Challenges propel me to work harder and better, Henry Knight
Henry Buchi Ikeh, popularly known as Henry Knight, is a fast rising Nigerian act, whose multi- talent has made worked with some of Naija entertainment industry heavyweights. Born on May 20 in Lagos, started singing professionally in 2004 with a group called The Knight, which was signed to Dove Entertainment owned by renowned Nigerian producer, Nelson Brown. He left the group in 2008 to start his solo career as ‘Henry Knight’.
His first break came from collaboration with Baba Dee, on a song titled Gum Body (Ye Ma Sa). Soon after, he became popular for his melodious and catchy hooks, and worked with artistes such as Sound Sultan, Ruggedman, W4, and African China among others.
He single Shako released in 2013 was a hit on radio and in clubs all over. He followed strongly with Olopa, Bami Mujo featuring Yung L and Patoranking, and the remix of Olopa, which featured Di’Ja, Yemi Alade and Joe El. His most recent offering, Damilohun, was released on May 20, 2016. Shortly after releasing Damilohun, he scored a record deal with new music label, Matt Westside Records. In this interview with DANIEL ANAZIA, the Computer Science graduate of National Open University of Nigeria, shares his sojourn into the entertainment world, his challenges and future prospects.
How did you come about the name Henry Knight?
I was once in a group called The Knights, we were under Dove Entertainment as a group, so when we split up to pursue solo careers, the name stuck in my Head and Henry is my first name, given to me by my parents. So, when I decided to go solo, I had to take along the act that I was in making the Knights. That’s how
I came about the name.
What genre of music do you play?
I refer to my kind of sound as basically African music, but you can easily classify it as Afro Pop
Your single, Desire, was released recently, what’s the story behind the song?
Shout out to my record label Matt West Side Records for hooking me up with GospelOnTheBeat, we made the sing in his studio in Abuja after recording the first song Live My Life with him in Lagos. It was a wonderful experience; both songs have since been released.
Where was the video shot?
The video was shot by Unlimited L.A in Lagos, Nigeria.
Why Nigeria, when most artistes prefer to go to oversea, especially, South Africa?
It depends on the idea and concept behind songs. In my case, Nigeria was good enough to get the concept behind the video.
How easy was the making of the video?
We had minor issue with the weather in October, but all thanks to God we came through it with.
What inspired the message behind song?
Love; I think it’s what we all need to preach the more. It’s a personal kind of love between a man and a woman in this case though.
How long have you been doing music and how has the experience been?
Let me say since 2008, when I decided to take it as a career. There has been of high and low, but I am confident that it will be better and greater in the nearest future.
You are signed on to Matt Westside Records, why did you choose to sign with the label? – The team is high tech, and my CEO Matthew FAB, we spoke a few times and he seemed very calm hearted and cool to flow with. I pray the working relationship remains as it was in the beginning. Many labels approached me to get signed but I went with Matt Westside Records because we have an understanding about what we both want. I know what I want as an artiste and they are offering things that will help me get that just like they know what they want as a record label from and artiste, and they believe I can give it to them. On the long run, it’s about where my music career will be years from now, and I believe with Matt Westside, I am taking the right step
Many times, artistes and record labels have issues. What kind nature of the relationship between you and your record label?
Like I earlier said we family, I can’t take away the business side; it has been great all the way. There is a strong relationship between my record label and me. We are all human and we understand that there may be disagreements. That is why we have been able to spell out what we both want in the contract that we signed and everyone is okay with it. I do not wish to have any issues with them and I am doing all I can to avoid that.
After Desire, what’s next for Henry Knight?
More singles; we are focusing on getting a number one song right now. We have been in the studio recording week-in-week-out to make sure we get this.
How would describe the Nigeria music industry when compared internationally?
There is no way a European or an American will say African music right now without Nigeria popping up. Shout out to the likes of Fela, 2baba,Wizkid for putting us on the world map.
What were the challenges you face before getting signed to Matt Westside Records?
After recording and mastering, sourcing for funds to shoot videos and promote massively were the big issues. The challenges are I faced are part of those things that got me to where I am today. It starts with you trying to make people like your music, trying to perform at shows and getting a record label to make things easier for your career. In life there are challenges and such challenges makes you appreciate what you have achieved even more. So, I will say that the challenges I faced propelled me to even work harder and better.
You won an award at the just completed SCREAM Awards. How do you feel about it?
Grateful, it’s one of my first; I wish to get more in the nearest future through fans vote.
Did you envisage that you would win at the awards?
I just kept pushing for votes via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and was hoping I would be called to perform only, but it came as a good surprise of the night.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? –
On top of my game; I will keep working to make sure that I give the best that suits the industry and for my fans.