Kehinde Oladele Arifayan, also known by his stage name KEYBONE, is a Nigerian independent rap and hip-hop artist whose music journey started at a tender age from writing poems and growing under the influence of a vast wealth of African beats, rhythm and soul music. Being born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Keybone's music style and interests developed into conscious music. His debut album, Going Pro Volume 1, was written and recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa. Singles off the album have enjoyed airplay on radio since its release.
It is nice being in touch with you, Keybone. I'm curious, could you tell us the meaning behind the stage name 'Keybone'?
Keybone is my rebirth name, similar to that which others call themselves after a change in religion, faith or beliefs. If time permits you to dissect my name, its essentials will marvel you that I am the key and bone. These two elements are vital in lots of ways beyond explanations. It's a name I got accustomed to before the millennium and that which will be a household name in due time.
Let us talk about your debut album, 'Going Pro Vol. 1'. We learned it was written and recorded in Johannesburg. What's the story behind the album in relation with the location of its birth
As a new artist, people often refer to us as underground, locals or amateurs for whatever reasons best known to them as it helps to class or describe where we are. Going Pro, Volume1 is my first pass into a new phase of greatness. It's safe to say Nigerian and South African hip-hop artistes are doing a lot to develop the rap music culture and as at the time of the recording, I was residing in Johannesburg, where I was inspired by the people, city and everything around me to write these songs. To avoid a fabricated success, it is very important to grow with time, build up on a solid foundation and let the work speak volumes.
I make music for the matured minds who care about lyrical content and substance.
A few weeks ago, UbuntuFM did a well-received 'artist focus' on you. Your brand won for itself a sizeable number of audience and of course, fans. What are your new audience to expect from your newly-released album?
My album is aimed at developing an everlasting relationship with my followers and providing quality music that will enable us grow old together. I make music for the matured minds who care about lyrical content and substance. My album; Going Pro, Vol. 1 is enriched with good music and it speaks to a wide range of audience with different taste and variation in style.
There's this school of thought that holds onto the notion that hip-hop music currently coming from Nigeria is successful only as much as beat making is concerned. They are convinced that lyrics and content of Nigerian hip-hop is mostly very shallow. What's your take on this?
Sincerely, the notion that Nigerian hip-hop is strictly based on fairly good beats and shallow lyrics is true. The number one songs and artistes can't rely on big booty songs all the time and expect a miracle in regard to sales, growth, relevance and all. It has been rumored that Nigerian hip-hop is dying and I understand why there is so much panic and confusion when it is being said. The genre is saturated with such type of songs and it gives room to such notions.
I am at the genesis of my music career and patiently await great things to unfold.
Besides entertainment, are we to expect that your music champions any causes?
As it stands, I am at the genesis of my music career and patiently await great things to unfold and as it progresses, when the good news breaks, you will surely be notified. I have interests in a lot of ventures and will surely tick them off my list before this earth passes away.
About the music industry, how do you relate the Nigerian music industry with that of the rest of Africa especially as it concerns sales, distribution and promotion?
Nigerian music industry isn't doing very well with regards to sales and distribution, but South Africa seems to be doing the most because I learnt of their sales certifications. The distribution and promotion channels are there, but African artists are yet to tap into, explore, or at least make the best use of it.
Before recording music, I was into poetry and gaming. For now, my music is all I have to share.
I believe your fans will want to know something private about 'Keybone'. Anything to share?
In my private life, I keep to myself. Before recording music, I was into poetry and gaming. For now, my music is all I have to share.
What are we to expect from you in the near future? Any projects currently in the works?
There is going to be a sophomore album titled; Going Pro, Vol. 2 and I am currently in Lagos, Nigeria, working on it. When the record is done and ready to go, you will surely be notified.
Thank you, Keybone. I did enjoy your rap most especially. It's been a pleasant experience being in touch. We hope to see you more often.
Thank you so much.