Kaycee Richard, a London- based music promoter who is on a quest to conquer the Nigerian music industry through his record label, Kaycee Records
How long have you been promoting artistes and why did you choose to come to Nigeria at this time?
Kaycee Records has been existing in the United Kingdom for the past 15 years. I have produced young talents in the U.K. since then. I also have a branch in America. The reason for this branch is to code our works. I mean, so that our productions would not be duplicated easily. I run a club in London also and I discovered that Nigerian music has not exceeded some boundaries. When you go to some western clubs in the same London, you’ll notice that our music is not being played as they play Jamaican music, for instance. So, I decided to come back to the country to see what I can do to help with music. We have young talented artistes in this country that nobody supports. Kaycee Records stands for these type of artistes. I have about seven artistes that I am bringing up here. I have never met them before I sponsored their music and now I am shooting their videos as I want to take them to where they want to go in the industry.
How much of the Nigerian music scene do you understand?
Like I said before, I run a Nigerian club in England so what I do is all-Nigerian. I am the master of music promotion in England as far as Nigerian music is concerned. Before an album is released, I know about it and all the Nigerian artistes that comes to England to perform, I contribute to such endeavours. So now, I am coming back home for those whose voices have not been heard. That is what I came here for.
Now, what other thing do you do?
I take entertainment to all the clubs in England. I am not very stationary. If I come to your club what I am there to do is to promote Nigerian acts. If you accept that, I’ll make it happen. What I am doing now is promote highlife which nobody really knows in England. And by so doing I take Nigerian music beyond the boundaries.
Many would rather say that you are here to tap from the success the industry is witnessing.
If it’s about the money I wouldn’t be here. I believe I am very comfortable over there. What I am doing is reaching out to the young ones who nobody listens to because they haven’t got the right people to sponsor them. I want people to follow me on this journey. Listen to young artistes and you’ll be surprised. You don’t have to go to college to be who you want to be. Somebody can assist you to achieve greatness and that’s what Kaycee Records is here to do. No matter what it takes us we are here to make it happen.
But everything you are doing now comes with a cost. So tell me, how much are you putting into this project to “make it happen.”?
Very good question. Before you talk about money, you have to see what you are walking towards. Entertainment is not money first but pleasure first. If you like what you are doing then money comes. I told all the artistes with me that Kaycee Records is not willing to sign any contract with them. What we are doing is that we move together. I have met a lot of artistes who signed contracts with labels for between one and five million naira and today they come to me to ask for money to eat. This is not what we are here for. We are here to embark on a journey. I will get the artistes shows and make sure what is theirs is theirs and what is mine is mine.
What are your plans to combat piracy?
Like I said earlier, we have a branch in America represented by Six Gold Incorporation. They are experts in technology. Before I embarked on this journey, I knew what we are going to face. So we have made sure that every lay man on the street cannot duplicate our works. Some people may try, but we have experts in America to make sure they don’t succeed.
Tell me about your artistes?
To be honest with you, I have about five artistes from Owerri and four from Lagos. I just listened to their C.Ds in London. I know what the people want. Entertainment is about having the artwork, the performance and the voice. If you are a good singer and you are not giving me the stage work, I don’t think you are doing the right thing. Kaycee Records wants to take you to the extreme. I want my artistes to be able to compete with artistes like Usher.
You talked about Highlife the other time. Are you only taking young highlife musicians?
Oh no! no matter what you do from Bongo, hip-hop, fuji to R n B, Akpala, et cetera. Give everybody a chance that is what we are doing. I am meeting with the biggest Bongo musicians from Owerri. I told them that we could electrify the music a bit so that it would be danceable.
Given the terrain here in Nigeria, how far do you think you can go?
Like I told you, I have been in this industry for 15 years. When I decided to embark on this journey, I said I was going to take it to the top. As long as music lives, this industry will live. I can portray music to any sound I want it to.
Do you have any established star in your label?
Interesting. Well, as I am talking to you, I may not want to mention names but I have some established stars who may not have any hits again but I have asked them to come with me. They can still make hits tomorrow. We can work together in other areas also. In England, I am working with Kings Brown who is currently making waves in England. When I return to London, we would be shooting his video.
Where are you from in Nigeria?
I am from Oguta in Imo state. Charly Boy Clem Ohaneze and Dr. Alban are my cousins. I guess we are all in entertainment because that’s what we grew up with. When we take this industry, we take it to the highest.
Really, is there any difference between how artistes are managed abroad and here?
There really isn’t much difference in artistes management and promotions. It is the same here and there. But Kayee Records is here to avail the youngsters of its wealth of knowledge.
But how would you really rate the Nigerian music industry; why is it that some of the clubs you sell our songs to in Britain don’t always embrace it?
I’ll like to say here that our music is too noisy. We need to slow the pace. We have 150 million people in Nigeria today and you can’t tell me that its all of us that like the noise. Many Nigerians want a Mariah Carey or R. Kelly kind of songs. They want to close their eyes and listen to the lyrics of the songs and enjoy it. So that is also what we are promoting, so that more people can listen to our songs.