The name Otolorin Kehinde Peters may not ring a bell to the everyday Nigerian but when you mention KennyBlaq, what comes to mind is undiluted music-comedy by one of the most mercurial talents the industry has ever witnessed.
From grabbing the comedian of the year award to winning the prestigious comedy show of the year, holding a shut down, one-man show at the indigo 02 Arena in London and still hosting one of the most attended music comedy concerts in Africa “The Oxymoron of Kenny Blaq” one really wonders how this very young individual has managed to accomplish all these feats in such a short space of 5 years.
Ogechi Anthony talks and laughs with the magnificent KennyBlaq about his mercurial journey to now.
Tell us about your background?
I am the last set of twins in the family of seven and the last born, I mean with my twin sister (laughs). I attended Airforce Nursery and Primary school; because of school fees (laughs), I attended Gold vessel primary school where I did my common entrance. I attended Strong foundation comprehensive college for my secondary school leaving certificate. I even attended tutorial in Hybrid College because of school fees issue, I’m an Alumni of The Federal Radio Corporation Of Nigeria, I have a certificate as a broadcaster and entertainment is what I do for a living.
How would you sum up the journey so far?
The journey so far has been crazy, I think I started as the youngest in the industry and I’m still one of the youngest. It’s been crazy, coming from when people found it hard to listen to a small boy to everybody now listening to the small boy and can’t wait to hear from the small boy. So it’s been a crazy journey so far and getting people to understand that he’s not a musician or a comedian but a music comedian and also getting them to understand what music comedy itself is. But we thank God.
When did the big break come for you?
Mid-term break (laughs) I think the big break should be Alibaba‘s January 1st concert in 2016 or 2017 I can’t remember. I did a performance and the video went viral and that was it for me. That was where AY saw me and I did Ay Live and also where Yaw saw me and I did Yaw event too and also did ‘Love Like A Movie’ for Dare Art Alade, where I performed after Ciara. I started building my own brand, going for comedy shows and I went for MC Abbey’s show in London. I started traveling round till when I was able to do my own show in London and also here in Nigeria.
What is the worst experience you’ve ever had on stage?
I was performing on a stage and they had to switch off the microphone because I over used my time, that was a long time ago anyways, the stage manager didn’t tell me how many minute I was supposed to use, he just told me go (laughs) and I was going too, I didn’t know there was going to be traffic, he just stopped me (laughs) I felt really bad and sometimes I go on stage having this feeling that my material is so funny and when I crack it, I see just me laughing. As a comedian, you don’t have good reception everyday but it makes me stronger and I tell myself I need to do more.
What’s the career accomplishment you’re most proud of?
When I did my own show at the Indigo O2 London, it wasn’t easy staging a one-man show. I was the headliner and everybody in that hall came because of me. This is me a black boy in a white man’s land doing a show and it was my biggest accomplishment so far and I pray that God will give me the grace to do more because my next target is The Apollo and I pray it will happen soon, even something bigger than The Apollo, something big might happen soon you never can tell God can do anything. Also, staging the Eko hotel show every year is something for me; it’s something I look forward to every year.
What events or occasion would you not perform in?
The one that they are yet to pay me my balance (laughs) A divorce party.
Your concerts are always star studded with a list artiste and comedians, how have you been able to maintain this relationship with colleagues?
It’s not been easy, some of the musicians I use their songs to crack my jokes are people who appreciate them and understand the fact that in a way I’m trying to promote their songs. At a point, I was thinking they’d sue me (laughs) but thank God some of them even call to tell me I’ve not used their songs and they come to my event just to show me that they are with me and they believe in what I do. They even call to remind me that I’ve not invited them for my show and they always come through for me.
How do you feel when your colleagues use your materials at events?
It’s something we are all trying to tackle in the industry and we’re having meetings as comedians because it’s getting to a point where an up and coming comedian has a very good material and a senior colleague would crack it on a big platform that the younger comedian have not been. By popular demand, the material becomes the senior colleague’s own, it’s really crazy but we are trying to make sure that everybody is original. Even without tackling it, originality will make you go far but we still need to tackle it because comedians are suffering. Don’t steal your colleague’s jokes, it’s bad.
What do you do to relax?
I go to the pool to swim, go to the cinema to watch movies or stay at home and watch movies on Netflix.
If you weren’t doing comedy what other career would have chosen?
A musician obviously.
Message to your fans? `
Be 100% original, I want to say thank you to my fans for the support so far, thank you for believing in the brand KENNYBLAQ. We’ve been trending for 5 years now all thanks to you. From up and coming comedian to comedian of the year, comedy show of the year, you’ve been the one voting. Even when I don’t do well on stage, you guys come to my DM and tell me how you feel about my performance and you always give me reasons to always do better and also to my critics, I love you guys, without you guys I’d never know my performances on stage weren’t up to expectations. I love you guys so much because without you guys there won’t be Kennyblaq but without me, there will be you (Laughs).
What advice would you give to aspiring comedians?
Be you, be original, put God first, believe in yourself, don’t try to be someone else but you can have mentors of course, Mentors are suppose to guide you to be a better you and not being like your mentor or trying to do everything your mentor is doing, do your thing, be known for something positive, create your own unique style, don’t be too big to be on people’s platform I know you can’t be on all platforms but do the ones you can because of the love you have for the craft, surprise the younger ones when you make it, show love to them, carry them along and always try to respect the senior ones that are there because you’ll also get there.