Who is Kel?
Kel is a female rapper, I don't know, what else is there to Kel? She raps now, she's just a happy child that likes rapping.
When did you start rapping?
I started back in 1998/99, I used to just flirt with rap a bit but we decided to take it to the next level in 2000 and we've been happy ever since.
So this album has been like nine years in the making; what have those nine years been like?
Well, it's been a journey like any other; ups and downs, happy times, sad times and even frustrated times, like "I don't want to do this anymore", you know, F' rap kind of times. I learnt a lot about myself, about music; about myself and my music, so it was a journey well spent.
Your first connection with the public was on Illbliss' song "You Go Wound O", how did you get on it?
It was [through] my very good friend, Terry Tha Rapman, he introduced me to Clarence Peters who was looking for a female artist to sign onto his label at the time. After a couple of meetings, he put me on the track as a test to see how well I could do, and thank God I didn't disappoint.
Were you confident or nervous going in with an established rapper?
I met him like two days before we did the recording; I got to the studio that morning and it was like, "it's time to record, let's see what you've got." I was really shaky that day. After the recording everybody was impressed. Illbliss told me he was waiting for me to mess up and he would have written my verse for me but I didn't, he was impressed with what I brought to the table
So you write your own songs?
Yes, I do
What were you doing before this break?
I was with a gospel record label Testify Records, I had an album with them and played at a couple of shows, mostly at Unilag, before I struck out on my own with my manager Osagie and started calling in favours from different producers. I had a single on air, "Oh" which I did with Freestyle and featured Niyola on it. I performed at other small shows here and there before I finally got my big break.
What happened to the album?
I have no idea.
What's the feedback on The Investment like?
I've been getting mad reviews, newspaper, magazines and a lot of people have been calling me up saying this album is really nice; I'm tripped.
Is the album everything you wanted it to be?
I'm my own worst critic, so I say I could have done this better; there are still some things I wish I could have changed, but...
Are you still promoting the album or you're back in the studio?
My work never ends, so definitely I go into the studio to record one or two songs so I don't get rusty but I am all about The Investment right now, focusing on pushing the album as far and as wide as possible.
What is it like working with Clarence Peters as a video Director and label CEO?
The same level of commitment he applies to his video directing is the same level he applies too when it comes to his artists and record label. He is very dedicated and passionate about music and he has a good sense of how the industry works. So overall, he is not a bad choice for a first label.
Feeling any pressure being the first artist on Capital Records?
Yeah, a whole lot of pressure. I have to come correct and make it work; it's like I'm setting a standard that I must not go below. I don't even have to maintain it, I have to go higher.
Like many female rappers seem to do these days, do you sing?
I can't sing. I tried to sing on the album on "Sitting on Top" but it's kind of auto-tuned. For serious singing, I can't. I'm tone deaf.
The album had a lot of guest artists, do you think we got enough of Kel?
We got enough of Kel. There are like 18 tracks with an intro and outro and two skits, so there's a whole lot of Kel going on right here.
What's your relationship like with other female rappers?
The few that I talk to are cool, we're not like bosom buddies but when we see we're like "oh what's up, how you doing", those sort of things.
Do you think you get respect for your skills or people just like to look at you?
A lot of people have told me "when I first watched your video I didn't hear what you were saying I was just looking at you", but the thing is, it's something to catch their attention, like "oh this fine girl, let me even hear what she's saying" and they now realize "you can actually rap, sha", So it's all good, whatever attracts them to me as long as the end result is they listen to me and appreciate my music.
Do you see yourself as a sex symbol?
I try not to; I'm just me and I try to keep it humble.
What's in Kel's Future?
I don't want to be greedy and put my hands into too many things, that at the end of the day, I can't handle all of them. So I'm taking everything one step at a time, I just released my first album and I'm doing all that I can to push it as much as I can. If per chance along the road anything comes up that I might be interested in; fine, but I'm not going to go out of my way to pursue something which I'm not 110% sure of.