Meet The Up and Coming Afropop Artist
Kate Odulukwe is a talented rising artist, whose debut EP, Melanin and Melancholy, which was well received and praised, and given the stamp of approval by the likes of PopDust Magazine and renowned radio personality Sway Calloway. Kate comes from a background in theatre and has managed to combine her Nigerian and Bronx heritage into her creative spirit as an artist.
Her latest release, “Live and Let Me Live” was written and co-produced by Kate, in collaboration with a Nigerian producer via Zoom. The recording, mix and master was completed in New York, close to her home, with Kate being adamant that it is important to do this in a comfortable and familiar place, allowing herself to really feel at her most creative.
“Live and Let Me Live” marks a significant step in the musical journey of Nigerian-American singer songwriter and actress Kate, typically known for combining her love of traditional Nigerian music with R&B and Pop influences. This new release cultivates a new and refined sound, as Kate smoothly fuses Pop music with Afrobeat music.
Kate Odulukwe – Live and Let Me Live (Official Audio)
Meet and Get To Know Kate Odulukwe
Kulture Vulturez: With a Nigerian background and I assume originally from the Bronx, how do those two cultures mix into helping you becoming the creative person you are today?
Kate Odulukwe: Nigerian and American culture have shaped my identity. Hence, these cultures mix in my music, both lyrically and sonically, and they also mix to create a unique perspective. I feel that my art has been an expression of that perspective, and can continue to serve that purpose throughout my journey as an artist. There are both traditional and modern aspects of both cultures that shape my art, and I’m so grateful to have two cultures to pull from.
Kulture Vulturez: What initially motivated you to get involved in performing, both in music and acting?
Kate Odulukwe: After being involved in choir throughout my childhood, I wanted to further my relationship with the arts. This is what initially pushed me forward with performing after high school. That initial push continues to be relevant to the artist that I am today. I love performing both in music and in acting because it allows me to express myself.
In general, art is a beautiful thing because it’s an extension of who we are. I believe that storytelling is an extension of who I am. If I’m helping another person tell their story through the script, it’s still my job to bring the words to life. At the same time, with music I love writing and I love taking things that inspire me and putting it into my songs. I want my music to touch people and to reach people, and I think performing really allows that to happen.
Kulture Vulturez: Reading your press release it states that you are a shy person. What ways did you build confidence into becoming someone performing in front of others?
Kate Odulukwe: I’m not a shy person today. On the other hand, when I was a child, I was shy and did not express myself as openly as I do now. At that time, raising my voice and taking up space did not come as naturally as one would hope. But by the time I reached my late teens, I was completely changed. Overall, performing has shaped me into the grounded, confident, and passionate person that I am today.
Kulture Vulturez: Musically, what have been your biggest influences and inspirations that have helped shape your music?
Kate Odulukwe: There are so many artists, songs, and life experiences that have shaped my music. This ranges from artists like India.Arie to Flavour, from Afrobeats to Pop music, and so on. Most of all, I’m always pulling from things that move me. When I have an experience that’s associated with creativity, I want to bring listeners to that experience. So though there is a wide range of influences and inspirations for me, they all are based on things that make me feel moved.
Kulture Vulturez: Can you breakdown your latest single “Live and Let Me Live”?
Kate Odulukwe: “Live and Let Me Live” is an Afropop song. The Igbo phrase “Biri ka mbiri,” that I repeat throughout the song translates as “live and let me live.” I wanted to create something that would move listeners. At the same time, I wanted to bring in both Pop music and Afrobeat music to shape the song, and thus “Live and Let Me Live” was born.
The song is an expression of acceptance and celebration. Additionally, the song emphasizes letting things go and letting things be, and I wanted to incorporate that mentality both sonically and through the lyrics of the song.
Kulture Vulturez: While still building your catalog, what can the people look forward to from you in the future?
Kate Odulukwe: Next, I plan to go further with adding Afropop and Afrobeats to my discography. I’ll be releasing more music and performing. Moreover, I want to refine my sound and strengthen my presence as an artist, and the process to getting to that point inspires me too.
I think the best way to do that is just to hit the ground running, and work more and more on the craft. There’s so much to explore, and there’s definitely going to be a lot of exploration as my catalog continues to grow. I’m so excited to go forward–onward and upward.