Nigerian singer King Perryy has returned for the release of his brand new body of work, ‘Continental Playlist’. As he cements his place as one of Africa’s most important voices, this seven-song EP affirms his ability to turn on a dime, going wherever inspiration and life leads. 

The ‘Continental Playlist’ features appearances by Tekno, Victony, Ria Sean, and 1da Banton. Through our interview with him, we learned more about the memories he shares with them and how the project has shaped his artistic growth.

Bethel: Tell me about the artwork you’ve chosen to have as the cover.

King Perryy: That’s an iconic picture from Mohammed Ali and I choose that picture for my continental playlist. In my own translation, it’s me knocking out the world and the people in it are watching. If you look in the picture, there are people from different parts of the world. You can see people wearing different african attires. They’re watching me do my thing. 

Bethel: The purpose of this EP is to showcase a continental playlist. Do you think you are moving out from the dancehall genre to something more fluid?

King Perryy: My love for fusion has me trying out a lot of great sounds from different parts of the world, but reggae dancehall is my base. I grew up in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the oil city. With time, the playlist is me letting people know how much my sound has evolved. So I made the continental music which is a mix of different genres. Dancehall plays a very important role in my music.

Bethel: You filtered through 50 songs to capture what you needed before landing on seven tracks. What songs were you 100% sure of, from the beginning?

King Perryy: ‘On God’. I was very certain about that because ‘On God’ is a song of gratitude and thanksgiving. This is me thanking God for how far I have come and how much further I will go with him by my side. So it’s a very important song for me and I knew from the time I was making it, it was going to be the number one song on the project.

Bethel: You said that in the process of creating this EP, you discovered yourself in the music. How has it helped you evolve as a person?

King Perryy: With my sound I’m learning every day; I’m discovering every day when I’m in a studio. Discovering myself every day is a blessing. I would say at the point I was putting everything together, the playlist was my state of mind. So being able to express myself, being able to pass down the message in my heart from ‘On God’ to ‘No Stress’ to ‘Tight Condition’, it’s something. The playlist is just the first seven songs I curated for my listeners, for my supporters, and there’s gonna be more that I’m going to be dropping later in the year.

Bethel: Okay, that sounds really exciting. Will some of them come from the 50 songs that you created in the last year or will it be new music?

King Perryy: Some from there and some will be new songs. The second project I’m supposed to be dropping soon is done already. To me, I don’t get done until I put it out. I could go into the studio today and pour out my heart and boom, it’s going to be in the project!

Bethel: The Afro-fusion genre is growing very quickly. Are there any artists, producers you draw inspiration from ?

King Perryy: I worked with amazing producers and amazing artists. I would say everyone on the project. I’m a big fan of everyone in the project, from 1da Banton to Victony to Ria Sean to Tekno. They’ve inspired me in a very amazing way and working on this project with them was actually an interesting thing for me. You get to hear people doing their own sound and then bringing it into my own sound, fusing it

Victony on ‘Tight Conditions’. Crazy. I’ve never had something like that. I always wanted Tekno to be on ‘Turkey Nla’ from when I made the song. ‘Turkey Nla’ is a fusion of Makossa and Amapiano, and Tekno killed it. Ria Sean is actually a very amazing artist and her voice is angelic!

Bethel: This brings me to my next question. You collaborated with four other artists on this EP. Any memories from that experience?

King Perryy: Every one of them are memorable to me. When I was making ‘Tight conditions’ with Victony, we were recording and he looked at me and said “What’s your native name” and I was like “Ikechukwu’. He just smiled. When I was recording him, he put it in the song and I was laughing!

Even with Ria Sean. The night we linked we made three songs. Crazy records and it happened so easily. That is very special for me because you just don’t go into the studio with any artist and make three songs. When you make those types of songs it means the energy in the studio is right and there’s a synergy between you and the artist.

1da Banton called me and said “I got a beat for you. Where you at?”. I told him where I was and he came right the way. He opened the system and played that beat and I was like “What!”. I went home, I recorded it the next morning and sent it back to him.

Also Tekno. Big shout out to my friend and brother Willis. He came to the house and that day I was thinking about who to put on the remix for ‘Turkey Nla’. I just told him I was working on the remix and taht I hear Tekno on it. He sent the beat to Tekno that night and Tekno sent back his verse in the morning. I was screaming when I heard the verse because it was crazy!

King Perry is one of the most unique and intriguing figures in Africa’s expanding dancehall scene. While the projects’ title celebrates King Perryy’s continental sound, the project pulls Afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, drill, pop, and more into an eclectic, layered sound that defies simple genre tags.

Listen to the full project below:

Discover more from GUAP’s music section here.

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Bethel Haimanot