Nigerian/American artist Teeklef is set to release his newest single and video for Apart. The track seamlessly weaves his love of American hip-hop with the sounds of his Nigerian upbringing. With an Afrobeat rhythm driving the song and Teeklef’s vocals deftly flowing from his Nigerian dialect to English and back, he makes a statement in a way that is uniquely his own: Apart is a love letter to his birthplace and a glimpse at the future of R&B.
A future that is crosses cultural and national boundaries to create something new. Teeklef was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was first exposed to music in the church choir. But when he could sneak away to friends’ houses with American television, he found himself glued to BET’s 106th and Park, emulating the style of American rappers and R&B singers. This led him in new artistic directions, inspired by the mix of R&B/hip-hop of OVO artists and the Afrobeat sounds of artists like Wizkid and Popcaan now emerging on a world stage. After moving to Indianapolis in 2007, he continued to develop as an artist, playing locally at first and later expanding his following, playing in Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and all over the Midwest.
The Apart video takes the viewer into a sort of dream sequence, with Teeklef suddenly finding himself in a graffiti-covered underground space. In this sparse world he creates a new sound for Indianapolis, a place not typically known for its hip hop scene. Apart demonstrates his love and respect for the music of his former home, Nigeria, and his forward-looking view of what the future of American hip hop and R&B might have in store for us. An immigrant, now a US citizen, a father and a leader in his community, Teeklef shows us what life can be like in a global world that embraces all cultures.