As Nigerian artist Kemuel releases his sophomore EP, Clouds, he invites us into a more introspective and evocative part of his musical journey. This collection marks a significant evolution from his earlier works, weaving complex emotional narratives through a blend of R&B, pop, and afrobeats. Each track is meticulously crafted to convey varying emotions—from the joyous highs to the depths of introspection—showcasing Kemuel’s growth not only as a musician but also as a storyteller. The EP draws heavily from his experiences moving from Port Harcourt to Lagos, reflecting on his personal evolution amidst the backdrop of a city pulsing with the heartbeat of afrobeats.
Kemuel's Clouds is a vibrant tapestry of sound and emotion that invites listeners to explore the complexities of love, loss, and personal growth. The release integrates his personal narrative with universal themes, making it a relatable and poignant offering to his audience. As Kemuel steps forward to share his latest work, we sit down with him to delve deeper into the inspirations behind the record, the challenges he faced in its creation, and his hopes for how it will resonate with listeners globally. Through this conversation, we aim to uncover the layers of his artistic expression and the dynamic journey that Clouds represents in his evolving musical saga.
Clouds represents a pivotal evolution in your music career. Can you share how your move from Port Harcourt to Lagos influenced your musical style and the creation of this EP?
Moving from Port Harcourt to Lagos changed a lot about my music because of the experiences in between. The way people live in Lagos is crazy, plus the city never sleeps. It made me more resilient, I won’t lie. I’d say it made me grow crazily in a short period of time.
Your track 234 uses Nigeria's country code to symbolise unreachable love. Can you discuss the process of weaving such unique narratives and symbols into your music and how they enhance the emotional impact of your songs?
With 234 being a true life story and experience, it was easy to convey that moment into melody and lyrics. It’s always been a thing of mine to make a whole world around my music, and the song is just one of my many worlds.
Being a self-produced EP, what were the most challenging aspects of creating Clouds, and how did you overcome these challenges to maintain the quality and coherence of the project?
I faced little or no challenges making Clouds, it only felt like I was giving a piece of myself, because of how vulnerable I wanted to be on the songs, although maintaining the sonics and feeling of the project was very intentional.
The record journeys through varied emotional landscapes. How do you balance the portrayal of different emotions such as joy, heartbreak, and motivation across the tracks without losing the overarching theme of the EP?
At the time I was making Clouds, I had been exploring sides of myself that I felt I was weak at. I was diving deeper into pop and fusion, every song came at odd times, no song was over thought, it almost felt like I was showing my life to my listeners as a movie but through sound, which made it easy to maintain the theme.
You've mentioned a fascination with the art of psychedellics influencing the EP. Could you expand on how these influences are reflected in the soundscapes and lyrics of Clouds?
⁠The psychedellic feeling lies in the general feeling of the beats and the way vocals blend mellifluously with everything. I was super intentional about the little pockets and junctions in the music that people might discover the more they listen to the project. I just wanted to make an experience to be honest.
With Clouds now released, what are your aspirations for this EP? How do you hope it will resonate with your audience, and what impact do you wish to achieve through this work in the broader context of your career trajectory?
I hope the listeners enjoy this one, and hopefully they find themselves in this one as well, there's a song for every mood and every feeling. I want people to connect to me through my music and know that they’re never alone. As long as Kemuel’s music exists, there will always be a safe place. That’s what Clouds represents—a safe place that will always be there.