Nigerian-born Brazil pop singer, David Ajakaiye, aka Daviskil Kukuruku Boy, is working on promoting his single, Chocolate, around the world. He speaks with Oge Ezeliora about his music, Brazilian girls and his return to Nigeria
Why the stage name, Daviskil aka Kukuruku Boy?
I got that name from high school. I guess because of my swag and the way I dressed. During my high school days, I was very popular. Everybody knew me in school because I loved to look good at all times. Back then, my uniform was like Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It was big and noticeable. In fact, my uniform differentiated me from other students. So, my artistic nature started from high school in Kukuruku Hills of Edo state. I am from Edo state, in a neighbourhood called Kukuruku Hills in Edo state. Kukuruku Hills is in a town called igarra in Akoko Edo.
Can you tell us about your first experience performing before a large crowd?
I still remember my first performance – it was in Brazil. Right there, on the stage, I shed tears while performing. I remembered my struggle in life; I had to kneel down to appreciate God then tears of joy kept rolling down my eyes because it was beyond my expectation. I never believed I would become so famous and people will celebrate me. After my performance that day, I noticed that people were screaming my name – trying to snap photograph with me.
What is your kind of music?
I sing Afrobeat or Afro-pop, but that does not stop me from doing other kinds of music like R and B and rap.
Did you choose Afro-pop for commercial reasons or out of inspiration?
Afro pop is a kind of music that moves people. Back then in school, all my friends were musicians and we always gathered on one spot to sing for the fun of it. Hip-hop music has been popular in Africa especially Nigeria since the early 1980s. Besides, people want to dance to your music not only nod their heads and listen to your songs. I want to do a music that both the young and the old will enjoy. If you do your research properly Nigeria is number one in terms of Afro-pop. We also have good rappers. In fact, we are number one in punch lines, wordplay, metaphors, and our artistes are good at all this.
What is the secret behind your success?
God has been faithful. I bless God for everything. My success story came out of hard work. I was focused and gifted. The voice I have today is not by my own making; the video I shot in Brazil is not by my own making; it’s just God. Now, I am in Nigeria; I have the dynamics that work for me. My songs are unique and anything you ask me to do that is going to add value to life, I’m going to say yes to it. I am not in competition with any artiste because I am different.
Any challenges so far?
Not really, because I was fully prepared for everything. The girls in my Chocolate video were willing to do everything I asked them to do because they were happy shooting with me. I came from a country that sponsors entertainment. There is no struggle basically. Like I said, I started five years ago and everything went as planned. As an international artiste, my music is highly celebrated in Brazil. I came down to Nigeria because this is my fatherland and my root precisely. So far, there has been no challenge. The government over there supported me a lot. I came back to Nigeria and I still get the love and respect from my people. I keep the kind of hairstyle I want; I dress the way I want; I do the things I want; everything is working out well for me. I am proud of my country.
Did you ever imagine you would become famous?
Yes, because I was hard-working. I had a humble background and I invested so much into my music career. I always believe in myself. I knew I would become famous someday. Another thing that motivated me was watching PSquare perform. I love PSquare. They inspire me a lot. One day, after watching them perform, I said to myself, one day I will be like PSquare. That also pushed me forward and I started working towards it; when I came to Nigeria I went to visit PSquare and I learned a lot from them. They are wonderful. They are great. God bless them. We had a wonderful time together. We sang together and I had so much fun with them. Today, people have started inviting me to perform in their shows. I was able to shoot a video, write good songs and perform greatly.
Can you name some of the artistes you have collaborated with since you came back Nigeria?
I am a Brazil-based artiste though a Nigerian. Soon I will collaborate with PSquare or Flavour to produce a new song. For now, I don’t have much relationship with some of the Nigerian artistes because I am not based here.
Do you have any latest song or video as we speak?
Yes, I have a new single, Chocolate. I just finished shooting the video and it is so lovely. People have been watching it on YouTube and the comments have been awesome.
What is unique about ‘Chocolate’?
