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STAYAROUND.COM > ARTISTS > KEFEE

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Kefee

Label: Blue Pie Productions

Artists Genre: Urban

Kefee is one of the bright shinning stars from Nigeria. She was recently niminated by her fans for the coverted " BEST AFRICAN TRADITIONAL ARTISTE" for Nigeria. Kefee was one of 5 nominess for the Kora award. The nominees included:

CYPRIEN KAGORORA Rwanda
AYUBA Nigeria
JOLIDON LAFIA Benin
RAUL NEGRO Angola
KEFEE Nigeria

Kefee is an MGN Productions, Blue Pie and Perfect Pitch artist and is now available at all leading digital retailers on the planet.

ABOUT THE KORA AWARDS:
Kora was founded in 1994 by Ernest ADJOVI who now serves as Executive Producer . Kora was first broadcast in 1996 to 45 countries, and in 2002 Kora was broadcast in 78 countries. This is the first pan-African music awards which is internationally recognised. The Kora is the first not-sportsman African event broadcast live in Africa, Europe, Asia.Since 2001 Kora event was broadcast in USA and Canada.

ABOUT KEFEE:
By IME OLA and CHARITY NWANKWO
Friday, July 15, 2005 The Sun News - Nigeria

Irikefe Alec Godwin, also known as Kefee, is a happy girl. And she has every reason to be happy. Only recently, she got married to her best friend and producer, Alec Godwin, following which she released a new album, titled Branama 2, last week.

Beaming with smiles, the musician told Daily Sun: “I am the happiest person in the world. I asked God for three things and He has done all for me. I am so grateful.”

Bold and beautiful, this singing talent started singing in the church choir where she later became the head at a very young age, leading the younger and older choristers. Gradually, she discovered that people were always thrilled by her songs. Later she teamed up with her friend Estee to produce an album which did not make much impact. By the time Estee travelled to the United States to pursue a career in Nursing, she went solo. Her solo effort, Branama, released in 2003 was done mostly in her native Urhobo language.

Right inside her husband’s Studios in Ikeja, the singer spoke to Daily Sun about this new album, her marriage to her producer and her plans to go back to school.

Background:
My real names are Irikefe Godwin but my stage name is Kefee. I was born in Sapele, Delta State. My parents are Deacon Andrew and Mrs Rachel Obaseki. I attended Ayomanor Primary School and later Ufuoma Secondary School, both in Sapele. I have a diploma in Public Administration from University of Benin. I am the third child of my parents’ six children: three boys and three girls.

Growing up was fun because my parents showered us with love but I was closer to my dad. He encouraged me more when I was singing in the church choir. Then I was eight years old. In fact, I was singing basically because of him, bearing in mind that he would give me gifts at the end of the day.

I started singing when I was eight years old. And I knew I could sing then but I was singing in the church. I took it professionally when I released an album with Estee in 1999.

When I left the children’s department, I graduated to the adult choir. Then I was 15 years old. When I turned 18, I was made the head of the choir because they said I could teach the three-parts in music. They also loved my confidence as I could stand in front of adults to teach. I was the youngest but I taught people who were older than me. We won all our competitions. Later, the choir which was then known as Temple Life Choir (TLC) released two albums.

I did not decide to go professional or take singing seriously until Estee and I released an album entitled Trip. Estee’s father was the founder of my church, Temple Deliverance Mission and my father was a deacon in that church. So we became friends. When Estee moved over to Benin-City to study Nursing, I also gained admission into the University of Benin to study Public Administration. We decided that since we were together in Benin, we should do something together. With the help of his brother Alec, we went into the studio and recorded our music. The album was well promoted in Delta and Edo States but was not properly hyped in Lagos. We did a bit of hip-hop with some African songs.

My albums
When Estee travelled abroad in early 2002, I decided to go solo because I knew she was not coming back so soon. She is already a nurse with the US Navy. Actually, what I wanted to do then was hip-hop. Right now, I am doing something traditional.When she travelled, it gave me the opportunity.

My kind of music
I play trado-hip-hop music. Everybody likes hip-hop. So, to get attention, I added hip-hop to my traditional music. That is why I featured hip-hop stars like Sound Sultan and Free style in my new album. I did traditional music because that is me and the background I came from.

The name Branama
Branama means show off in Urhobo. And this is because we want to show off what we have in our culture and our own original stuff. Branama has nine tracks and it was released in October 2003. The CD contained songs like Branama, Akpo, Woruno, Let my day begin, Dance floor, OK, among others. It was released on Alec’s Music label.

Why I sing in my language
I sing in my language because that is where I come from. I think, if I don’t sing in my language and then ask someone from another part to come and sing in my language, he may not do it the way I am doing it.

If I don’t sing in my language, I don’t know in what language I should sing. I am very original and secondly, it calls for unity. I wanted to do something that would promote my culture. I wanted to be original.

The Impact
I have made a great impact in the lives of people. Moreover, my costume and everything about me I believe have made an impact. I do not have an identity problem because when people see me, they know it is Kefee. I make my costume with George materials which is what I wear. So, I am doing that to popularise my culture.

