WORDS GRACEY MAE - IMAGES COURTESY OF LISTEN UP
Khaid is a fresh new Afro-trap artist who is making waves across Nigeria and the Continent at large. As the leader of the Shleet gang, the youngster was discovered by comedian, director and actor, Sydney Talker, who believed in him and his talent.
It’s always refreshing to meet an artist at the very start of their career. With 2 songs under his belt Khaid opens up to F Word Contributing Music Columnist, Gracey Mae, about his journey so far, handling fame, establishing this fresh genre in his home country and so much more.
Gracey Mae: Hi Khaid. Welcome to F Word. How are you?
Khaid: I'm doing great, how are you?
G.M: I'm good! I'm so excited to meet you. You're the freshest kid on the block. Please teach us how to pronounce your name!
K: It's pronounced “Kay-D”
G.M: How did you get the inspiration for this name? What does it even mean?
K: The name was given to me by my boss but the actual meaning of the name is over taker!
G.M: Every single year, we have a new guy come through that comes to takeover. Last year was Lojay, the year before was Omah Lay. What makes you different from the male artists that are out there right now?
K: I don’t really actually know yet. I’ve not shown the full potential of my sound and everything. The difference is still a little bit shaky for now but with time, you’re going to see the full difference
G.M: It will come! You’re just 17 years old… So when and how did you discover music?
K: I discovered music a very young age. I was 12…13…14. I started music fully around 13 year old but from 12, I was just playing around with it because my dad wanted me to be something else. Not like he was demanding, but he actually wanted me to do something more than music at that time. As of now, me finding my sound and what I want to do is just a blessing for me, and it's something that he approves. So it was around like 13 years I started doing music fully.
G.M: I know all about your freestyle videos and you performing in the streets. Do you remember the first song you ever wrote and what were the lyrics?
K: Yeah, I remember the first song I wrote. It was a rap freestyle. “I wanna swag, swag, swag til the end of my days” [laughs] I can’t remember the ending but I know that’s the starting…
G.M: So how would you describe your current sound in three words?
K: First of all, I will say Afro-trap. Second of all, I will say wonderful. Third of all, I will say new.
G.M: Let’s move to your first single, ‘With You’! It was all over Nigeria. How are you finding fame?
K: Fame… erm… I don’t really know how to explain it. Right now, it’s all about the work and everything so actually, I don't allow that to come to my mind so I definitely can't describe it. I want to feel it first before I can describe; I still feel like I'm just a normal guy.
G.M: I love that you're being humble. When will you know that you've made it?
K: I think it’ll be when anytime I step out, I see like 1000 people just rushing me. Just coming to my side, coming to my direction or anytime, I drop a video and I have a million views in a day… when I host a show and have thousands of fans there…I’ll definitely feed good. It’s kind of hard to bring people out.
G.M: At the moment everything is digital, do you plan to connect with your friends in person anytime soon?
K: Yeah, definitely. First of all, if I have the opportunity, I'm definitely going to go for shows this year. I pray so. Expect something, expect more, expect the unexpected.
G.M: Give me top three dream locations of places you'd like to perform and then top three artists you’d like to collaborate with.
K: First of all, the O2 Arena. I think Calabasas… and definitely Nigeria! Musically, I have a really extended list of features in my head. My features are gonna be a little… I’ll say for my top 3, the first would be Polo G, NBA Youngboy and Made Kuti.
G.M: Very eclectic. You just said that you can't wait for when you've got like a million streams on your YouTube video in a day but your numbers aren't too shabby right now. You achieved over 2 million streams on ‘With You’ in the first couple of weeks. Plus your Instagram jumped from 10k to 182k! What did that feel like?
K: I really felt blessed. That's all I will say. I really felt blessed. I felt like the presence of God in everything we're doing.
G.M: Are you a religious person?
K: Yeah – very, very!
G.M: Which one do you subscribe to?
K: I'm a Christian.
G.M: Me too! Looks like our prayers have been answered because a little birdie told me that you have an EP coming soon. I've been told it's coming in May which is weeks after your latest song, ‘Ski’! Is this true and what else can we look forward to in 2022?
K: Well ‘Ski’ is something new. It’s a new sound we’re trying to build in Nigeria and that's one of the special thing about my second single. It's actually real vibes and everything but for the project, just expect the best from me to you.
G.M: Have you ever been skiing?
K: No, no but I would like to.
G.M: Yeah… I’ve done it, it’s great. It’s just very cold but you should deffo experience it [laughs] What’s your favourite sport?
K: I enjoy school football.
G.M: What team do you support?
G.M: Your favourite player – Messi?
K: Yeah, definitely.
K: I used to want to be like him.
G.M: For us to know more about the latest single and the forthcoming EP, where can we find you online?
K: @khaidxr on everything!
G.M: Finally, what is your favourite F word?
K: Why did you do this to me? [laugh] My favourite F Word would be FUCK!