Define Who You Are. Define Who You Want To Be.
At Grass Fields, we want to explore new African entrepreneurs and artists, which we hope will show a different side to the beauty and the entertainment industries. After all, you never know who’s going to be the next big thing!
Kemi is a unique music artist born and raised in East London. Kemi has had some very unique experiences that brought her to music. She told Grass Fields all about it.
“I believe I have finally chosen a career that defines who I am.
I first realised that I loved music in primary school, back then it was just for fun, I never realised that singing would become my overwhelming passion and hold such a big place in my life.
I am from a Nigerian home so to educate yourself is very important within my culture and family, sure you know how it is! So when I turned 18 I studied psychology at University. I loved the course and the job prospects. But truth be told, I wasn’t content because I wasn’t truly expressing myself.
Something was missing, an element of freedom and I realised that could only come through music. When I sing that’s how I feel. Free.
Fortunately my parents being business owners , understand what it feels like to follow your passion and so they have been very supportive. Their ambitiousness is inspiring to me and I hope to make them proud by achieving my dreams.
So far I have released one E.P ( a mini album) and ive since been performing, going to radio, collaborating with other artists and working on new projects. Currently its mainly a one woman's army, so I handle most if not all areas myself, from shows to online queries, web design etc. Its all exciting but can be demanding too, but I suppose its my overall love for making music and that gives me the determination. As a black artist you do get restricted under certain genres.
In my case some would question whether I was 'soul' enough 'RnB enough, 'Gospel' enough and question my place in other genres like Hip hop and Reggae etc, even to where I'm from, am I Nigerian enough, Urban /Black British enough,. I constantly felt people trying to bracket me into one thing, when in fact I was all of those things and more. I think many black artists face this issue of being boxed.
At that point I believe its important to take control and define yourself and who you want to be through your music, letting it to speak for you.
That mind set has helped me realise I don’t have to pick a side because all my sides make my music unique. I don’t have to define myself to anyone. The moment you try to shape who you are to standards you ignore the other things you are! That is the moment that you become dis enchanted and lack all focus chasing what others what you to be.
The best advice I would give to any black artist is you define yourself. You don’t have to give yourself a cultural label. Yes, I am Nigerian. Yes, I am black. yes, I am an East end girl. But my music is 100% Kemi. Nothing else. I am working on new material and I look forward to sharing it'
An interview with Kemi Sulola