All the way from the DMV comes the proud-american Nigerian artist who goes by the name of Khaiba. Khaiba’s genre could be considered a mix of hip-hop, Rnb, Pop. Music isn’t the only lane Khaiba is skilled in, he graduated from college just last year and is currently studying to get into med school to become a doctor but he definitely wants some radio play and to meet some cool celebrity figures before then! He’s a strong believer in music serving as medicine to heal the world with and his music personally revolves around vulnerability, self-love, self-expression, and the idea of being yourself! His goal? To be great in both fields of science and music and he ended up writing a paper his freshmen year about how we are pretty much biologically hard-wired for music at our core. (neat right?)
Khaiba released his single titled Liquor and we were impressed by his lyrical flow and fire delivery. Khaiba reminds me significantly of rappers like Drake, J.cole, and Kendrick lamar. I say that because while listening to him, you’re in tuned with his lyrics the same way you are with those rappers I named. Ironically, Khaiba’s an anime goofball who bumps the music of J.cole, Drake, Chance The Rapper, and bryson tiller. You can ascertain that these musical icons played as an inspiration for Khaiba’s swag crafted by his individuality as well. I like how not only did Khaiba rap, but he showcased his vocal ability as well. His smooth-sailing vocal tone was a demonstration of his capability of genre-crossing or may I say, genre-fusing. With a personal songwriting caliber reflective of his thoughts, Khaiba uses music and storytelling as an outlet to release his inner feelings and it’s noticeable within the music feeling more authentic than usual. Khaiba has an undeniably bright future ahead of him and we’re excited to see all he accomplishes!
Listen to "Liquor" here and get to know more about Khaiba below!
Hello! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers, tell us about yourself and what drove you into your music career!
My name is Khaiba, which is a partial anagram for my full name and is a play on "Seto Kaiba" from one of my favorite anime shows as a kid, "Yu-Gi-Oh". My friends even call me Seto sometimes. I chose this name because it keeps me grounded and ambitious at the same time. I like making friends but I can be a very shy person, fairly reserved. I love anime, comics, and like to keep to myself a lot. I don't ever think I am better than the next person and I hate it when people are arrogant. In the show though, Seto is exactly that: a conceited rich dude who is very prideful, unafraid to speak his mind, do whatever it takes to get what he wants, and constantly strives to better himself. And when it comes to my music (and even my academic goals), that is the same drive I want to have for myself. The creators that inspire me the most to do this are probably Drake, Chance the Rapper, Bryson Tiller, and J. Cole - they really know how to tell stories with their music in a way that makes them vulnerable, humbled by experience, and reflective about the lessons they learn and teach. They have their fingers on the pulse of music culture, yet they all are super versatile artists. You can't box them in, and I like to think I'm the same way. I never fit in throughout all my years in school thus far, and it wasn't until I started making music that I realized that in itself was my greatest superpower. Making music helps me feel like a superhero and a regular kid at the same time. I feel kinda like Miles Morales from "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse".
Do you ever find any challenges in balancing school with music?
Yeah it can be really hard. Trying to keep up with both is exhausting, and some days I want to quit pursuing one or the other or both just because of how hard it is to make time. Makes me doubt my creativity and, more than anything, question my intelligence. But I know there's a way to keep them both in my life, and if not I'll just make a way for myself.
Tell us about your single “Liquor”, what is this about?
"Liquor" is a party song, but more so than that it's about viewing yourself as an icon: loving yourself, doing the things that bring you joy while surrounded by the people you love. It's about getting off work on a Friday afternoon and even though you got nothing but a couple bucks in your pocket, you're still taking your broke behind to the club with your equally broke friends just to feel like a boss for one night out with the crew.
What inspired you to write “Liquor” ?
So last year was kinda rough, and it got to the point where I was like I can either lay around defeated or just keep it moving. I can be very lazy when I'm in my feelings, and it was hard, but I managed to pick myself up and soon after that I picked up my pen. I wanted to write something with this vision in mind: "If I didn't have to feel this way, how would I WANT to feel?". The rest is history.
What’s your personal favorite part about your song “Liquor” and why?
Aside from being able to shoot a music video for it and bring the vision for it to life, I would say my favorite thing about this particular track is the wordplay. I can't even front, I did a solid job on writing this one. This is hands down my best song and it's the gold standard I will forever be chasing when I make new music.
What’s next for you Khaiba?
So right now I'm taking a break from music for a few months to focus on studying for the MCAT. I really want to get into a medical school that's top tier and balanced in its programs but also one that matches the values and standards I have established and set for myself. But after the test is over, if I can do well enough and get into the places I want to get into (God willing, LOL PRAY FOR YA BOI), I will be working on a full-fledged studio album before I enroll that will absolutely blow my last project out of the water. I want to make music people can really feel and relate to but is also reflective of who I am as an individual, art that snapshots my experiences but lifts people up at the same time.
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