Earlier this year, Uproxx featured rising Afrobeats star CKay as our January cover story subject, with Wongo Okon detailing CKay’s breakout with the 2019 single “Love Nwantiti.” Since then, “Love Nwantiti” has only increased in popularity, with a remix featuring Joeboy and Kuami Eugene accumulating nearly 300 million views on YouTube, an acoustic version racking up almost 200 million, and CKay’s Tonight Show debut exposing the song to millions more stateside.
Today, we’ve got CKay recalling his come-up in his own words to Uproxx’s Cherise Johnson in the latest episode of How I Blew Up. In his in-studio interview, he describes being an unsigned artist, uploading music to SoundCloud, becoming a trending topic on Twitter, how he adopted a persona as “Africa’s Boyfriend,” and the aftermath of his breakout single’s viral success.
“There were mixed emotions,” he admits. “It was like a mixture of people who were really gassed and people who were really pissed… To have my music having as much of an impact globally is an amazing feeling.” He also offers his thoughts on the importance of Billboard‘s new Afrobeats chart as the genre becomes a bigger international influence and says he was honored to be included in the discussion.
Watch the latest episode of How I Blew Up above.