Meet Khaid, the 17-year-old Nigerian rapper positioned to take the world by storm [Pulse Interview]

Khaid, a Nigerian rapper, spoke to Pulse Nigeria about his ambition to conquer the world.

Khaid

Sulaimon Shekoni Abiola, better known as Khaid (pronounced K-e-d), is a 17-year-old singer who grew up in a family of ten. He has seven siblings. Khaid grew up on the streets of Ojo town, which is located in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Khaid was announced as Neville Records' first record signing on January 20, 2022. Sydney Talker, a famous skit maker who now includes A&R as one of his talents, discovered him. He released his debut single, 'With You,' eight days after the announcement. The song went on to become one of the country's top hits, with over 1.4 million views on YouTube and 2.9 million Spotify streams.

Four months later, he released his first solo extended play, titled Diversity. The 6-track project was released on May 27, 2022.

Khaid, an Afro-Fusion Nigerian artist and songwriter, has been named the featured artist for Pulse Nigeria's Future Sounds Emerging Artist program. He told us about his debut project, 'Diversity,' how he met his record label boss and skit maker, Sydney Talker, and where he gets his inspiration.

Pulse: Tell me about your background?

Khaid: I am a 17 year old boy that has a passion for music. I grew up in a family of 10 with 8 children and two parents. And I was a one-time mechanic that grew up in the streets of Ojo town.

Pulse: Tell me about your life as a mechanic?

Khaid: There was a time my dad needed me to do something as music was not working for me. So I quickly picked mechanic as I could make money from it.

Pulse: What is the most interesting part of your childhood?

Khaid: The most interesting part of my childhood is the part where I get to do anything I want. At that time I just lived right. I had no worries of anything not bothered about not being balanced in life.

Pulse: Does that mean you parents gave you so much freedom while growing up?

Khaid: No no! Actually my parents were very strict. I had freedom throughout the afternoon when my parents went out. In the morning and evening, I'm this cool kid.

Pulse: Are you in school?

Khaid: Yeah! I am in school. Neville records got an academy of their own. I went through that stage and I am kinda going through it.

Pulse: Let's talk about Neville records. How did you meet Sydney Talker?

Khaid: He liked one of my freestyles on Instagram, followed and sent me a DM. We linked up, made some cool stuff and he ended up telling me I'm signed.

Pulse: At what point did you know you had to leave your job as a mechanic?

Khaid: At the point he told me I was signed. After I met him I was still doing my mechanic. He couldn't see me the first day and tell me to dtop. We had to have a contract and everything before I left.

Pulse: There are so many careers in life aside music. Why choose music?

Khaid: It was the freedom to express myself to a larger set of people. Expressing how I feel in music is the reason I chose music.

Pulse: Let's talk about your creative process and your inspiration. What inspires you?

Khaid: I get inspired by literally anything. I could be doing anything, literally anything and I get the vibes.

Pulse: Do you go with the beat before you can write or you write before linking up with a producer?

Khaid: Sometimes I get beats from producers and sometimes I go online and get the beat, write on it and get the producer to create something original with it.

Pulse: What inspired the name of your debut project, 'Diversity'?

Khaid: We needed a name that describes the richness and diverse nature of the sounds on the project. I think diversity was the best for it.

Pulse: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Khaid: I think I will be a new person. I will unlearn, and relearn and definitely grow more fans.

Pulse: What is the wildest DM you've gotten so far?

Khaid: That will be when someone texted and said the EP is really wack.

Pulse: How do you react to those kind of comments?

Khaid: Well, I just smile (laughs)

Pulse: What are your dream collaborations?

Khaid: Firstly Polo G, Made Kuti, NBA Youngboy, and Rema, Fireboy DML.

Pulse: Any words of encouragements for your fans?

Khaid: Where you are now will not determine where you be tomorrow. When I was a mechanic I used to wonder if this is what I will do for the rest of my life. I wasn't actually enjoying it except when I get money.

Pulse: It seems you really love money?

Khaid: No! (laughs). I am a street guy na. There is no street guy that does not love money but right now it is more of productivity and progress that I am more concerned about.

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