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My Musical Genre Is Soul-Food – Richard Kings 

Interviewed By Walter Wilson Nana

Let’s know more about you

I am in my late 20s from Nso, Bui Division, Northwest Region of Cameroon. I am a passionate person in most of everything I do. I am a multifaceted person and a goal getter.

How did you grow up?

I started my primary school at Government School, Tobin, Kumbo and subsequently moved over to Government School, Bambikai, where I completed. I did secondary school at Government High School, Kumbo and did high school at Saint Augustine’s College, Nso. I proceeded to the University of Yaoundé I, where I read Bio-Chemistry. I am a Baptist Christian and has been singing in the choir and some other musical groups. At the university, I joined the University of Yaoundé I Music Band and eventually went solo, composing songs and living a life of singing all the time.

How did a Bio-Chemistry student click with music?

Science students are always all-round students. I did the sciences because I had better grades in Chemistry in the high school. I loved the arts but knew the sciences. However, I came back to my first love, which is the art. I was a good literature, language and chemistry student. My dad helped me choose the sciences. But it wasn’t flowing as expected. Hence, I got back to where I belong – the literary world. Interestingly, the basics of the sciences help me to be organised, plan, anticipate, experiment and get to results in my artistic career. It is an everyday thing. I am using music as a social science to bring people together, raise awareness, and for infotainment. It is a two-way thing.

What progress have you made so far?

It’s not been bad. But we are yet to go professional. We can end up building a huge industry around a trade mark; be it Richard Kings or any other given tag. But my musical perspective is that of making it useful for us in Nso, Cameroon and in Africa in general. A music that will accompany me in my sorrows, my joys, my shame and my all. Commercially, I cannot do it solo. I can write the songs, sing them but I will not be able to market them. Definitely, I need some other persons to share these ideas with them to be part of the chain. I do not have that yet and most of my fans are getting frustrated about it and cannot have access to my CDs. I am aware of that. At the Ministry of Culture, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. If we do benefit from some financial leverage, we will make the CDs available. There are signs, we’ll do better.

What genre of music do you play?

For me, it is a soul speaking to a soul. If you want to call it Soul-Food-Music, it is same thing. I do it from my heart, just like you will do yours with a lot of passion and determination. I am singing out people from their souls, singing them out from their pain, sing you through your sleep, through your happiness and everything.

How do you explain your increasing popular success?

Hard work, staying focussed and a lot of support from your family, fans and friends. They are your mirror; reflecting to you whether it is going good or not. They also alert you of the ditches and the various turns you have to take. And beyond every success, there is a challenge. It is one step at a time. I also took notice that there is a vacuum in the music of English speaking Cameroon. I am not there to fill the vacuum, but to contribute my little quota in Cameroonian music in general. For instance, I will be party to the upcoming Drums Festival in New York. I think it is a plus for Cameroon. I will not forget the Cameroonian press, which is doing a very good job for me. Thank You so much!!

Are you convinced this business of music can put bread & butter on your table?

It is putting already! But we need a lot of organisation. Personally, I need to be organised. The creative process gets you into a disorganised mood but you have to come back to yourself. You will not want to be superficial but profound. That way, your roots are intact. I am looking out to be fitted in an institution like SONY MUSIC and any other name that will explore the related departments of music; the case of marketing and communication.

The way forward?

I will be done with the recording of my next CD during my sojourn in the US. It will be officially released at the close of the year 2009. The songs are there already, I write new songs everyday, I keep working hard, exhibiting a deep sense of perseverance and the sky will not only be my limit.