Once a basketball-playing schoolboy in Lagos, Nigeria, dreaming about NBA success in the U.S. In the U.S., once a minimum wage fast food worker, warehouse laborer, club bouncer working to attain a college degree. Once a soldier in the United States Army hoping to use his military background as a stepping stone for bigger and better future career aspirations. Once a bankrupt college student waiting to take the corporate world by storm.” Those were the first few lines from the last biography written about Nigerian soulful acoustic singer songwriter, and guitarist, KUKU, since then a bit, or maybe, a lot as changed. He released is debut short CD (EP) Love Sessions, and a few thousands have been sold with raving underground reviews. He has had several performances on premier stages such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, New York’s SOB’s, Los Angeles Temple bar, Philadelphia’s Five Spot, and DC’s legendary Bohemian Caverns while robbing shoulders with some of today’s elite performers. Spreading his brand of soul with just a guitar in hand and with over a 100 performances in the year 2005 alone, KUKU is redefining what soul music, the singer songwriter style, and world music is all about.
Now, on the verge of the release of his debut full-length project “Unexpected Pleasures” more is about to change. Co-produced by KUKU (Nigeria) with help from long time friend, brother and multi-instrumentalist, Alexei Tsybine Jendayi (Moscow, Russia), the record is a sizzling two-man international affair. The select insiders who have had the opportunity hear this project, refer to it as an “Acoustic Masterpiece.” The six-foot four, five-octave vocal range soul man calls it the best musical work he can possibly create at this point in time.
A native of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria, KUKU intends to educate the world about the infectious culture of his homeland. At live performances, songs such as “Ife” have already begun schooling audiences on the Yoruba language. As a matter of fact, folks from regions such as Asia have requested KUKU to sing that particular song for their main wedding dance. “Unexpected Pleasures” is definitely an album that requires no fast-forwarding, every track hold its own. The point is the man can sing, he can write a song that will make the devil repent in 10 different religious denominations and he can deliver a song in optimum quality both live and in the studio.
The comparisons to many of the greats is endless, Richie Haven, Bill Withers, Nat King Cole, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, etc… KUKU is not surprised, he will be the first to tell you he takes from whatever inspires him, drops it in his Gumbo Pot and then serves it to the world with his personal signature, “The Afro-Soul Acoustic Experience”. He quotes, “Aint nothing new under the sun, every thing is recycled.”
In today’s mainstream music, love has taken a back seat. It’s time to get back on board the love train with this rising new star. With each song, KUKU promises to deliver Unexpected Pleasures.