Artist: Israel Nkeki
Release: Moonlight Released 20th June
Israel Nkeki has already lived a life which could be made into 100 films but he has chosen music to tell his story, which sees his journey from leaving his polygamous father in Nigeria to a life on the streets and a term in prison to his eventual redemption as an emerging singer and songwriter. His debut single is Moonlight, a song in which he tells of how a decision made in a split second can have a profound and lasting effect on those around you. With an emphasis on hard-hitting lyrics which tell his real-life stories with a contemporary urban soul backdrop, Israel Nkeki has a voice which needs to be heard.
As a young boy in Benin City, Nigeria, Israel Nkeki often found himself as lead in his local gospel choir but his childhood was far from idyllic. His father had two wives and the household was often filled with conflict and arguments, leading to Israel emigrating to Newcross, London when he was 12. Living with a family friend, he found himself lost and cast adrift in his new surroundings, soon decending into a life spent on the streets and ultimately, prison. Prison proved to be Israel’s turning point – teaching him to be disciplined and to have confidence in himself, expressing how he really felt. He also finally met a woman he could trust who regularly visited him, leading him to dedicate his second single to her, Loved You.
Taking elements of artists such as 6lack and Fela Kuti, Israel’s style is poetic, modern and soulful, retaining the hard-hitting edge of his lyrics but allowing the music to flow through it and take it to new levels. The tracks were mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road – Israel Nkeki lives in Croydon, South-East London.