also really interested in the movie industry in Africa and I feel we have a lot more to offer and I want to be a part of that. So, someday soon, I expect our work to get the international recognition I believe it deserves.
What do you hope to achieve with your music?
I want to influence the world positively with my sounds and contribute to the happiness of people out there with my creativity. Of course, winning awards is not a bad deal. Who doesn’t fancy the awards? But to see people happy and feeling good when an Iyke Cele track comes on? That’s it for me.
Your latest release “Possibility” is really hot right now. Did you anticipate this?
Yeah. And it’s really exciting. The song was released 26th January 2022 and the music video on 14th February 2022. Yes, we timed it for valentine. The song is my gift to lovers all over the world and I kept it upbeat just like how I feel love should be. So far so good, I have gotten nothing but love from the fans and it’s not even a month since the release. I’m really excited for the new year and “Possibility” is just the tip of the iceberg.