Phyno’s new signee, Akanbi Bamidele Brett otherwise known as Cheque, has revealed how the indigenous rapper discovered and signed him to his label. In this interview, he discussed what his brand represents and how he got his stage name.
Your real name is Akanbi Bamidele Brett, where does the name Cheque come from?
Before I started music, I would go to an area where they freestyle and watch the guys go hard for hours, admiring every single rapper or singer that came up to do something nice, so one day I was anxious to see what it felt like to hold a mic and when I did, all that could come out of my mouth was cheque , I said this 15 times, people started laughing, and that’s how the name got stuck to me. Anytime I went back, they would say “that’s the Cheque guy coming”.
What does your brand represents as an artiste?
I am a new school artiste representing unbound diversification and versatility. I fuse all genres of music into Afro, Trap, R&B, hip-hop, and pop. I also focus on lyricism and melody.
When and at what point in your life, did you start taking music seriously?
I started making music seriously in 2015. At this time, I was in the University studying Chemical Engineering.
How were you discovered and signed by Phyno’s Penthauze Records?
In 2017, I had just finished school and I decided to come to Lagos so, through 2017-2018, I was just dropping freestyles on social media. This fateful day, I had dropped one freestyle for Ajigijaga reminisce’s contest and a couple of days later, I got a dm that surprised me. It was from Phyno. The rest, as they say, is history. I wouldn’t say I have challenges, it’s been more like a blessing in disguise for me to be able to absorb all the energy I can into making music.
You just dropped an EP Titled Razor, why Razor? What motivated the choice of songs?
The title of my EP is Razor because my intentions with this Ep is to cut though different genre of music and culture. The choice of songs however, came by just picking one or two from different genres of songs I have. I still have much more in store for the world to enjoy
What have the challenges been so far for you, especially during this pandemic and how have you been overcoming?
The pandemic has disrupted a lot of activities for everyone especially in the entertainment industry.
It has disrupted studio recordings, video shoots, I can’t go out as I want, it’s even affecting music promotions as much can’t be done on the street due to the social distancing rules.
I have been making sure I do all the best I can to get through this stage, I set up a creation corner in my house where I write, record and do what makes me happy, which is music.
How do you think artistes and labels’ issue can be properly addressed to make the industry progressive?
I believe proper communication is key to a good relationship. That way, both parties can understand their goals and stay level headed as they both strive to achieve the agreed upon set goals.
If you had the power to influence a change in the Nigerian music industry, what would it be?
The industry definitely needs more new artistes with great talent. That’s the major change I would love because the Nigerian music industry is a multi-million industry and the more new artistes we have, the greater our chances to take over the world and make our voices heard.
The Nigerian MusicSphere has a lot of young guys making waves, what are you bringing different to the table?
I bring an infinite vibe and mix of different genres. You can’t resist that.
Olamide and Phyno have made a name in the entertainment industry not just in Nigeria but Africa and beyond, what would you like to imbibe from their growth?
The level of consistency when it comes to Olamide and Phyno consistency is both unmatched and admirable. That consistency is what I envision for myself and hope to achieve.