It was shot in Favela , a city in Brazil. It is something new that the Nigerian market has not seen before. I actually sold chocolates to become a musician. I left Nigeria when I was 15 and relocated to Brazil. For survival, I started selling chocolates on the streets of Brazil till I made it in life. It wasn’t easy at all. I also got inspirations from my humble beginning – that is how that song came. That is the story behind the video. And I got a bunch of successful video vixens in Brazil who are just doing really big for themselves to feature in my video. They are exceptionally beautiful. The environment was full of chocolates. It’s chocolate season, let’s have fun! This I said to the beautiful ladies dancing in the video. Presently, I am the only Nigerian that has shot my kind of music video in Favela city. As a foreigner you need certification to be able to shoot a musical video in Favela city in Brazil because it is a neighbourhood and you might get shot by some Niggers. But I am certified and I have grass roots love and support from Brazilians. The street loves me and the Brazilian government supported me. The part I love so much in the video was where the girls were dancing in a pool, filled with chocolates and two girls were touching their creamy chocolate-filled body and were screaming. Please, go and watch it and enjoy the beautiful video.
Do you have any album?
I have more than an album because I have a studio so I keep recording songs. And I am still in the creation process. Although one is set. It’s titled ‘Son of Cave’ and I have more than eight songs on the album. It will be out shortly. I have so many songs which I wrote and I have yet to release them into the market. It’s one after the other; my next song will also be an Afro beat.
Do you think the Federal Government should ban production of music videos abroad?
Proposing to ban the production of our indigenous films abroad and musical videos will not help issues. Music video outside Nigeria is very cheap. But if you are shooting a musical video in Nigeria you will spend twice the amount you are spending abroad. For example, if you want to shoot a musical video in Brazil, the government will encourage you because they love entertainment. But in Nigeria, you will pay heavily for every location and high quality equipment you are using to shoot your video. Instead of such pronouncements, I expect a mutual partnership with government and all stakeholders in the entertainment industry. There should be an agreement instead of total ban of shooting movie and music videos abroad. Undoubtedly, entertainment is the highest-ranking human resource export from Nigeria. Government should protect their intellectual property and invest in its capacity building. What level of support has government provided to growth of entertainment in terms of protecting creative works? Piracy is still on the high, most of the musicians and producers do not earn what’s obtainable in other parts of the world in terms of technical, social support and general contribution to their well being.
I recommend that instead of putting laws to check the issue of films and musical video produced outside Nigeria, the government should invest in the sector; introduce partnership that will bring about government earning revenues from the services provided through technical equipment, logistic sites, and establishment of a standard film village. More so, soft loans should be provided to aid film production while the ministry of information and culture should engage the artistes and producers to build contents that can significantly profile our image as a country.
The girls in your video dressed almost nude?
Not really; they wore a transparent chocolate outfit and they were so beautiful. Yes, their body was showing but I will not call that nude. They were just attractive that you will want to lick the video.
What was the experience like with the girls while shooting the video?
Hmmm, lovely! I enjoyed every part of the video; from watching the girls flicking their chocolate creamy bodies on me, to dancing with them and showcasing why people rush after chocolate.
How much did you invest in shooting the video?
So much, frankly speaking but I think I need to consult my account officer for full details.
If not music what will you do?
Nothing because music is the only thing I know best how to do. Everything I do in life is music. When I am lonely I write my songs; when I think I memorize my songs. Music is the best thing that has happened to me.
Are you married or single?
I don’t want to expose my private life. The only thing I can tell you is that I have a daughter named ‘Haven’. She means everything to me.
Are you married to your daughter’s mother or she is your baby mama?
(Laughs) She is the mother of my princess.
Tell us about your childhood?
I grew up in a polygamous home. My father married three wives, and he was into transportation while my mother was a businesswoman. Growing up was fun for me. I actually grew up with a hard-working mother and she taught me and my siblings how to be hard-working. I went to high school in Nigeria, and continued my education in Brazil. But I really worked hard to be where I am today.
What are some of the work ethics you live by?
I never look around me or what people are doing in my environment. I try to close my eyes and ears then focus on my music career. I am really lucky that I got to travel a lot and in my travels, I get to see things differently. Anytime, I am writing or producing my songs, I always want to make sure that it is not the same old thing that anybody else has delivered. That is why my songs are unique.
Any plan for the future?
So much to deliver; I am fully in control of my career. I want to be everywhere in Nigeria because I am a Nigerian. My plan is to spread my songs all over the Nigerian market. Like in Brazil, the song ‘Chocolate’ has gone far. I still have so many songs that will be released in this country so people will get to know more about my music and understand me a little bit better. I am set to explore in Nigeria.