Already tipped to become one of the greatest lyricists of the new age African Hip Hop, Shukid is an artist hailing from Kenya, East Africa. As part of a new movement of artists from ID37 stable, the self proclaimed King of East Africa is out to conquer the music world and anything else on his way. AAA was recently blessed to hear from King Feiz, as he is commonly known, in a detailed interview. Read on
My name is Feisal Khaemba, but most people by now know me as Shukid, or King Feiz. I been raised in different parts of the world so I call the whole world home, but I’m originally a West side cat, hailing from Kakamega County. What up!
I got into the industry because I love music, and it just so happens that other people liked it also when I uploaded my material on the internet. By virtue of people trying to find some of my music and fellow artists wanting to work together, it just happened that I found my way in the industry, though I ain’t in the mainstream light like that.
Quick check, do you play any instruments?
I used to play the drums but I’m a lover of all instruments, especially drums and string instruments.
Statistics show that there are so many artistes in the game right now, what new are you bringing to the table?
I won’t lie that my rapping style is different from everyone else’s, but I can guarantee you that I can compose you a great song. I love emotion but I’m also very young at heart and from this generation so that means that my emotions lead me to being somewhat conscious at times, but my youth leads me to doing a party song every now n then. Also the different thing I’m doing is coming up with my set and my own stable, ID37. I aim at ensuring the people around me are eating from this music thing. We tired of people fronting, talking like they balling when the truth is opposite so we keep our music as real as our lifetime experiences from sunrise to sunset. Watch out for ID37 Africa.
A kernel of truth you just spewed. Moving on, how did you come up with your style?
My style is a collection of my experiences, my thoughts and sounds I create. I got a lot of influence from Nas at a young age, some G Unit, Ludacris and currently Wale, J Cole, Ab Soul, ScHoolboy Q. I like to mix up all my favorite acts and try become their favorite act myself.
They say change is inevitable, how has your music evolved since you began?
My music has evolved a lot in terms of content, flow and musicality. Since I started rapping at the age of 13 to this day I’ve seen a lot more, heard a lot more and experienced just as much so I’ve got a lot more to say now, and I probably have a better way of putting it and making sure the necessary people for that song will get to listen. I wanna be listened to, not just heard of.
Quite an insight. Spot on, what embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?
Lol, well I say the only way to know what’s hot n what’s not is by listening. I have some of the worst music loaded that guides me on what not to do. Either way, tastes also vary so what I may take to be the best might not be other peoples best.
That’s intelligent of you, I must say. Anyway what genre of music can’t you stand to listen to?
I can’t stand dance hall.
Hahaa, i won’t even ask why. How do you view the game right now, especially the scene in Kenya?
The Kenyan game is very young. I wouldn’t say we really have a game just yet because the techniques being applied here are nothing at all like the techniques being applied in other countries. Artists out here are singles artists. When the pressure comes to produce an album for their fans they just put together all songs they have to their name and call it an album. ID37 is trying to curb that though, our artists have mix tapes from which they drop singles, and are also working on albums, while at the same time the artists under our stable still work on projects together, like “QUICK HUNNIT” which is an ID37 collective mixtape and also had some external features like Ace Tha Don, Benady of Flag 42 and Rabsari of 125.
It seems you guys are out to conquer Africa. There are a lot of talks that the entertainment scene is surrounded by dark forces, any comment on that?
LOOL, dark forces my a**. I don’t play that illuminati s**t
Okay, but what do you consider determines who gets to the top?
Quite honestly, I don’t know exactly what determines, but I know for a fact that it’s not skill. It’s either knowing someone, and a little bit of the people associated around the packaging of the product. What I mean is, if you get the right producer for your track, someone that’s already known, and the video director also known, then chances are people might wanna give it a listen, regardless of the quality of the song. If it see’s even a day of media light, even if it’s bad it gets recognition and hype, either way people talk about it and BOOM, it’s household and that artist will get shows off that single song. Some make follow up tracks, but we’ve seen some artists just come n go like that.
Let’s talk about collaborations, many acts seem to be embracing the idea. What’s your view and do you have anyone you would like to work with too?
I love the whole idea of collaborating. I think the game is so young because people only want to collaborate with people they think have made it, so it’s like you can only approach someone of your calibre to do a song. Don’t get me wrong though, that makes perfect sense, the only problem is some people have put them selves in certain bubbles with the notion that they are at a certain persons level, so when someone of their own caliber approaches them they shut it off. I for example, think working with Kus n Tripper would be great, I think me n some of Provokes vocalists would make a great song. I wanna work with Provoke…maybe he doesn’t know it yet but I’m pretty sure soon enough we will work together. I think he’s one of the greatest producers this country has seen. I wanna work with Kimya, Voodooseller, Nikki, Lon Jon, just to name a few. That’s all in country, the list is endless. In Africa generally I’d like to work with the likes of HHP, Tumi, AKA, Khuli Chana, M.anifest…soo many artists. In other genre’s I wanna work with Mtapa who does reggae, I wanna work with even some vernacular artists as long as we can create a good song with great arrangement and musicality. I wanna work with any great artist thats for real and ready so we can make good music.
Of all the performances you’ve done, which one stands out for you?
Performing at Kisima Awards has to be it, because Hiphop made it there for real, aside from the awards. Just to let people know whats up. We had the likes of Kimya, Q, Voodooseller, Kayvo right there on the stage. We performed a second time by popular demand…but then we see where the award went right? I’m not hating, just stating. We all saw.
Have you ever been busted by a fan while doing crazy stuff?
Music aside, do you posses any hidden talents?
Lol, I can sing for real though. I love sports. I play soccer, American Football, basketball and base/soft ball. I’ve also had my hand in modelling. I think I’m a good cook too lol.
I hope ladies have taken notes on the cooking bit. Talking of ladies, would you date a fellow celebrity?
I’d definitely date a fellow celebrity. Not necessarily for their celebrity status but if we link and we relate, we good. Especially since we’d be in the same field I’m guessing we’d understand each other and the nature of life we face this industry.
And which African country do you think has the hottest ladies?
I LOVE KENYAN LADIES. They got the best bodies no doubt. They got ’nuff junk in they trunk.
Ahahaa, they must be so proud right now. Africa is simply amazing, where is your favorite chill spot across the motherland?
I’ve never been to Mombasa (yeah yeah) so that’s definitely an idea. There’s also Namibia, SA, or Morocco n Egypt. Or any country with a lot of interesting culture.
What do you think can help unite Africa?
There’s no formula. It starts with an individual. If we learn to instil the importance of unity right from a young age the better. The older people just have to chose, but they’re already too late. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
What is that single thing you really wish for Africa?
I wish Africa will let me shine hehe. For real though, I wish Africa could wake up and let its potential shine instead oppressing and undermining the artistic ability it has. There’s too much potential in this continent…enough to run the world.
I honestly wish the motherland is reading this, may it actually come true. Finally, what is your ultimate goal at the end of your career?
I want to be a legend and be able to raise my family while I’m at it.
Thank you so much Shukid for your time and sharing your ambitions with Africa. Let’s end this with a shout outs…..
Thanks to God first and foremost. Shout out to you guys for having me, really appreciate y’all. Shout out to the realest set ouchea, ID37 (GnX, Kavex, Faraqumin). Double G’s for life. Shout out to my parents, my family, I love you all. God Bless!