Meet the enterprising Koel, who is a student, has a business and makes great music.
Hi, Koel! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
Heyy, I’m doing fine thank you. I’m Koel, pronounced like how you would “Cole/Coal”. I got the alias from the singing bird , The Asian Koel. I’m a new alternative RnB and afro fusion artiste with a beautiful sound. I’m not boasting, I’m just telling you lol. I’ve got a collaboration called ‘Shimmer’ produced by Keziri out and a couple of features with some new artists.
This lockdown has been a blessing to me majorly. I’ve had more time to create and write.
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up (I was 5/6 years old), I showed interest in music and creativity in general and my family always encouraged me in every way possible.
I enjoyed whatever fun moments I shared with my family and times I was in the school and church choir.
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
I got exposed to RnB, American Jazz, Reggae, Fuji, Afro sounds, Gospel, Soul, Makossa Rap and Dancehall through my parents, school and the media. Ultimately, I think my mum’s general love for good music no matter the genre rubbed off on me and I’m glad it did.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
Yes, they eventually did.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I’ve been singing for years but ‘creating music’ only properly started this year. Before now I didn’t have the mind to try music out professionally. Fear of the unknown, lack of confidence amongst other reasons.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
My inspiration for music, well, experiences. Mine or other people’s.
My influences are Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Asa, Tiwa Savage, Sean Paul, Rihanna to name a few.
How would you describe the kind of music you make? What genre?
My genres are alternative RnB and Afro Fusion. You might also hear elements of other genres too.
Sometimes when I listen to certain songs or artistes, I get chills.
I want people to have that when they listen to me. I want them to feel excited, happy, all sorts of positive emotions when my songs come on.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
I could play the keyboard and the saxophone when I was much younger, but I can’t say the same now. Well, it’s something I’d still work on relearning again.
Considering how new I am to music creation, producing and engineering is something I cannot do, yet, but they are part of the plan.
Even though I can’t produce yet, I’m still quite involved, I’d like to think I have a good ear and I know what sounds good and what doesn’t.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
In a scenario where I’m given a beat, most times I imagine contexts, for it then freestyle melodies on it.
From there I build up my lyrics. Most of the time the initial lyrics and melodies I put in, change. That’s a rough idea of my process.
To create I’d like to have a clear head and a good mood. If I absolutely have to create even with a clouded head, I just blank out everything else and get drunk on the beat(s) then create.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
I think I make music majorly for me. I can’t and will not create what I don’t like. But, I also take into consideration what my supporters and audience will like too.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
I haven’t performed my own personal music on stage yet but I have been on stages before now, I felt a mix of anxiety, tension and excitement and thrill then and I’m sure the experience of performing my own music on stage in the nearest future would be more wholesome and emotional for me (in a good way). I can’t wait!
How is support from your family regarding your music?
Nothing has changed, it’s still as strong as ever.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist & producer?
Omo finances o, almost everything with music requires money. There’s nothing better than having your own setup, money for promotion, to keep up with your image/style and these are just a few of the expenses. Abeg e no easy.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
I think I’d want to stay independent for as long as I can till I’m offered a great deal.
There’s a lot to know about the industry and till I know all that I need to and have the experience to match, I don’t intend to sign with just any label.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
One thing I’ve learnt the most is about the need to keep learning, networking, and most importantly, Confidence.
Many artists have distinctive visual brands. What would you say is your fashion style? Do you have a stylist?
I don’t have a stylist but I think my style is very modern and mixes androgynous fashion, feminine style and a bit of African fashion.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
I have no personal released projects yet. But, I plan to release a single soon. For this one, timing and funds are the major influence for the decision to release.
What was the idea behind your upcoming project?
For my upcoming project which will be my first, it’s for my audience and fans to get acquainted with my sound. They’ve heard me on features and a collaboration and loved it I’m sure they’d want to know what I’ll be like on my own track(s).
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
Build a new chariot mehn.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like
The plan is to win a Grammy or two amongst other awards and feats. Establish my name on an international basis. Working with certain international big names and of course plenty money in the bank.
Would you take a 9 to 5 job to supplement your income – do you currently have a job – or do you do music full-time?
I have a side business for income and I’m a freelance writer since I’m still a student. But if I weren’t, I can’t say if I’d take 9 to 5 just yet.
Where can people reach you on all platforms ?
My current handles are:
You can reach me on any of those.