Budding stand-up musical comedian, Otolorin Peter Kehinde, aka Kennyblaq, is beginning to stamp his feet on the entertainment industry as a genuine article. The Lagos-bred multi-talented greenhorn, has created a niche for himself by uniquely re-branding the fusion of music and comedy, started by the likes of Julius Agwu and Klint de drunk. In this chat with Showtime Celebrity, he speaks on his career, challenges, s3x, and dynamics of the Nigerian entertainment industry.
How did the journey begin?
It all began in 2008, when I did an event for a group of people who organised a beauty pageant tagged Miss Ejigbo. It was the first time I held a microphone to speak in the public. It wasn’t something I planned for, the organisers just came to my house and invited me to be part of the rally for the pageant, saying they’ve noticed I’m funny, jovial and have a good voice. I accepted and did it. During the rally, I spoke and sang using the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba accents, which thrilled and impressed people a lot. After the event, I was applauded, compliments flowed in from all angles that I was funny and able to carry the audience along while thrilling them with hilarious jokes and occasional infusion of music. Kennyblaq I was later told I possess the required skill to become a successful comedian, but as that time, what I really wanted to do was to sing, record songs, drop musical videos and become a popular artiste like Olamide, Davido, Wizkid and the likes, but people kept encouraging me to give comedy a try because they believed I had what it takes to be a comedian. A week after the Miss Ejigbo beauty pageant, I was invited for another event tagged Laughter night. I played the role of a mascot at the event, painted my face, wore funny costumes and did stuffs like Baba Sala (Moses Olaiya) of those days with a big belly just to look funny. I was actually shaking because it was my first time on stage, but at the end the audience was thrilled and the organisers were impressed. It was at that point I began to give fulltime comedy a thought. So, since then till now I’ve been doing my comedy thing and God has been faithful.
How did your family members react to your choice of career?
At first my parents refused because most of the events I was invited to were late night shows, and it was always a weekend thing, so whenever I was invited for a show my parents refused because they felt it was going to be in a bar or club where people drink and smoke. Also, at that time, my parents saw the entertainment industry as a corrupt entity, so they didn’t want me to get involved because they felt once I do, I’ll have to smoke, drink, draw tattoo on my body and get involved in other vices just to feel among. But I was able to convince them that I won’t forget where I’m coming from or the values and teachings I’ve learnt. I told them this was what I had a passion for and wanted to do. They also began to see that I was getting so much love from people, people wanted to associate with me because I was doing comedy. So my parents had a change of mind and said “okay, let’s give it a trial and see the outcome”.
Any regrets so far?
There were times I regretted going into comedy at all because the kind of comedy I do is fused with music and at that time people had not come to terms with that brand of comedy, so occasionally when I’m performing and I don’t get the expected applause or feedback, it would make me very sad. Imagine hearing comments like “he’s not funny”, or people are just busy pressing their phones while I’m cracking jokes, I felt so bitter that I wanted to quit and just face music. I later told myself that I was going to do one more event and if it wasn’t successful then I’ll quit comedy. Ironically, I got the referral for my next show at the event that made me never want to quit. It was a birthday where I got my first standing ovation for doing comedy, I was so happy because of the magnitude of response I got from the audience. I then said to myself “life is not a bed of roses, there would be high and low times”. These experiences opened my eyes to the basic dynamics that life hold for everyone. I’m proud to say that my regrets of the past are now becoming an advantage for me.
What shot Kenny Blaq to limelight?
I think it was my brand of comedy that people saw at the Calabar festival in 2011. My brand is a fusion of music and comedy, skillfully and artistically laced together to form a brand that is unique. The 2011 edition of the Calabar festival was my first big event, the stadium was filled with a mammoth crowd I had never performed in front of before. The video of my performance went viral online and people began to ask “who is this guy”. Seeing that kind of response, I had to step up my game. To the glory of God, I was invited for the next edition of the Calabar festival. How would you rate your success so far? I think I’m just starting. Before now, when I’m called up on stage to perform people hardly scream, but now when I’m done there is always a standing ovation. People didn’t know me until recently, and I think it was at Yaw’s Shalanga, I wasn’t even introduced, I just went on stage and people began screaming my name saying they love me, that was when I said to myself “Kenny Blaq, you’re getting there”.
People are becoming familiar with my brand and face and I’m happy about it. Even at Pencil Unbroken, I also wasn’t introduced; I walked out to the stage when the lights were not even on, yet everybody started shouting, it was more like when Wizkid or Davido comes on stage.
Should your fans expect a show from you soon?
For now I’m doing a series of fans’ hangout, I want my fans to be informed about the brand, know what I’m up to, get up close and personal. But I’m planning on doing my own annual comedy show soon, I’m not sure if it’s going to be this year or next, but there are plans on the way, just be on the lookout.
What does sex mean to you?
I’m a virgin so I don’t know what s3x is (laughs).
Is Kenny Blaq in love?
Yes o, I’m in love with my twin sister (laughs), she is the love of my life for now. After I lost my mom in 2012, my twin sister has been my mom and everything, she’s been so supportive. That is not to say I don’t have female friends, I do, I even have a lot of female friends and fans that want to date me. But because I still want to be relevant in the industry in the next 10 or 20yrs, I don’t have time for a relationship. I want to work, work, and work. I’ve been in relationships before but they didn’t work because I didn’t have time for the girls. I think a lady deserves attention in a relationship; her man should always be there. It doesn’t mean I don’t have free times, I do, but even in those free times I still work. Relationships in the entertainment industry hardly work, if you have to date someone in the industry, it has to be someone who understands the nature of the job because some partners are very jealous and need real attention. So, right now I just want to wait till when I find someone who really understands because I don’t want to break any girl’s heart. I don’t even have a heart, it’s kpomo that is there (laughs).