Born in Nigeria, but by way of Florida, King Uche (@1kinguche) is an up and coming artist making a name for himself. The Miami-raised rapper offers up a unique style in his music. This past week, he shared his debut offering titled “Danny Phantom.” It’s a braggadocious record dedicated to all of his fellow Nigerian go-getters. Check out the record below.
Walk me through your childhood, what was it like growing up?
Growing up wasn’t the best experience but I’ve learned to cope through it. I lived in a small village town in Nigeria. When I was about 9, I migrated to Miami, FL to meet my mother. Life in Africa was simple yet complicated. In my infant years, I lost my only brother because our father neglected us, and shortly after that my father abandoned me and my mother for another woman. Some years after, my mom’s brothers helped her move to America to start a new life and I was left back in my Village to be raised by my grandmother.
Where were you born and raised? How would you describe it?
I was born and raised in a small rural Village known by Dikenaifia of Ideato South, Imo. I take a lot of pride in my village life because it made me the humble man that I am today. I don’t remember a lot from my younger years in Africa due to trauma, but I remember feeling free-er than I do here in America. My family didn’t have money, but we had hope and ambition. I lived that life where there wasn’t any electricity so everything depended on lamps and matches. I had to walk miles sometimes to get to school even barefooted somedays. I remember one day I went to one of our local caves with my bucket to get water for my family, fell in, and was almost eaten by a crocodile. I remember the soccer matches we used to have and the soccer balls made up of paper or whatever materials we could find. Things were simple. My two biggest influences were my Grandfather and my Grandmother. Seeing how they lived their lives gave me certain values and I brought these values with me over to America. I definitely received a culture countershock in return. I mean in my first day of school I saw a little kid slap his mom. In my culture, I probably would have been whipped to death in front of my whole family as an example. I never had sneakers in Africa so when I got my first Shaq’s I was so happy until American kids taught me why I shouldn’t be happy lol. Right now, I have a world view approach to life but my ideals and principles still stem from my experiences from my early years.
How did you initially get to music?
I’ve always been into music as far as a listener/consumer. I grew up off traditional religious Afrobeats music where the themes were always about God, endurance, faith, strength, and over-all seeking happiness but with dance and celebratory elements. My grandmother always played worship/faith music around the house because it helped ease the workday and life in general. I didn’t get introduced to hip-hop/rap/R&B music until I came to America and that knowledge grew from my life in school hanging with the homies.
As a child, who were some of your inspirations?
My Grandpa and Grandma. My grandfather was my warrior and passed during my toddler years. He showed me early that a real man takes care of his family. My grandmother is King, Queen, everything else and just passed this year. I got my love, admiration, and respect towards women from her. I was raised on values and principles: always respect your elders, always respect your parents, treat others even better than you want to be treated, treat everyone outside of your house like your brothers and sisters with respect, and overall follow the ways of Christ and seek God’s blessing for everything.
What sets you apart from other artists in your lane?
I have a dream of a world where the new generation of youths worldwide can feel like they belong. A world where they can see their dreams manifest, free of the generational and societal bondage that most youths face. I became a musician in order to connect to my brothers worldwide and present our talents to the world. With a mix of Nigerian and Florida life, I feel like I do have a story to tell and a message to be heard. I’m a man of principle and I feel like I will be bringing a sense of direction that the hip-hop world is missing.
Looking back on your career, what would you say is the most important moment of your life?
This questionnaire that I’m filling out right now because it’s my first and depending on who reads it I may or may not get a new supporter today.
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