The story of an upcoming artist maneuvering his or her way to prominence will never not be inspiring. It serves as a source of motivation to other upcoming acts who sometimes lose hope due to the struggle they usually face. When a new artist breaks out, it can be a thing of beauty watching them grow, seeing their fan base expand and their music spreading across the country and beyond.
After desperate and relentless attempts to make a name for himself in the University of Lagos, Koker sauntered into the limelight with his critically-acclaimed single Do Something. This was in 2015 when Koker signed to Chocolate City and featured on the label’s compilation album The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation. Koker, whose real name is Olayiwola Olabanji Kokumo, is an Afropop artist whose sound is strongly influenced by Juju and Fuji.
Koker began his musical journey at the University of Lagos. He started recording music out of makeshift music studios in boys quarters on campus and started garnering a fan base as a student. He began performing at shows in school and was able to compose songs for Eko Sports Festival. Koker had been hanging around the LAMP house studios since 2013 which saw him deliver a sensational hook on a song Eleto where he was featured by Pryse. Also, he had released certain hit songs like Kaabo, Heartfelt, Rich, and more as an unsigned artist.
After the release of Do Something, Koker enjoyed massive attention from fans and music lovers. As a young artist coming out of Unilag, Koker was vibrant and committed to his cause. His interpolation of Fuji, Juju, and Afrobeats appealed to many and put him in a distinguished position.
It was glaring that Koker had a lot of potential and he was cheered on by his supporters to continuing making a way for himself with his astonishing style of music. His follow-up single Kolewerk quickly became one of the hottest Afropop songs following its release. He gained more prominence and his confidence rose. He featured Olamide on the remix of Kolewerk which led to an enormous increase in his fan base. He collaborated with some other acts such as label mates (M.I, Dice Ailes, Milli), Phenom, Falz, Skales as well.
The Chocolate City act released a couple of hit songs later in 2017 including Bokiniyen, Okay, Wavy. As much as it was expected that Koker would secure a place for himself in the mainstream, things did not exactly go that way for him. His name began to hold less weight and his music wasn’t as well accepted as his first set of singles. What happened?
There were some rumors that Koker fell out with Chocolate City which influenced his decision to quit the label. It has been mentioned countless times by many acts who have at one time been signed to Chocolate City that the label does not run its management well. Could this have been what affected Koker and led to a decline in his career? It is not unlikely.
Leaving Chocolate City, Koker released song Daddy under his imprint Koke Boy. The song received a warm welcome. However, it did not bring the difference Koker expected after quitting his label for a fresh start. He released another single E Dey Your Body and his fate remained the same. The music industry is brutal. Once it leaves you behind, it takes immense efforts to get back in the spotlight.
Koker released a song Happy earlier this year. Last time I checked, the video, which was released a few weeks back, only had 120 views. I refuse to believe that Nigerians have forgotten Koker such that he can’t even rack 1000 views on his music video. This makes me wonder: does Koker still have a chance to make a name?