CKay is a Nigerian pop, afrobeat and R&B artist. He was famous in his country, but no more, until he released the single “Love Nwantiti”. Although, to be more precise, a remix with a slightly different name has not yet been released: “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)“ with the participation of another Nigerian singer Joeboy and a singer from Ghana Kuami Eugene in 2020. Already this version topped the charts first in Nigeria, and then, in 2021, throughout Europe. And in 2022, it became the first Nigerian song to reach a billion streams on Spotify. Since then, it has been considered the most famous song in African history. You have definitely heard it at least once, because it has become viral in all social networks. networks.
History of formation “CKay – Love Nwantiti”
However, the rise of the performer was not as lightning fast as it seems. CK started his career as a music producer. In this field, he gradually “got on his feet”, made the necessary acquaintances. Nobody knew him as a performer, everyone saw him only as a music producer. He released his first mini album. He became famous enough, but not enough to talk about real popularity. According to many, “something was missing” in it.
Already in 2018, he releases the album “Container” in the Afrobeat style. The title song was a breakthrough in Nigerian music. And six months later, the second mini-album “CKay the First” was released, which included the song “Love Nwantiti”. It was with her that the real success of the artist began.
Interviewer: What was the biggest risk you took?
C.K.: I wrote a song with no lyrics in the chorus
The funny thing is that the song was originally written in the freestyle genre, that is, CK wrote it with absolutely no preparation. It was like this: he was sitting in the evening with his friends and suddenly wanted to sit down at the piano and experiment a little. So the first verse and chorus were ready. After the friends left, CK, succumbing to the “mood”, decided to finish the rest of the verses. He went to bed with thoughts: “Tomorrow I will wake up and write a chorus.” However, the next day, the performer realized that he would not change anything, and left the song as it was originally written.
At first, the label with which CK had a contract refused to release the song, justifying itself by saying that it was “not pumping and club enough”. They considered it slow and too lyrical. The artist decided to take a risk.
The meaning of the song “CKay – Love Nwantiti”
The lyrics of the song can be difficult to understand due to the fact that the performer sings in African English, with the appropriate accent and slang. However, there is nothing complicated about it. In fact, the lyrical hero simply sings about love for a woman. He praises her, goes crazy over her, calls her “the perfect creation of God”, because she “does not need silicone” in order to be beautiful. The song ends with the hero saying: “Beloved, I want to be your lover / Forever, forever…” – and this is the final touch, thanks to which the listener is definitely convinced of the sincere feelings of the hero.
On this, in fact, all the content ends. However, when talking about the song “Love Nwantiti”, one simply cannot help but touch on the slang that is used in it, because it reveals the meaning much better.
The first slang expression that came from the languages of the indigenous peoples of Africa is waiting for us in the name itself. “Nwantiti” means “little love” in Nigerian. This is quite an interesting choice, as it goes against the very meaning of the song. The text clearly reads that the love of the lyrical hero is not at all “small”, but very big and strong. There may be two implications behind this.
According to the first, the beloved responds with “little love” to the lyrical hero, which betrays a small element of tragedy to the text, because no matter how much he loves the girl, she will not be able to answer him with the same strong feeling.
According to the second version, the performer simply uses the technique that Hanya Yanagihara also resorted to when she called one of her books “Little Life”. The bottom line is that the book itself is very voluminous both in terms of the number of pages and in size. This meant that even in such a large volume it is impossible to fully tell the whole long life of a person, it will only be possible to touch on a small part of it. So in the song, the lyrical hero calls his love “little”, since the feelings described are only part of what he actually experiences.
There is also a line in the song: “I would like to taste you”, in the original of which the word “nkwobi” is used. By itself, it means a spicy beef fillet dish, so if it stood without context, one could safely assume that the performer was asking the girl for … food. However, in the general sense of the song, the word takes on its slang meaning: having sex.