Unarguably, Fiokee is Afrobeats’ Numero Uno Guitarist. This claim isn’t just for the sake of posterity, but one that needs to be stated when documenting the wave of Afrobeats in this present dispensation. Fiokee through his skill on the strings has contributed to about 70% of hit songs in the African entertainment scene. He has impacted music through renditions for two of the biggest African popstars, Davido and Wizkid.
Powered by #MaxChat, Drummr documents this conversation with Fiokee in which he speaks on his music journey, collaborations and debut album, MAN.
Welcome Fiokee. How’s the weather on your ends this evening?
Fiokee: The weather is really cool, I must tell
There are so many questions in mind to ask you now, but the most pertinent one I have for you is this – how did you grow from being a guitarist to be becoming a mega artiste in the entertainment industry?
My truth is this – I had a master plan and vision. The vision was to use guitar to create an industry where instrumentalist can earn something worthwhile through the value we create. I grew up observing, witnessing and even experiencing not being treated right. It hurts considering how much time we invest into perfecting our craft.
You have worked with almost all the top artistes in the Afrobeats scene. I mean, if you ask anyone to name a top act from Nigeria and they do, the chances are that you have worked with that artist at a certain point in your career – Davido, Wizkid, Flavour, Kizz Daniel, Simi, Teni, Reekado Banks and the list goes on. Who can you say you’ve enjoyed working with the most?
Hahaha… this is an exciting question. My honest truth is that I enjoyed working with all of them because they are all unique and amazing in their own individual ways.
Away from working with others, you have recently released the official video for your hit single ‘Personal‘ which features Bella Shmurda. It is a very addictive tune I must tell. How was the recording process like working with an exciting fresh act as Fine boy Bella?
I reached out to Bella Shmurda about my album project, and he responded positively so I decided to team up with Jaypizzle so we could create a fusion of amapiano and Afrobeats. Bella chop am clean mouth in 45mins.
You’ve released the Album now, your first. What was your inspiration behind the album and its title ‘M.A.N’?
I have contributed in 70% of Afrobeats songs since 2010 till date. I was Dbanj’s Guitarist for 4 years then I joined Flavour in 2014 till date, pursuing my solo career simultaneously. I have served, contributed to, and learnt the music business. This project is just me asserting publicly that I have grown enough to be a MAN.
Just as you’ve said, your guitar sounds have contributed to about 70% of the hit songs in the Nigerian entertainment scene. How have you been able to keep up consistency for this long?
To it’s really just been the Hard work! That’s why you’re here with me now!
Amidst the hardwork and consistency, challenges sometimes pop up. Which can you say has been the hardest/most challenging part in your growth, process and career journey as an artiste?
From my cumulated experiences so far I’d say it was the fact that the industry never payed attention to Instrumentalists (Musicians). It saw us as a minority and that oversight caused it to take me a long time to break into the mainstream market. But now I’m here, and I’m sure as heaven here to stay!
This album features a plethora of top music stars. How long did it take you to put this album together?
It too just 7 months to be put together.
What are your top three favourite tracks from the album?
You would of course expect me to say “all the tracks”
Right! Okay then, can you tell us three exciting facts about you that a lot of people don’t know?
I have never bought alcohol for my personal consumption except for my visitors, I don’t smoke, and I eat swallow (morsels) almost everyday.
Fiokee’s exciting process, calm personality and level-headed determination are enough reasons why you should follow the traces of the instrumentalist’s path as he navigates into channels of creating a template for people just like himself to find their spots within mainstream afrobeats and stay relevant.
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