Chukwuka Ekweani, also known as Ckay, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer who is signed to Warner Music South Africa. He was previously signed to Chocolate City, a Warner Music Group independent label services ADA member. Chocolate City released his international hit single “Love Nwantiti” in 2019. Following the launch of the Billboard Afrobeats Chart on March 29, 2022, the song debuted at number one. On May 9, 2022, it became the first African song in history to receive one billion Spotify streams.
Early Life and Education
Chukwuka Ekweani was born on July 16, 1995, in Kaduna, Nigeria. He is of Igbo descent and was born in Anambra State, Nigeria. His father, who was a choir conductor at their local church, inspired his love of music. He was moved by musical instruments as a child, prompting him to learn the piano from his father.
Ckay received a good education from prestigious primary and secondary schools in the country’s northern and southern regions. However, the names of the institutions he attended are not known to the general public.
His music career started when a friend introduced him to the production software Fruity Loops. Chukwuka started off his music career as a member of a band, made up of him and two other bandmates, before beginning his solo career as CKay.
In 2014, he relocated to Lagos, after he got discovered. While signed to Loopy Music, he began working with Chocolate City, in early 2015. Following the merger of Loopy Music in 2016, he officially joined the Chocolate City artist roster. He is a musician who has made tracks in a variety of genres including Afrobeats, R&B and Dancehall. On 11 September 2017, he released his first extended play Who the Fuck Is CKay?, through Chocolate City. On 30 August 2019, he released his second extended play CKay the First through Chocolate City, and on 11 February 2021, he released his third extended play Boyfriend through Warner Music South Africa.
On 2 March 2018, he released “Container”, an Afrobeat record influenced by the South African gwara gwara dance style. The song became a breakthrough record and earned him substantial airplay in Nigeria. It was released through Chocolate City and was produced by Tempoe. On 6 July 2018, he released the music video, directed and shot by the Myth in various locations in Lagos.
In 2019, following the release of CKay the First, “Love Nwantiti” became a major record in Nigeria. On 14 February 2020, CKay released a remix titled “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” featuring Joeboy and Kuami Eugene. In 2021, it went viral on TikTok and became an international hit, charting across Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, also reaching number 23 in the UK and earning him his first entry on the US Billboard Hot 100. A North African remix featuring ElGrande Toto became popular in the Maghreb countries and in Germany. A French remix featured Franglish, a German remix featuring Frizzo, Joeboy and Kuami Eugene, a Spanish version with De La Ghetto, an East African remix featuring Rayvanny and a South African remix featuring Tshego and Gemini Major.
He was featured on the song “La La” from Davido’s studio album A Better Time, released on 13 November 2020, through Davido Music Worldwide, RCA Records, and Sony Music. and “Beggie Beggie” from Ayra Starr’s debut studio album 19 & Dangerous, released on 6 August 2021, through Mavin Records. On 28 July 2021, he received his first YouTube plaque for reaching 100k subscribers. On 8 October 2021, Ckay became the first African artist to hit 20 Million Spotify Listeners, with over 21 million monthly listeners on his Spotify page.
CKay is also known by the nickname, “Your Boyfriend” due to one of his popular albums. He is light-skinned in complexion and keeps a dreadlocks hairdo. He is seen as the lady’s man and he has a lot of female fans whose numbers seem to grow every day.
He spends his time between Lagos and SouthAfrica, where he owns choice apartments in highbrow neighbourhoods in the city. He also owns a fleet of exotic cars, which can be found in the garages of his homes.
Ckay‘s relationship status isn’t public knowledge as he likes to keep issues regarding his personal life private. However, it is rumoured that he is in a relationship with a beautiful young lady who is based in Nigeria.
Ckay is known for making Afropop music, fusing Afrobeats, Dancehall, R&B, and electronic sounds together. He was nominated for the Best International Song category at the 2022 Brit Awards.
- Who The F*ck is Ckay Mixtape (2017)
- Ckay The First (2019)
- Boyfriend (2021)
- Last Call
- The Recipe
- Ski Ski
- Way Ft. DJ Lambo
- Oliver Khan Ft. BOJ
- Like To Party Ft. Blaqbonez
- Beeni Ft. Barry Jhay
- Davido – La La Ft Ckay
Awards and Nominations
|Year||Awards ceremony||Award description(s)||Nominations||Results|
|2018||City People Music Award||Best New Act of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
|2020||City People Music Award||Best Collabo of the Year||Love Nwantiti “(with. Joeboy, & Kuami Eugene)”||Nominated|
|2021||All Africa Music Awards||Most Promising African Artist||Himself “Felony”||Nominated|
|2021||Mobo Awards||Best African Music Act||Himself||Nominated|
|2022||Brit Awards||Best International Song||“Love Nwantiti”||Nominated|
|2022||The Future Awards Africa||Prize for Music (Endowed by Infinix)||Himself||Nominated|
|2022||The Headies||Best Collaboration||“Beggie Beggie” (with. Ayra Starr)||Pending|
CKay is one of Africa’s top artists, he has built a fortune in a short while from performing at shows and the royalties generated by his discography.
He is estimated to have a net worth of US$5 million.