Fast-rising drill artiste, Emavwoyan Oghenero, popularly known as Kxng Nero, talks about how Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba, made him fall in love with Chelsea, in this interview with ABIODUN ADEWALE
How did your music start and how is the progress?
I started music in school as a form of hobby or expression and as something I enjoy doing. I realised I could make a career out of it and I’ve been on the path since 2015. When I started, it wasn’t drill music because I tried to understand my sound. Along the line, I just evolved. It’s been good and stressful. It has not been a walk in the park. We are taking the marathon one step at a time and doing the best we can.
How is the reception of drill music in Nigeria?
The last song I dropped was titled ‘Confident’ and the reception was really good. That’s what prompted my new song; ‘New Taker.’ The reception has been kind of mixed yet encouraging and that has been keeping us going. As a drill artiste I’m restricted to only my kind of music, but I have a way of balancing it up and playing it with other sounds. I have a few collaborations I’m working on and I hope things turn out perfectly.
So, outside music, how do you unwind and keep up with sports?
I enjoy football a lot and a bit of polo. But polo is a kind of luxury sport, so, I haven’t done it like I play football. Hopefully in the future I’ll get to play it. I actually wanted to become a footballer before I faced music. I was a football fanatic and the way I do music now was how serious I was with football. I literally had to substitute football for music because it was my life, just the way music is to me right now. I played different positions but I was a proper left-back and represented my school. I held down the position in a few competitions I played for my school, and I won the inter-house football competition as well. So, I took football really seriously until I lost focus.
Perhaps I didn’t get the right push, but I also sat myself down and thought making a football career was going to take longer and I was already doing well in music.
Chelsea fans usually have bragging rights, but this season is one to forget for them. How are you handling the disappointment?
I pity myself as much as I pity the team. As a fan, I’ve been so frustrated that I even get scared to watch the team because we don’t know what to expect. I think the problem is with the takeover, maybe they know what to do but they have taken too long to make proper management decisions, everything is not about money and signings. The season is over, let’s just hope next season will be better.
How did you feel about the takeover by Todd Boehly?
I felt bad when Roman Abrahamovic sold the club. Perhaps the circumstances that surrounded the sale made me feel that way because that man is why Chelsea are where they are. The team began to have bragging rights when he bought them in 2003 or so. I started supporting Chelsea in 2006. The Blues made a lot of waves and it was a delight to support them.
How do you see the decision to hire Frank Lampard on an interim basis and the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino ahead of next season?
The decision to hire Lampard in any way was like going back to where we were coming from. He was fired because of poor results and we brought him back when the job was even tougher. I’m not surprised about the results he churned out. Lampard isn’t the answer. Aside that, I think there are other issues beyond the coach. We need to find something different and hopefully Pochettino will bring that to the table before the start of next season. He has a pre-season to himself, so, there is enough time to make the necessary moves. But if I were the owner, I would have brought in someone like Diego Simeone.
What are your most cherished moments as a Chelsea fan?
When we won the Champions League in 2012 was my best. It was pure bliss for me because I’m a diehard Didier Drogba fan. In fact, he is the reason I started supporting Chelsea. Seeing him scoring the crucial equaliser and the winning penalty was the peak. He became my GOAT instantly. The next moment was the second Champions League we won against Manchester City because we had a slim chance. I will also not forget the 2007 FA Cup final when we beat Manchester United 1-0. I remember Mikel Obi started the one-two pass that led to the goal.
Is your love for Chelsea the same for the Nigerian national teams?
I follow the Super Eagles a lot and I think I feel like every other passionate Nigerian football fan. We have a great bunch of talents but we are not reaching the potential as a team. Look at Victor Osimhen, he has helped Napoli win the Serie A for the first time in over three decades and he could become the highest goals scorer in the league as well. Samuel Chukwueze is having a good time at Villarreal and there are many other strikers like Terem Moffi, Victor Boniface and even emerging stars like Gift Orban. But we will still say the 1994 and 1996 set of Eagles are the best in the history of the country because we haven’t been able to maximise the potential of these players. And those players of 1994 and 1996 didn’t have personal prominence like many of the current guys. With the current set of young players, we can do a lot with the Super Eagles.
Back to your music, what’s in the song ‘New Taker’ and what more is to come from you?
The song is a blend of drill and Nigerian highlife, so we are trying to do something different this time to give a fresh feeling of how drill music is supposed to sound. It’s not like we are copying the foreigners, but just to show how we can also do it here in Nigeria. Aside from this song, I’m working on a project with a music company in the UK and hopefully we will have that soon.