Bully Season Vol.1 - EP

Bully Season Vol.1 - EP

With a catalog that includes music by Rema, Wizkid, Fireboy DML, SPINALL, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Angelique Kidjo, and more, Nigerian superproducer Kel-P—and his “It’s Kel-P vibes” calling card—has been instrumental in shaping the Afrobeats scene. “I started making beats in 2017, and that was when I got to meet producer Sarz. Everything kicked off from there,” Kel-P tells Apple Music. “I lived in Sarz’s house, [and went] from his house to the studio, studio to school, all of that. But I was always singing. I was always going to the studio. I was in a group of singers; we called ourselves Dynamites. I’d been in this group for a couple of years—I knew how to play instruments, how to sing. Sarz and I were just talking and that’s how we connected. That’s how I found myself learning how to make beats.” That kind of all-round understanding helped him both grow as a producer and hone his own artistry. With his debut project, 2023’s Bully Season Vol.1, Kel-P makes his greater ambitions all the more clear. “I know the word ‘bully’ means violence or whatever,” he explains. “But in my own terminology, ‘bully season’ actually expresses where I came from to where I am today and how much work I’ve put into my career to get to this point. I’m trying to let people know that I can do this for real. I’m a bully when it comes to this music thing. I’m going to make the beat. I’m going to write the song. I’m going to come out there and perform the song. Whatever situation, I’m going to do that. And Kel-P is someone who is never OK with what he has. He likes to keep it going, but at the same time, he believes he can own the whole thing.” Though Afrobeats is his foundation, the artist born Udoma Peter Kelvin Amba is also heavily influenced by the R&B, dancehall, and reggae of the early 2000s. “Right now, what I call my sound is ‘Afro-dancehall,’” he explains. “I’m trying to bring all those genres together, but no matter what I’m doing, I’ll never forget home.” Here, Kel-P breaks down his debut EP, track by track. “Tropicana Baby” “I was texting [producer] Krizbeatz every day. I’m like, ‘Bro, you got to give me just one hour, man, just one hour.’ I went to his studio, and he was playing me a couple of beats. It was just the guitars I was listening to. When the drums hit me, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, OK. I’m definitely doing justice with this one.’ It’s basically me expressing myself about a girl who likes nature, like me.” “Sundress” “‘Sundress’ was produced by my friend from Jamaica, Iotosh. The whole project was made for women to dance to, because that’s what I was doing. I was just trying to make a body of work that makes women dance. Not dance, but [a] slow wind kind of vibe, you feel me? A summer kind of vibe—girls in bikinis doing their thing and enjoying themselves.” “One More Night” “The whole creation process was so easy, but the business side was tough. Especially clearing the sample [of Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s 2002 hit, ‘Dilemma’]. It got to a point where I told myself, ‘What’s happening? Is this record really going to make it?’ I started listening to music during the early 2000s, so I [wanted] to sample my favorite R&B songs from back then. The first thing that came to my head was that first line—‘Baby girl/You got me caught right from beginning.’ When you hear it from the sample, and then you hear the switch that happens after that, like, ‘Oh!’—that was how I wanted it to hit people. Everything about it was very intentional.” “True Love” “‘True Love’ was a freestyle. I didn’t really take it seriously, because I didn’t settle down to pen the lyrics, I just took the mic and went off. I played it for a couple of people in Ghana and Nigeria, who were like, ‘Yo, “True Love,” man.’ So that was how I was convinced. LONDON produced ‘True Love.’ At this point, every producer I was working with never believed I could sing. So they were all like, ‘Yo, bro, what is this? Are you the one singing?’” “Feel Lucky” “‘Feel Lucky’ was produced by Northboi. We used to make beats together. He came through for me. Rotimi’s song ‘Fiction,’ [which] featured Jamaican artist Busy Signal, inspired me and gave me a direction of how I wanted to take ‘Feel Lucky.’ It’s a feel-good song—one of the songs I would listen to when I’m driving. It’s the song I’m just going to turn on in that hot sun, drive and cool off.”

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