Those who grew up listening to all the best 2000s hits can speak of the infectious releases and the popularity of the music. Anyone trying to relive the musical glory days of that decade and get a taste of the vibes of industry greats — like Usher— needs to have a listen to up-and-coming afro-fusion star Mighty Koba. Born as Ernest Nguatem in Cameroon, Africa, and currently residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, music has always been a key component of his upbringing. He initially discovered his passion for music through dance, looking up to the renowned talents of Michael Jackson from a young age. Now, dancing is of utmost importance in his creative process of making songs, as he puts the choreography before songwriting, singing, and other components. His latest single, “2 Many,” featuring Jaey London (Justin Onyewuchi), showcases all that makes his art unique, special, and reminiscent of the 2000s popular music. With London’s production expertise behind this track, Mighty Koba is learning all the important tricks of the trade and making his way as a contemporary artist that exudes the best nostalgic vibes from a highlight stage in music history.
Bringing together the contemporary and the nostalgic, “2 Many” offers the perfect balance between the most beloved features of the music of today and yesterday. The Zulu XL (Ramses Nguatem)-produced backing track with the smooth and meaningful yet catchy vocals aligns with the early aughts R&B style Mighty Koba found great inspiration from. However, the message packs a more modern perspective. Time and time again, there have been songs exploring the objectification of women by men. Instead, “2 Many” ponders the aftermath of a steamy nightclub encounter that ponders what happens when the roles are reversed. Overall, Mighty Koba’s effortless collaboration with London manifests throughout “2 Many.” The song is just perfect for the club scene with an Afrobeat vibe that makes it inclusive across all cultures.
How has your Cameroon, Africa, upbringing and your current residence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shaped your music?
Answer: Music is part of our daily lives back home, even in the way we talk, one can say we sing/shout to each other due to the various tones, shapes and textures of sounds. All of our music is positive and uplifting. Still brainstorming this one…
Who are your greatest musical inspirations? How does your music compare and contrast from the works of those role models?
Answer: My greatest musical inspirations are Michael Jackson, Usher, and Burna Boy. I learned to dance with emotion from Michael Jackson & Usher. Burna is a musical genius and I study his music. My music differs in my approach. I dance first, and let the words come. I don’t think this was the approach of the greats but it works well for me. Dance is my first love and so I put alot into and from there the words come.
Where did you find inspiration for “2 Many”? What was your experience collaborating with Jaey London?
Answer: I found inspiration in my memories of early 2000s club songs, and wanted to blend that with my afro background. One of the first people that came to mind was Usher. Working with Jaey London was a blessing. I have been following his music for a while and I am a big fan. Being introduced by his management, High Power Management, we instantly grew a connection due to our similar backgrounds. We embraced and paid a lot of respect to each other’s unique sounds and talents. Jaey London, Justin Onyewuchi, is a man of many hats in the music industry. He is a singer, rapper ,producer and engineer who is creating his own genre of music. We learned a lot from each other and as both were students to each other’s talents.
Your latest single, “2 Many,” resembles the classic 2000s vibes that music lovers adore while also bringing a modern twist with its theming. Can you talk about the blending of the traditional with the contemporary with the track and its message as well as how you went about doing this so organically with this release?
Answer: I was looking for a way to bring out everything I loved about music, how the african drums make me dance, how much I loved watching the dance scenes in the early 2000s club music videos, and wanted to talk about a topic that really doesn’t get any light, but not too heavy that it stops you from dancing.
How does your creative process differ from some of the other talented creatives breaking into the music industry? How did it influence the creation of “2 Many”?
Answer: I don’t think too many artists create choreography first. At first I used to push myself to write but would get writer’s block, but I could never stop dancing to an instrumental. I knew I was good at telling a story with my body due to performance experience, so I start from there. Then I Interpret the story my body and put it into words. As I continue to work on this craft I really believe it will create something magical within the industry.
What was your initial reaction to seeing the song and visual for “2 Many” come together? How does the music video push the song to the next level for you personally and for your fans?
I love music and telling a story. I do believe I am gifted with visualization so seeing the music video come to life was a reassurance to myself that I was doing what it is I love. The visuals push the song in so many ways. I believe the visuals allow me to show my fans and supporters the true vision of what the song looked like in my head before I started writing. It allows the listeners and supporters to interpret the music in a specific way. The way I intended.
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