Bringing her own flavor to the mix, Nwatu Kennedy Uchechukwu, better known as Kerno, is making his own mark on the genre. And don’t be fooled, his approach to music is anything but mediocre.
“Honestly, (music) was like my best option growing up and a medium to express myself.” Nigerian-born rapper shares how his journey began at age 12.
Hailing from Enugu State, one of Nigeria’s quieter cities, Kerno noted the abundance of musical talent being chewed up and spit out of the entertainment industry.
He was dejected to pursue this dream, but a friend helped him realize his potential.
Inspired by his own experiences of the past year, Kerno’s singles become a journal of his ups and downs. “I’ve always been the type to hold emotions back when I feel things, even though I feel them to their full extent. I just hold them like they’re not sewing through me.” he says.
The essence of moody bachelors is captured by the trippy Mine and You hear that captures contemporary sounds and fuses them with the percussive nature of Afrobeats. Kerno’s effortless flow pulls it together, accompanied by his effortless writing as seen on hypnotized and Chemical.
Kerno’s considered approach has helped his musicianship, only taking a booth or writing when absolutely necessary.
“I’m not the type to spend like 10 days writing a song or something. I feel like if you have to think too hard to write a song, that song isn’t ready to come out yet, so you can relax.” Kerno says.
“When you’re talking about yourself or things that happened in your life, don’t take too long to write. Now you know”.
As the pressure to speak out about social issues increases, there is still a space for music whose sole purpose is to enjoy and uplift people, something Kerno sees as a necessity coming from a country whose music he considers very happy.
“Everybody in this generation is trying to be tough, talking about hooking up and afraid to get into proper relationships because it all ends at the talking stage and that’s the craziest part of this generation. I want people to stop having no feelings. It might hurt but at the end of the day just feel baby just feel.”
Having laid the groundwork for a vibrant festive season, Kerno has worked on a number of soon-to-be-launched collaborations.