SO PRESH, SO CLEAN
Making their appearance speak. Photo: KC Presh
In this no holds barred interview, Kingsley Okonkwo, better known as KC of music duo KC Presh, speaks on behalf of his partner Precious John, about their meteoric rise to fame and fortune which began in 2002 after winning the first edition of the Star Quest reality competition.
When are you releasing your new album?
We just finished [recording and it] is due for release next month. It's a 10 track untitled album; our fifth. We shot videos in South Africa recently for 'Sugar Sugar' and 'Eben Gwari' while 'Ginja Your Swagger' was shot here in Lagos. We are still shooting a new song titled 'Bag of Money' as well as another which will be an Akwa-Cross song titled 'Nkpa Diongo.'
I will say this album is the best we have ever done, aside from being the best, the sounds are different. 'Sugar Sugar,' which is a love/wedding song with a highlife flavour, we have never done anything like this before. We did so many flavours on the album and it is something different. We are flowing with the new trends. We worked with the likes of Iyanya, Timaya, OJB, K Solo and many others.
Is it going to be released under your label, Blingz Recordz?
No, it is going to be released under DKL Records, a label with which we have an understanding to release for a year. It's based in Canada [with] outlets that markets in London, Nigeria and South Africa.
Why did you decide 'Ginja Your Swagger,' so to speak? Critics say the phrase has been over flogged.
When we did 'Ginja Your Swagger,' no artist had done it. The only artist who had done 'swagger' that we knew was Sauce Kid and not even Terry G. Terry G did swagger after we had done it. Our single was released early last year and Terry G's was released towards Easter. It was when we did Kennis Music Easter fiesta last year that we heard Terry G saying 'swagger swagger' after we had performed our song. I heard he's doing a song titled 'Swagger Swagger' but we have already released a song with K Solo.
Ten years down the line KC Presh is still going strong, what's the secret?
Besides the talent, we are two young men who know what they want and most people who win reality shows don't see the need to be liberated, they still want to be under the brands and all that. Yeah, you can be loyal but you need to work hard but overall its God's favour and the respect and love we have for each other.
How did you guys meet?
We met in a church choir, Jesus Campaigners Ministry back in the days in Ajegunle which was where we grew up. Some people don't know we are Ajegunle boys, ghetto boys. Precious was a music director and I a choir master. Each time we sang in church, people always appreciated it so we [decided to] form a group and see if [more] people would appreciate.
A year later we formed a called group called Sweet Boys in 2000. We were singing gospel, however, when we felt we should go professional, we had to change the name because we had other groups like Plantashun Boiz. In 2001, we started doing some studio work shortly after we met Eedris Abdulkareem who told us about Star Quest and we registered and won. Since then, we've been keeping it real.
You seem to have a thing for bling and cars?
We love bling, it's a way of life. Having come out of the ghetto after so much stress, suffering and pain, we are now opportuned to live good lives, why not live it? Yes it's our way; we like it classy, flashy and fly. Nobody can take it away from us. We like good apartments, cars, clothes and we like good money and all things good.
What's the greatest misconception people have about KC Presh?
It's that misconception people have (laughs) which is exactly what they have. They have one misconception which is not right so they should continue (laughs). The truth is the misconception is not the problem; the truth is, as long as you are alive, people will always say something about you and if they don't, it means you do not exist. Because we love and know how to live good lives, most people have this misconception that we are making money doing dangerous business but trust me, KC Presh is clean. If we were involved in shady business, they for don arrest us since.
What are your career highpoints?
The day we won Star Quest I was shedding tears because I knew I was leaving poverty, Ajegunle and lack of money for good. I don't ever forget it.
Has it always been music for you both?
Presh started in church and from his primary school days, he sang everywhere but I started with football. I played football professionally for Julius Berger between 1997 and 2000. I also played for Puma and Pepsi Pro League.
The first time I ever travelled out of this country was to South Africa and it was football. I was paid between N1500 and N2000 and I was doing football and music. When I won Star Quest, I was still playing football with Puma. I had to stop because when I played football I'd get injured then go for shows and not be fit, limping on stage. Presh was like 'You can't do football and music,' that it had to be one. I reasoned that in football there was no sponsor and music was paying off. Today, I'm supporting some of my cousins who play football abroad on scholarship.
Rumour has it that you recently got married, true?
Yes it is true. I've been lucky to speak with a lot of musicians far and wide and most celebrities say if they knew, they would have gotten married a long time ago. The truth is you can't get married to everybody.
Some will say they don't want to get married because they don't want to lose their female fans. Presh is tying the knot soon as well. There is nothing like 'marriage will draw us back,' my wife will support me and my female fans? I still love them. It was difficult making a choice because our job keeps us exposed; don't forget I can't marry everybody! I just made up my mind.