Ckay: The rise of Love Nwantinti
Chukwuka Ekweani popularly known as Ckay grew up around music as his dad was a lover of classical music which influenced his love for art. His passion for music brought him to Lagos with a dream to join a record label.
Born in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, he began his journey into the music industry in 2018 but a lot of people did not recognize him as an artist only as a producer. While in Lagos as a producer for Chocolate, Ckay produced an entire range of songs like Otedola by Dice Ailes, Blood and fire by DJ Neptune and Container which was his first major single.
Since then, he has released an extended play (EP) titled ‘Ckay the first’ in 2019. The EP was also his first studio album ‘Boyfriend’ which came out in 2021 where he collaborated with some of the country’s biggest stars, including Davido. The EP was a mix of a sexy, dance-worthy, and sometimes experimental brand of Afrobeats.
In an interview with Pulse Tv, Ekweani admitted to an in-house battle for the song that was going to lead publicity for album the ‘Ckay the first”. After an extended deliberation the record label, Chocolate City finally agreed to push the song Love Nwantinti. Later it was decided that Ckay should feature Joeboy and Kuami Eugene for the remix of the song in Q1 2020 that has since got the ears of millions.
‘Love Nwantinti’ the song which literally means small love in Igbo, talks about the singer’s intense desire for a love interest. Featuring Joeboy may have been the best decision for Love Nwantinti. Joeboy has in the past done songs that appeal to younger female audiences locally and get them attracted each time they listen.
“When we released the EP, we just noticed that people were making videos,” CKay said in an interview with hiphopDX. “Girls were making videos with that song, specifically. With no promo or nothing, organically, girls just liked to make videos with this song.”
Industry experts also attribute the success of the song to being released during the global COVID-19 pandemic. It was so popular on social media that Winnie Harlow, a popular Jamaican-Canadian fashion model danced to the song.
The individual video versions of the song done by fans on Tiktok and other social media platforms have contributed to its streaming numbers hitting the big times. On streaming services like Youtube, Spotify, and Audiomack Love Nwantinti has racked up almost 100 million, 12 million, and 11 million streams respectively.
For weeks now, a new version of Love Nwantinti done by DJ Yo and Axel, has taken over Tiktok and has grabbed the listening and viewing attention of millions of users across the world an indication of the fluidity and versatility of the song in creating different kind of content.