TVOA: Can you tell us about your childhood growing up?
JOVE KENTE: I grew up in a single parent household with my mother and two sisters, never saw my father growing up so I always thought it was normal for most people to have just one parent around. It was tough because my mother was always working to put food on the table for us. I had to become a man very fast and make decisions on my own because of this.
TVOA: Are there any other role models/ mentors you had that you could
confide in their process?
JOVE KENTE: Yes, I grew up listening to hip hop so I look up to artist like Nas & KRS One, Jay Z, Big Daddy Kane, 2Pac, Reggie Rockstone and I can name them all, so I can honestly say I look up to these artists as mentors and especially when you don’t have a father figure at home, you tend to learn from any male figure you look up to.
TVOA: How important is it that you keep your authenticity as an artist?
JOVE KENTE: It’s very important to keep my authenticity because I have always been the kind of artist not afraid to try new things and if I couldn’t be authentic I wouldn’t see the point of being an artist, because what’s the point of living in someone’s shadow. The main point of being an artist is to allow yourself to create and that creation has to be authentic.
TVOA: How do you go look to develop and find talent in Ghana for your label?
JOVE KENTE: We actually don’t look for talent, our label social media have some solid following, so usually the talent finds us. We are constantly getting direct messages and almost every underground artist is looking to be signed, though I don’t think they really need a label. All you need are loyal fans who believe in your work and the label will always find you.
TVOA: Given the current state of the world in regards to covid how have you managed to stay inspired and write music?
JOVE KENTE: It’s a little challenging because you are constantly watching the news and trying to keep yourself updated, and also being paranoid doesn’t allow the creative juices to flow. So usually I just turn off everything connected to the outside world and just zone in, and I zone in by listening to some instrumentals and if that hits me then my creative juices will flow.
TVOA: Congratulations on releasing AWC! What platforms is it available on.
JOVE KENTE: I really appreciate it. I hope it inspires and reminds us to love each other in these tough times. It’s currently on itunes, spotify, tidal basically on every music platforms
TVOA: How has the feedback been?
JOVE KENTE: The feedback has been great. You know this is my first ever EP and first ever EP from the label and it was a surprise to my label and my team, so I’m glad we were able to deliver this to the fans.
TVOA: What song would you recommend people listen to?
JOVE KENTE: Honestly, I will say all three songs, because each song has a different feel. The first track which is “Fallen” is pure emotions and feelings, the second track “Fortwo” is that afrobeats feel, and the last which we had to re-release on the EP, “Pull it” is just pure hip hop with a trap feel, so I will say all three and anyone who listens to the EP will find something they like.
TVOA: What’s the message you’re trying to bring with your album.
JOVE KENTE: I think what I was trying to remind people about, was love, you know 2020 was a hard year for all of us. So my team and I figured dropping these EP on Jan 1st will be great because it can remind us to love once more.
TVOA: What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
JOVE KENTE: Most people don’t know I’m into business and I love to invest, but honestly I’m doing everything I want to do.. It’s just that I’m fortunate to also have a music career. I have a lot of hidden talent, I recently became a certify cyber security professional, like I’m very fortunate, I own a couple of businesses, I can draw, I have a degree in music and sound engineering, I’m a certified personal trainer, I can keep going on and on, but the key is God has been good to me so I’m very fortunate to be where I’m and especially when I have been counted out and also growing up in a single parent home.
TVOA: Being the ceo of your Label do you find it more difficult know that you’re your own boss or is your process uninhibited now that your own boss
JOVE KENTE: It’s very difficult to be the CEO of my own label, because when it comes to budget for a project, I tend to not spend more on my project because I sometimes feel I’m overspending. I mean I enjoy the freedom I get as the CEO of my label because I can take my time and not let anyone rush the process for me, also being the CEO of your own label means you answer to no one, though in BGN we make decisions as a team and I allow everyone on the team to object and speak up if something is not right.
TVOA: How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business and your career?
JOVE KENTE: I mean, the internet has changed a lot since its birth. I think if it wasn’t the internet music would still be heard in neighborhoods before it trends and we would still be selling music from the trunk of our cars. It has allowed someone in Cuba to stream my EP, and it has open revenue for artists as well. Because for example, who would have thought an artist would be paid for his streams on Youtube, during BET and MTV days we only watch videos on tv and the common artist wasn’t earning from streams, so I think the internet has more merits than demerits, though basically any music can be free at any moment.
TVOA: Beyond Afrobeats, what other styles and artists should the industry be looking at in Africa?
JOVE KENTE: Africa’s talent has not even been explored by the world yet, we have Afropop and Afrofusion which is slowly making it stand. And with the whole Kumerica drill, I mean African artist have not been fully discovered yet, personally I’m crushing on Tems and I love what she is doing and also my fellow label mate B-Jay & Nanamilla, I think Yaw Tog too is an amazing artist who is really putting the Kumerica drill on.
TVOA: What is one message you would give to your fans?
JOVE KENTE: I just ask them to be patient with me and just stay tuned, we have a couple of surprises coming before 2021 is over. Also want them to know I really appreciate their believe and faith in me because without them I probably won’t be in the music industry
TVOA: How can The voice of Africa collaborate with you and your content
JOVE KENTE: I really love what TVOA is doing, I love the whole idea of holding up our black excellence high and uplifting Africa as a whole, because you know the western world has hidden Africa for so long. I think we could collaborate by maybe hosting a TVOA and BGN charity concert for Africa, that will be amazing if we can come together for that. I would like to personally thank TVOA for this interview and really appreciate your time. I’m blessed to be part of something made for Africa and by Africa.