Exclusive Interview with Nsay Ki La on His upcoming EP ‘Overflowing
Nsay Ki La has been making music for over a decade, and with the ‘Overflowing’ EP he is taking his craft to the next level.
In this exclusive interview with the Bitaleaf Media team, Nsay Ki La shares the story of his journey as a musician, from his early experiences with music as a child to present-day as a musician.
He also talks about what listeners can expect from the ‘Overflowing’ EP, including the themes, sounds, and collaborations that make it a must-listen for fans of all genres.
Here is this interview to help you get a unique look at Nsay Ki La and his music.
Who is Nsay ki la?
I’m a songwriter, mostly but not limited to liturgical songs. I also built skills that allow me to use mass/social media to learn and share, and contribute to the integral development of the human person.
I sometimes used to sing, but now I’m taking the singing part more seriously. I’m of Cameroonian nationality, and I was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 2014.
What was your first experience with music?
My first experience with music goes back to childhood. You know, our people have a strong music culture. Music accompanies us in all moments, the joyful as the sad.
So I got exposed to religious music as a child, being taken to Church, listening to the voices and local instruments, and eventually learning to play some of these instruments very early.
How did you get into music-making? When did you become a musician?
As early as secondary school, I tried writing a song or two of my own. Was not really anything huge, but was the beginning of an important journey. As from 2006, I started writing songs more profusely. My first experience in a music studio to record was in 2011 in Bamenda.
By then, I had started learning to use Fruity Loops to create instruments, with no teacher, and the internet was not what it is now when one could easily go search out tutorials. But I’d say, it was around 2011 that I became a musician.
By that time, I can say I had gained a lot of experience already as a composer for Church music, even though I had written a few non-liturgical pieces which remained in my manuscripts.
Who are your musical influences?
I believe that the choirs I was exposed to as a child affected me much, and it is something I’ve tried to dwell on in the way I create especially choral music. It’s an influence that would later be deepened by the way the choirs of the seminary are organized.
In this context, it should not be strange that I got “infected” by the style of Prof. Mendo Ze’s La Voix du Cenacle, which was largely choral.
For many years, I listened to a wide variety of music from across the world.
Some reggae legends especially Bob Marley and Lucky Dube impacted me when it comes to the depth of lyrics and expressing them in song. I’ve always been a lover of the Nso’ music hero Richard Kings, as well as the priest Bondo.
At some point I fell in love with the work of the jazz master, Yanni – and there are songs I’ve written for orchestra which are yet to be harnessed or performed.
How do you get inspired to write music?
Anything really inspires me! Just anything. This is where the influence of reggae masters comes in. Anything can be the content of a song. From an event in my life to an event I observe. It can be something someone says, or a text I’m reading.
Sometimes, it is maybe just sounds I hear that inspire something in me. It might be thoughts that come up during my mediation. In fact, I often think in lyrics and melodies (laughing). Anything inspires me.
What was the last song you wrote about? When did you write it?
The last song I wrote was a worship song. That was in December of 2022. It is actually half-written, because from how I feel it inside me, I think it will be more beautiful if I perform it with a particular musician who came to my mind.
So the idea is for us to co-write it, and then do a studio record, and I’m glad she loved it, and accepted to do this.
What is your songwriting process like?
It really depends on the song, and my circumstances at the time of writing. Given that I get inspired anywhere at any time about anything, I’m always ready to be put out the inspiration in one form or another. As a student, I kept jotters all around me, just in case.
Now if I can’t write, I record and keep in my phone, sometimes quickly on WhatsApp, or on my phone voice recorder.
Then when I can make out time, I write it out. For choir songs, I’d then put out the sol-fa notes. Most often, the typing is for later on. I have had to guard the manuscripts jealously, some dating as far back as 2005, still containing unexploited content.
What are you working on musically right now?
Right now, we are working on a music EP. It is titled Overflowing, and we’re putting in quite some time and resources into it.
Tell us about the Overflowing Ep project. What’s it about?
Overflowing is a collection of a couple of songs which put together, I’d say in summary are a special way of praying. It is said that he who sings prays twice. The songs are basically for praise, worship and thanksgiving.
