Emerging Canadian-Nigerian artist Shopé bursts onto the scene with an electrifying energy and warming spirit, recently unveiling his debut, seven-track album, RIKIKI.
The album was born out of a difficult process of growth and change for Shopé, it retells the story of how he, as a young immigrant child, lost his roots and then reconnected with them again in adulthood. More than just a successful music release, this album was a transformative journey for Shopé – a journey of self-discovery and actualisation.
“RIKIKI started 2 years ago, but the heart behind it started much earlier. Being a Nigerian immigrant I was teased in school, so I spent many years ignoring my Afrianness at best, and downplaying it at worst. As I matured, some things started to shift my perspective, one of which was coming to witness the disadvantages of people of colour in the western world. In 2013 I visited Nigeria for the first time since leaving in 2000. Leading up to that, I had already been having convictions of re-connecting to my roots. Those convictions continually grew stronger, finally solidifying during that 2013 visit. I knew I had to find my way back home and somehow connect it to my Toronto identity. It took some more time to establish that connection, but now 7 years later, the signals are clear.“
“As I continue to dive deeper into synchronizing both sides of my cultural identity, my strength and confidence grows. My heart for Africa grows by the day, without diminishing my love for Canada, a country that embraced my family and has afforded us many opportunities, not the least of which was the 2019 CBC Searchlight win.
RIKIKI is my contribution at bridging my western identity with the motherland. It is a project for those in the African diaspora. Although a self-coined term, the song (and eponymously titled EP) is an expression of a fierce, deep rooted confidence that took me so long to develop. Simply put, ‘Rikiki’ is meant to communicate confidence, courage, boldness…not caring what others are doing/thinking/saying about you. Simply being strong enough to be you.“
Stream ‘Rikiki’ the lead single from Shopé’s debut album here:
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