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I’m the only pop musician left in Nigeria –Walko

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IMAGE: Walko Chiko »

June 26, 2013



Michael Ezechikaria, whose stage name is Walko Chilko, has been variously described by the Nigerian media as Michael Jackson’s look alike. Ezekaria, was officially commissioned by the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to welcome Marlon Jackson during his visit to Nigeria in 2009. In this chat with Correspondent, Nkasiobi Oluikpe, he speaks about his life. Excerpts: 

How did you feel when you went to welcome Marlon Jackson at the airport in 2009?

Even though I never met Michael Jackson; I felt really happy especially when he described me as his brother’s look alike.

Are you in the studio right now?

I have just finished my new album which will hit the airwaves next month. The video is expected to be shot by either Clarence Peter or by Aristo, the producer of the album.

How many albums have you produced so far?

My first album was three years ago. It didn’t get the right kind of publicity so didn’t go far. But what I am doing now is a new thing entirely; it is completely different from what I did previously. Without sounding immodest, it is  fantastic and must have for every music discerning soul. The songs I did previously only talked about the history of the African continent such as African Heroes, Peace for Africa, Come Let’s See the World which was remixed in my recent work. These are evergreen songs; I have come to discover that Nigerians do not want anything that is message-related but want to be on their feet, dancing. That is why I decided to set them on fire with my new work.

What’s the title of the album and how many tracks are in it?

The album is titled, ‘African Heroes’ comprising of 10 tracks.

What is so spectacular about this album that would compel people to go for it?

Despite being a pop musician, I didn’t just wake up to go into the studios. I took time out to find out to investigate the likes and dislikes of my fans. I had to go back to the drawing board, to produce this work. I assure my fans won’t be disappointed. Youths today aren’t interested in the wordings of a song: all they want, is a song that is danceable.  In Nigeria presently, I am the only one playing pop.

The last person that played it, was Alex O who took over from Chris Okotie. Since Alex O left pop music in Nigeria, nobody else has taken over from him. So I can assure you authoritatively, that I am the only pop musician presently in Nigeria. Other musicians that claim to be playing pop, are only playing hip hop which makes me the only pop artist in Nigeria. But looking at pop in reality, it doesn’t move anybody to want to dance.

The beats of my tracks are not local but the groove is something we can identify with from this part of the world. After all, Cool and the Gang, Shalama, Dynasty etc all played pop and infused some dance beats into them. ‘My love is Free’ is still pop but with some foreign beats.

I want to shoot a very unique video for it because the level I am now, I can’t afford to fail Nigerians with my works. They have come to identify with me so I must not do anything childish. Anything I do now, must have a standard of its own. If you listen to the ‘Pretty Man Majama’ track, you will understand what I am talking about.

Do you write and compose; what exactly inspires you to write?

I write and compose. Music is spiritual. At times, you write songs based on experiences around one. The ‘Come, Let’s See the World,’ track is just a message, appealing to Africans.

Considering that most known recording labels in the country have either gone underground or relocated, how are you going about your promotion?

The Alaba Boys will want the music to pick up first before they start promoting it, unlike previously, when the recording companies picked artists from the scratch, did their demo, released the song, got them accommodation and a car to start life with.  Today, the story is different, maybe because the number of artistes in the country are too much. These days, anybody can just wake up to produce an album.

So, what have you personally done to prevent your music from being pirated?

There is nothing anyone can do about piracy. In fact today, people take their music to Alaba, pay them money to put it in their compilation. That is the simple truth. Not the Alaba Boys pirating it now, but you will be the one to give them the money to do so. The truth is bitter. Most people who know nothing about music, just open their mouths for the purpose of being heard.  The truth of the matter is, you will be the one to go to Alaba, give them the track you want them to promote. You also give them between N80,000.00 and N150,000.00 to pirate it and be making money for themselves just for you to be popular.

Now to Michael Jackson, what is it about him, you identify with?

Honestly, Michael Jackson set a standard for me. Since he died, I have been in over a hundred newspapers all over the world, including in London and magazines in Japan. If not for him, I wouldn’t have made headlines in Japan or London. The Nigerian media wouldn’t be running after me for interviews. So his death kind of beamed the searchlight of the media on me. And in four years of his death, I have become bigger. I really have the press to thank for this.

How many shows have you taken part in?

The music industry in Nigeria strives on who you know. I have not really been going for shows. The last big shows I featured in, were in Port Harcourt and Aba with Dbanj and Ikechukwu.  Nigeria should organize a show in memory of Michael Jackson because he was such a great artist.

If nobody does anything for him; what are you who is benefiting from being his lookalike going to do?

I remember Michael Jackson everyday of my life and I also make people to remember him. Anybody that sees me remembers him. I look different from every other human being just as he also looked different from others while alive.

The song, ‘Lets heal the world,’ I did in support of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation. It talks about giving a helping hand to the children of the world. Jackson did a similar song. He was the greatest philanthropist that ever lived.

Why do you dress like him?

People have kept asking me this kind of question. Truth remains, that anything good, is worth emulating.

Michael Jackson touched many lives, this you have confirmed. Do you see yourself doing the same thing?

I love to take that step as time goes on. There is joy in giving and I am proud to say that Jackson is the greatest philanthropist that ever lived.  Not only did he give money but also dedicated songs to many charities across the world.  For me, he is the greatest being that ever lived. Nobody has been popularly loved like the world did him just like nobody has made the kind of history he made the world over. You cannot break Jackson’s record, either now or forever.

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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