A large of them is actually for the Bible. The project is a journey, from asking God to fill us till we are overflowing with him, to raise ourselves in worship and thanksgiving.
Are all the songs written, produced and mastered already?
All the songs have been written. Two are already produced and mastered. The rest are in progress. And we are really making some good progress. Curiously, we already have a release date in mind, but that’s because we know how much has been done, and what is still pending. We’re confident we will be on time.
What process do you intend to use in the making of this Ep? Any features?
With developments in technology, people can now work from different parts of the world. We don’t meet physically often, but we are getting the work going. We record and send what needs to be sent. And yes, there are some features. Some incredible female vocalists are on the project. I’d say so far so good.
Who are the producers you are working with? Why did you pick them and what are they bringing to this project?
The main producer on the project is Marc Eff of Kovapot. Well, I have worked with him before, and if there’s only one word to describe him, it is “incredible”. If there are two words, then they are “incredible and versatile”.
It is for this second word that I am working with him. He harnesses what I want, and he has a way of capturing the muse I try to express from deep within me, and putting it out in the music.
So, if I’m looking for someone with whom I can do a wide range of genres, it’s him. More to that, I’m pretty comfortable working with him, from point of view of work ethic and following timelines.
It’s the reason I can be confident about a release date, even though we are still working – of course, holding other aspects constant, like ENEO, MTN, etc, which are hard to hold constant anyways.
The other producer on the project is Dijay Kay. Anyone who listens to the choir-style songs we create would be familiar with seeing his name already. I like his way about the mixing and mastering of choral music, and he also has a clear understanding of what I usually want to achieve in a given song.
And another producer is I (smiling), as I like to lay the general framework for each track, and I’m also doing part of the work myself.
How would you describe the Overflowing Ep to someone at a dinner party that’s never heard of you?
Quite simply: If you believe in God, or in a superior spiritual being, I’m creating the kind of music that will help you connect with him. It is soft enough to make you feel at ease and listen within you, and the words will lift your thoughts toward, and get into that connection.
No matter your temperament, there will have to be a track that catches your attention in an enchanting spiritual way.
Who makes up your existing team?
(Laughing) This is a curious one. Well, at the moment, I don’t have such a big team as the big music acts do. As you know, people create for different reasons. If I get a bigger team, I’d have to pay them. To pay them, I’d have to raise much more money.
To raise that money, I’d have to put in more time and money into music. This could make me lose focus on what I actually want to be doing. So I’ve built some skills myself, I do the best I can, and rely on a few people who volunteer with their skills, knowledge, and time.
Once Overflowing Ep is out, how do you want people to describe it in a tweet?
I’m already grateful to those who will enjoy it and help us to share. They can simply use the hashtag #OverflowingEp. It goes for all social media.
What are your goals for this project and how do you intend to achieve them?
I’ve been doing music, but I consider this project particularly important. This is because of how much we have put in, and it’s one of the first ever since I decided to pay more attention to quality than I have done before.
The goal is for it to reach as many people as possible, and to cover the cost of production.
when is the release day for the Overflowing Ep?
We intend to release the project on Sunday 22nd of January 2023. It will be available for pre-sales on Nsay Digital, Apple Music, and Spotify, a few days befFore then.
What are the special treatments awaiting you fans as far as this major release is concerned?
Those who are really closely following what we have been doing will have access to some of what we’re doing in preps for the release and special offers after the release.
This will include being able to have an avant-goût of what we are doing, special access to download some audios, and perhaps a free track from the final master of the project. Our little team is still talking about that.
What are the perks of becoming a part of Nsay ki la inner circle?
The inner circle is the music circle you mean? By supporting what we do and sharing it; especially by downloading as VIP, GOLD, and ELITE members when we put out the project. Everyone is my brethren and is called upon to support this music ministry.
Any message you would give to your fans?
To anticipate what is coming. Join us to share so that many people know and are expecting. To follow our account on any music platform, subscribe to our channel, create accounts on Nsay Digital where audios will be downloadable.
It is for them that we create. What is a song if it is not sung? And what is a sung song if it is not heard?