Chukwuka Ekweani, better known by his stage name Ckay, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and record producer.
He is signed to Atlantic Records and Warner Music South Africa. He was previously signed to Chocolate City, an independent label affiliated with Warner Music Group’s ADA.
Chocolate City released Love Nwantiti, also known as Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ahh), in 2019, quickly becoming a worldwide smash hit.
The song debuted at number one on March 29, 2022, the day the Billboard Afrobeats chart was introduced. It achieved the first-ever billion-stream milestone on Spotify on May 9, 2022, making it the first African song in history.
Ckay was born on July 16, 1995, to Mr and Mrs Ekweani in Kaduna. His father, a choir conductor, introduced him to music at seven.
He began creating rhythms and writing songs for a Christian music group when he was 13, improving his musical abilities. He is an Igbo.
A friend introduced him to the music-making program, Fruity Loops. Before launching his solo career as CKay, Chukwuka began his musical career as a member of a three-man band.
After developing his sound in the underground music scene for a while, Ckay made the decision to launch a professional music career. He moved to Lagos, the centre of entertainment in West Africa in 2014, as a result of this choice.
He became successful immediately and in 2014, MI Abaga’s Loopy Music signed him as a recording artist. Ckay also completed some work for Chocolate City Music Group as a result of the collaboration between Loopy Music and that company. He joined the Chocolate Family as a result of the 2016 merger of Loopy Music and Chocolate City.
On September 11th, 2017, Ckay released the EP, Who the Fuck is Ckay? making his debut in the industry. The extended play worked well in the music industry and paved the way for his smash track, Container, to become a hit in March 2018. The song, which was produced by Tempoe, garnered a ton of airtime on digital platforms, which helped Ckay establish his reputation in the field and gain more followers.
He released Container, an Afrobeat song with influences from the South African gwara gwara dance, on March 2, 2018. The song received a lot of airplay and was a breakthrough hit in Nigeria. It was created by Tempoe and distributed by Chocolate City. He released the song video, which was directed and shot by the Myth, on July 6, 2018. He made his second extended play, CKay the First, available through Chocolate City on August 30, 2019. The endeavour gave rise to the popular song Love Nwantiti, which broke numerous records in Nigeria. The remix Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah) by CKay, featuring Joeboy and Kuami Eugene, was released on February 14, 2020.
It became a worldwide hit in 2021 after going viral on TikTok, charting in Europe, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand as well as reaching number 23 in the UK. This allowed him to make his debut on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the Maghreb nations and Germany, ElGrande Toto was featured in a North African remix that gained popularity. Franglish was featured in the French remix, Frizzo, Joeboy, and Kuami Eugene were featured in the German remix, De La Ghetto was featured in the Spanish remix, Rayvanny was featured in the East African remix, and Tshego and Gemini Major were featured in the South African remix.
He made an appearance on the track La La from Davido‘s studio album A Better Time on November 13, 2020. It was distributed by Davido Music Worldwide, RCA Records, and Sony Music. He made his third EP, Boyfriend, available through Warner Music South Africa on February 11, 2021. CKay tweeted, “I’m NOT contracted to Chocolate City, on May 4, 2021. Warner Music South Africa has signed me.”
At 100k subscribers, he was given a Silver Creator Award by YouTube on July 28, 2021.
He made an appearance on the track Beggie Beggie from Ayra Starr’s first studio album, 19 & Dangerous, which was made available through Mavin Records on August 6, 2021. On 3 November 2021, he revealed his record deal with Atlantic on Power 99.1 FM.
He released Emiliana and By Your Side, which featured Blxckie, on December 3. The music video, which was directed by Mosh, was made available on April 1st, 2022.
Emiliana topped charts in both Europe and Africa, as well as in France, where it peaked at number 9. It also gave him his first top-five position on the Nigeria TurnTable Top 50 chart. On 26 May 2022, Emiliana was certified platinum in France.
Ayra Starr received a special commendation at The Headies on May 24, 2022, in the Best Collaboration category for his song Beggie Beggie. He released Watawi, a song with Davido, Focalistic, and Abidoza, on June 17, 2022. It had a music video directed by Dalia Dias and peaked at number 13 on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50.
Some of his songs include;
- Oliver Kahn.
- By Your Side.
- Show My Side.
- Ski Ski.
- Jeje Whine.
- Skoin Skoin.
- Leave Me Alone.
- Ma Cherie.
- Kiss Me like You Miss me.
- Come Close.
- Love Nwantiti.
- By Now.
- Who the Fuck is CKay? (2017).
- Ckay the First (2019).
- Boyfriend (2021).
Ckay became the first African artist to reach 20 million Spotify listeners on October 8th, 2021, with almost 21 million monthly listeners on his Spotify page.
On June 20, 2022, CKay passed Burna Boy as the most-streamed artist with a total of 1.4 billion streams, surpassing him by 200 million streams. Burna Boy then became the second African artist to reach 1.2 billion streams.
Boomplay presented CKay with a golden club plaque on August 18, 2022, in recognition of surpassing 100 million streams on the platform. Boomplay data research shows that, as of August 18, 2022, 3,549 playlists included CKay songs, and Ckay songs were streamed and enjoyed in over 120 countries.
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Ckay net worth
Ckay, one of Africa’s top performers, has amassed a fortune from concert appearances and the royalties from his discography in a short period of time.
He is thought to be worth between US$2 million and US$5 million.
Ckay prefers to keep matters pertaining to his personal life private, hence his relationship status isn’t known to the general public. However, there are rumours that he is dating a stunning young woman who lives in Nigeria.
Ckay speaks both Igbo and Hausa as he was born in Kaduna.
CKay has given his own label to his sound Emo-afrobeats to emphasize the emphasis on romantic and emotionally charged lyrics in his songs.
Afrobeats, R&B, and dancehall are just a few of the genres in which CKay has created music. He called his music Afro-pop from the future in an interview with Ayo Onikoyi of Vanguard Nigeria on June 4, 2019.
His music is described as a mixture of Afrobeats combined with pop, electronic, and even classical music, according to the OCC reporter Helen Ainsley on September 24, 2021.
CKay was listed by Teen Vogue‘s Nelson C.J. on October 29, 2021, along with other Nigerian musicians who were mistaken for Alté singers.