Mr 2Kay

Mr 2Kay is a fast rising musical talent doing his very best to bring his energetic afro-pop rhythms to the world. We find what drives him to make music…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 26 Mar 2014
  • min read
Mr 2Kay, real name Abinye David Jumbo, is a fast rising musical talent who is doing his very best to put afro-pop on the global musical map.

He’s been bashing out his rhythms since being brought up in the violent regions of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Singing in church and a love of more urban music such as hip hop and the raw energy of dancehall all feed in to his sound which literally bounces out of the speakers.

The road to success for Mr 2Kay hasn’t been easy. He fought his way to Grafton Records by harassing the label over performing in the Bonny Beach carnival and finally getting the chance to impress the imprint’s CEO Tonye Ibiama in 2009. While he’s already become something of a household name in his homeland due to his debut album Waterside Boy, it’s with latest singles titled Beat for my heart and Bubugaga which are currently making waves outside of Africa.

The UK Version of Bubugaga featuring May7ven and Moeologo was released earlier this year and has been receiving huge support from the likes of 1Xtra and Kiss FM. We’re expecting even bigger things from Mr 2Kay as the year unfolds…

I first started writing music because…
I first started writing music at around 10 years old because it was the easiest form of expression for me. Initially I started writing poems and slowly progressed to lyrics and melody.

I have been making music since...
My earliest memories. I always sang around the house then later joined the church and school choirs which got me singing with other people and helped with inspiration.

My music is…
Afro-pop, sometimes classified as afrobeat because of the African beat element. Others refer to the sounds as naija pop or afro-dancehall because it's influenced a lot by urban music.

You'll like me if you listen to…
2 Face Idibia is the pioneer of the whole afrobeat movement in West Africa, having originally started off in the Plantashun Boyz. Another artist representing the new wave of current stars in the game is Faze (also originally from Plantashun Boyz). I feel my sound fits in perfectly with the vibes of both 2Face and Faze.

My favourite venue is…
The O2 Arena. It's an iconic venue where some of the greats have performed and it’d be an honour to one day headline my own show there.

Music is important because…
It makes me happy by relieving any stress that I have and it brings people from all walks of life together as one. It crosses the divide that can sometimes be set by race, religion and gender.

My biggest inspiration is…
My mother and the upbringing she gave me. I write songs based on how I was raised and things I've witnessed around me, be it joy and celebration or defeat and rejection.

My dream collaboration would be…
With Jay Z and Chris Brown. Both are very true to their art and two of my favourite artistes to listen to and watch perform.

To try me out, listen to my songs…
Bubugaga Triple-O remix (feat. Moelogo & May7ven). It's what you'd call afropop but with a catchy chorus and an array of dancefloor beats that make you want to sing along and shake a leg or two.

You could also listen to my earlier album Waterside Boy which explains my roots being from the waterside region in Nigeria and displays both my writing skills and melodious side.

If I wasn't making music I'd be…
An artistic painter or a community organiser. I love painting portraits and in the same breath enjoy making sure people within the community get what they deserve.

In 10 years' time I want to be...
One of the biggest artists out of Africa, known for mind blowing performance and timeless songs.

www.facebook.com/iam2kay
twitter.com/mr_2kay
graftonentertainment.com