Inspiration
I get my inspiration from God. I also get inspired by people’s good works. Sometimes, if I go to a seminar and they say something that makes sense or raise a good topic for discussion, I can be inspired to write songs on it. I also get my inspiration from everything that happens around me and my society.

Why I am in music ?
I am in music because I know I have the talent. But it is one thing to have the talent and another to develop it. I have been in music all my life. I have the gift of singing. When I sing, I make people happy, so why shouldn’t I sing?

As a celebrity !
I really feel good about it because sometimes people do not know my real name, they call me Branama and I will say hello to them. When I go to some places to buy things, some of them who recognise me and love what I am doing would not collect money from me. While in some places, they would want to cheat me. It is normal because if God blesses you, it is good to bless others. I feel happy when I walk in the street and people will start saying, ‘Oh that is Kefee.’ I always like to disguise by not putting on earrings. Even at that, they still recognise me. I feel good about it because it means people love what I am doing.

Challenges for Nigerian Artists:
What I call challenges were those times I had to travel to Port Harcourt to shoot my video clip, pay hotel bills and then come back to Lagos. It was rather stressful. Talking about carrying my demo from one record company to the other, I did not experience that, Alec did the recording for me. He had already started his record label but it was not very big. So by the time he released my album, everyone knew he did a good job. Now, Alec Music is a big label with so many artistes.

Awards
I have won several awards. Some of them, I have not collected. This is because sometimes, some people would call me to say that they are organising awards in Bayelsa, Benin, that I should come. That day, I may have been booked to perform and would not be able to travel there. Those ones, I am yet to receive. But I have collected five awards so far. I got two from TOMA Awards: Best Gospel Album and Traditional Song of the Year 2004. I got another one from Nigerian Entertainment Award as Best Traditional Album 2004. Last year, the Catholic organisation also gave me an award in recognition of my good works and contributions as a youth.

What was the most difficult time 4 U ?
I have not really had a most difficult time but of course, there are challenging moments. It was not a difficult time but I was really embarrassed when I went to a city in Nigeria and some people said: “Look at this artiste that refused to come to our show. The show was well promoted there but the organisers did not invite me, they only used my name to promote the show because they knew I had fans there. I was really really embarrassed because I was not informed about the show and they still went ahead to say that I refused to show up.

What is you happiest moment ?
I have a lot of happiest moments. When I went to Akwa Ibom and Enugu, I was so surprised when I heard them singing Branama because it is a difficult song. Most people choose to sing Woruno because it is more of the do, do, do sound. So, it is easy to sing along. They were singing Branama as if they were Urhobos. I was really thrilled.

Sad moments
Oh! I am a very very happy person but I feel sad when people tell me lies. I don’t like people who make other people feel unimportant.

Aside music
Right now, I am fully into music and I am going to put in all my efforts because I know it will reward me better than any other job.

Role models
There are many of them likeYolanda Adams, Noraine Hills. But back, I liked Christy Essien Igbokwe as a child.

Who is Kefee?
Kefee is a very patient person, very unpredictable, even to myself. Sometimes, I can’t say what I will do next. I do not pretend, I like being myself and I am not a noisy maker.

Costume
I wear what I wear because it makes me feel good and makes me discover who I am. It reminds me of who I am. It is not as if I wear them on a daily basis. I use the George fabric to make them because that is what we use in my area. I also use the horsetail, it is always with me. I use it in place of the handkerchief and it is African.

Marriage
I got married in February 2005 to my best friend Alec Godwin, the Chief Executive Officer of Alec’s Music. Well, you would say I married my producer. We have been together before he even became a producer. We have been very close for a very long time now. He is someone I love and I knew I can stay with.

Showbiz couples’ marriage often crash
Well, mine will not crash. But I think it depends on the person. I can live with anybody, good or bad. I can live with them and not have problems. I think they have problems when they do not understand each other.

Why I married ‘early’
I am 25 years old and is that early? Okay as an artiste I should have waited, but I married someone I love. And I really did not want to lose him to any other lady. It is good to get married because that would make you get focused. I do not think it will affect my career because we have our plans. Married life has been good, it has been fun. I am very happy and I have more control over my life now.

How I met my husband
I met my husband in the church. His father was the founder of Temple Deliverance Mission, Sapele. He was the choir director then. I was 20 years old when we met. Then he was like a big brother to me before he spoke to me about marriage. I was attracted by his humility in church and the way he treats people.


My new album Branama 2
It is a new album and a continuation of Branama. But it is Kefee with friends in the music industry. I have Paul I. K. Dairo, Sunny Neji, Sound Sultan, Rymzo, Pastor Goody Goody, 2 shorts, Free style, Gordons, Recky D, Estee in Branama 2. I invited these friends because I wanted to do something different. I also remixed Woruno which I did with Sunny Neji. The album was released on June 20, 2005 under Alec’s Music label. It is a 16-tracker. It features songs like Kukuruku, the African Woman and Ohoyin, which is my response to the rumour once making the rounds that I was dead.

Aspirations
I look forward to getting an international deal, a very big one. I want to be recognised internationally.







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