Out & about: CKay’s purple patch continues

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The self-defined Emo-Afrobeat ace has and continues to soar up charts across the terrestrial planet thanks to his first globally recognised single Love Nwantiti.

By Grant Moyo

From a state-of-the-art data point perspective, the song Emiliana is yet to replicate and outlive the high bar set by Love Nwantiti,  a bona fide international hit that took a rare slow and steady approach to the top — navigating its way across-the-board — charting, hitting over 1 billion career streams and wreaking records worldwide.

Watching him right from the word go rolling up his sleeves comprehensively, battening down the hatches and scaling forth — for Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer CKay — ample focus and determination are certainly at the heart of his continuous acquisition, which is largely influenced by a single-minded vision that shines through his self-penned musical composition.

Along with consolidating persistence and consistency comes a beefed up ‘I’m not stopping at anything until I find it’ life principle, as a routine and habit of maintaining his intensity to win. It might appear like an overnight success story, but CKay, born Chukwuka Ekweani, had to grind for a while to become a high flying star, he is in the ever burgeoning Afro beats and global music scene.

The self-defined Emo-Afrobeat ace has and continues to soar up charts across the terrestrial planet thanks to his first globally recognised single Love Nwantiti.

Prior to the success of his undisputed centrepiece, CKay originally released Love Nwantiti (ah ah ah) back in 2019 as part of his debut EP (extended play) called CKay The First.

With this specific song which was featured on American rapper and record executive Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ Diddy’s Dance-a-Thon Fundraiser at teamlove.com in 2020 — last year in November, the Nigeria-born multi-talented artist rose to number 1 on Billboard‘s Emerging Artists Chart.

Taking Africa to the world, CKay became the top emerging act in the United States.


Love Nwantiti continues to grow from strength to strength in the US hitting multiple radio formats, on its way up to number 1 on the Rhythmic Airplay Charts.

As the most streamed artist of the year in 2021, CKay has continued to create a global presence with accomplishments such as the ‘most Shazamed song in the world’ (the number of times a user pushes the button to identify a song that is playing) on Shazam — an application that can identify music, movies, advertising and television shows, based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device.

Beside being the first African artist with two tracks on the Global Spotify Top 30 Charts simultaneously, CKay became the first African artist in 50 years to hold a top 5 position on the UK Singles Chart for four straight weeks with Love Nwantiti.

Not only has the viral hit been certified platinum and multi-platinum in five countries, including the United States and India, it has also been certified gold in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.

Topping the charts on the bounce, his most recent globally recognised single, Emiliana, that was released last December, has followed suit and racked in global chart positions.

The piece of music which is about a long-distance relationship, spotlighting how CKay misses his better half and is unable to teleport to her at that moment — has already achieved just under 100 million streams since its release.

In January, the latter single climbed fast, set on Top 100 on six Spotify Charts that include the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and France. In the same month on Apple Music globally, Emiliana occupied positions in the Top 100 Songs in 12 markets.

On video sharing platform YouTube, the audio to the track surpassed eight million views in less than two months since its official release — with over two million subscribers following CKay.

Elsewhere Emiliana peaked at number 1 on the UK Afrobeats Chart, position 2 on Shazam Top 200 (Afrobeats), and number 1 in six countries on Apple Music.

Having once more captured the ears of fans — both new and old, on a global scale — CKay latterly presented the official music video for Emiliana, which comes just a month after the release of its acoustic video for the euphony, which has already garnered over a million views on YouTube.

A no stranger to pairing amazing visuals in line with the amazing music he delivers, CKay’s video — shot in Senegal and directed by photographer turned cinematographer Ahmed Mosh — paints a love story between the superstar and his Emiliana.

The flirty and playful visual accompaniment to the song is bound to have his fans swooning over the romance played out.

“It was my first time in Dakar (Senegal) and I had a great time shooting there. The vibes were real and the energy was high. Africa is beautiful and I wanted to show people a piece of that,” CKay said.

While Emiliana has had its fair share of blissful moments in the aftermath of Love Nwantiti’s success, it has to be noted that — as far as simulating the extent at which Love Nwantiti put CKay’s hit-making capacity and fast rising high status under prominence is concerned — Emiliana is overmuch dewy behind the ears.

But if the fresh-cut video for the latter record gets a major reverberating feedback, it will drive loads of positive signs, ultimately causing Emiliana’s prosperity to creep up and to some degree blur the deep-chested line that distinguishes it from Love Nwantiti.

  • Grant Moyo is a prolific writer, innovative media personality, entrepreneur and a creative artist who is passionate about using his creative mind for the betterment of society. Follow him on Twitter: @TotemGrant

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