Faridah ‘Kah-Lo’ Seriki had to move all the way from Nigeria to New York to kick-start her career in music. These days, her home country is filled with rising stars like Wizkid, Mr Eazi and Davido. But growing up Kah-Lo didn’t have the opportunities her fellow Nigerians enjoy today.
“Before I moved to New York I was trying to do the same thing [as those artists], but we didn’t have the internet capacity we’ve got now,” she says. “With SoundCloud and Instagram, they’re now about to reach people all over the world.”
Kah-Lo arrived in New York from Lagos in 2009, aged 16, to study. But once she graduated she was quick to pursue music, performing at coffee shops, uploading demos to SoundCloud and, eventually, connecting with UK producer Riton on Twitter and starting a working partnership. “I’m new to all of this, while he’s been doing it for twenty plus years,” she says. “There have been a lot of mistakes I’ve been saved from by him.” They’ve formed a formidable team since Kah-Lo made her debut on the Grammy-nominated ‘Rinse & Repeat’ in 2015, which set the template for her carefree, deadpan vocals over Riton’s energetic, bouncing house grooves.