Kaliné: “BSc In Business Management Is My Plan B”
Singer and Songwriter Kaliné and Frolicious sit down to talk about being a singer and a fashionista.
Frolicious: Could you please introduce yourself?
Kaliné: My name is Kaliné and I am a Nigerian alternative afro-soul singer-songwriter/pianist and film composer.
Folicious: Who or what inspired you to become a singer?
Kaliné: I come from a very musical family. My mother was my first piano teacher at 5 years old and my classical training is certainly thanks to her not giving up on my brothers and I despite our habits of never practicing. My father introduced me to jazz, reggae, country music and many more genres but a life changing point in my life was the day I heard the ‘Dangerous’ album by Michael Jackson. His lyrical content, his composition skill and his brand evolution helped me make the initial decision to become a full-time musician and singer.
Frolicious: You do a lot of shows. Do you still get nervous before a performance?
Kaliné: Always. I probably always will. Healthy nerves are great. The good thing is that I’ve learned how to channel them and use them to my advantage. Infact, not being nervous makes me nervous and it’s nothing that a few deep breaths can’t tame.
Frolicious: Which famous singer or musicians do you admire? Why?
Kaliné: The list is endless but as I mentioned earlier, Michael Jackson is an all-time favorite, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Prince, Lagbaja, Fela, Carole King, Corinne Bailey Rae to name a few.
Frolicious: If you are writing a song what comes first: the melody or the lyrics?
Kaliné: I find it a lot easier to write lyrics first. The come to me the quickest. I envy songwriters who say they could be walking down the street and suddenly a melody pops into their mind. I’m still hoping that will happen to me one day. I’m fortunate to have a melodic instrument like the piano that helps with putting a melody to my lyrics.
Frolicious: What does fashion mean to you?
Kaliné: Essentially, it is important to me that ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ is an extension of who I am as opposed to the definition of me. I love fashion and I enjoy setting trends rather than following them. I spend hours in thrift stores sifting through racks of vintage attire, one off pieces but what I love the most is designing my own stage clothes, which I have successfully been doing for about a year now.
Frolicious: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Kaliné: It evolves constantly but I’ve found some consistency. It’s a combination of androgyny and glamour I guess – a bit of Solange and a bit of Diana Ross. For stage, my staples are a pair of shorts, a fitted jacket and some comfy funky heels. Off stage, I love a good pair of brogues and print shirt/trouser suits.
Frolicious: You have graduated with a BSc in Business Management. Is this your Plan B?
Kaliné: It always used to be a Plan B but now I treat it as part of the plan because I use it constantly. In this business, you are forced to treat your talent as a brand, as a business. It can’t be seen as a hobby because just like every other industry, we are faced with competitiors, we are faced with huge amounts of uncertainty etc. I am so fortunate to have studied copyright law, marketing and especially brand management.
Frolicious: You have just released your first single. Have you intentionally taken your time on this one?
Kaliné: I guess I could’ve released something a lot sooner but I’ve learned to be patient and therefore create a brand and a product(s) that is of a standard I can be proud of. I started recording professionally at 17 and I definitely wasn’t ready then. As a singer I hadn’t found my voice, I didn’t have my own sound, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about. Now all those loose ends are somewhat tied and I can now defend anything I’m doing with confidence. ‘Ololufemi’ wasn’t supposed to be the first single but it turned out to be and it has received so many great reviews. I look forward to sharing the EP with you later this summer.
Frolicious: What advice would you give to beginners who would like to become a singer or a musician?
Kaliné: That’s very easy. “To thyself be true”. To some, it may be the hardest thing to do because of how the world works now, what is considered commercial and what will supposedly make you instantly popular but I believe that if we were all able to find our true calling in life and stick to it, then our times would be a lot easier to live in. That’s an ideal world. hahahah! But, there is absolutely no use in pretending to be someone else when you are totally special exactly as you are. Yes, training and self-development are important factors but all that can be gained in a classroom. ‘Purpose’ can’t.