A Conversation with Kingsley Ejiogu-Dike

Image Courtesy of Fizzle

Interview by Caitlin McCartney

I sat down with Kingsley earlier this year to discuss his music, creating both as an individual artist and as a part of the sophomore band Fizzle. He is planning on releasing his own work sometime this spring so keep an eye out for some exciting new music!

How has your year been musically?

It's been pretty interesting because right now, since I'm a football player, it's the most hectic time of the year with the way our rehearsal is scheduled. So last year was more of, I would write something, come into rehearsal, and practice how it sounds and see what I have to change and just trying to get the sound right. Now the only way I'm hearing the band play is either the recordings or I'm not hearing them at all. So I have to adjust my sound and my lyrics based on more instinct and my knowledge of the band itself.

Do you feel like the band is on the same page or is it hard to make sure your voice is heard since you cannot be present at rehearsals?

No, I think the good thing about Fizzle is that you do not have to ever force anything. If you feel something, you let it be known and we are very good at addressing those things. Any suggestion I make they definitely take into consideration and whether they implement it or not is how the band feels about it as a whole. Musically, they all respect what I do and what I have to say about it.

How did you get into music and Fizzle?

Before college, music was one of those things where I was always interested in but I never really focused on. So I would always write things and make these little songs, but I would keep it to myself and my inner friend group. When I got to college I met my roommate Ray Jackson who is one of those kids who is very open about everything— whether it was socially, emotionally, artistically, and he is very expressive about it. Through him, I learned to share things that I had if I wanted to share it. So I got into music a lot more. He's the one who introduced me to Fizzle because he was a part of the original core group before it got bigger. He would be practicing a song in the room and I started rapping to it and he asked to me to come to a rehearsal. I showed the group what I had and they all loved it. I started writing for them and that was about it.

What is your writing process like?

So what I realized is that I can't force it. I'm not the type to take a 3 hour block and say I'm going to write music. Honestly, a lot of the things I write are more trial-and-error. I will be free-styling over a beat I like while I'm chilling and I might say a few things and write it down. It may not work, but I know that I'll want to use it further down the line. Other times, I'll put my phone on record and then keep going until I find something I like. Mostly it's just random things in everyday life; whatever I'm thinking or experiencing at the time. Different things will come in that I think are funny or clever or I think is very intellectual where if I say it once you'll just say I said a sentence but if you think about it again and you would say like "Oh that's kinda crazy".

Do you a specific goal with your music?

Yeah. With Fizzle I just want us to expand and to understand where we want to be as a band. For me personally, I also want to be a recording artist, so I'm working on some stuff. I'm in the lab right now, so I'm planning on having a lot of stuff out this spring with some other kids I've been working with.

What are some of your biggest inspirations?

You can ask any of my friends or people who know me and they would say that Meek Mill is probably my biggest inspiration as an artist. Even though I don't see him as the best rapper, he is my favorite because what he is saying and how he represents and how he delivers that just resonates with me. Just with the things that I've been through in my life and any emotion for me, there is usually some sort of Meek Mill song that can represent that .

Do you have a favorite piece, your own or not, that you love rapping or performing to?

“Young Kings” by Meek Mill. One of the things is that I love my friends and I'm very loyal and I want all of us to succeed as individuals and as a group. So “Young Kings” is one of those songs that's about not worrying about fame but growth as an individual and surrounding yourself with people with that same mindset.

Any advice you have for people who are starting out with music or trying to form groups?

When it comes to being a musician and artist, it's really easy to think that it is a far-fetch idea, but in reality, I've seen people come from the ground up and be successful. If you want to do it, then do it. If you want to start a group, find people who love the idea of creating something and you'll be fine.

And for individual artists, what is the first step you recommend taking?

Definitely getting your name out there and gathering some type of following. I want people to listen to my music and understand what I'm trying to say. I think that's my biggest thing, just connecting people to my music so they can hear the music itself.