The singer and songwriter will be performing at the Screaming Fields 2018 on 14 July at the Rockhal.
Photo: Red Lion Entertainment
As the ninth edition of the artist support program Screaming Fields approaches, Delano met one of its eight finalists, this year’s winner of the Welcome to Europe Song Contest. The ambitious Nigerian and Luxembourgish Oke, is not only distinguished by his natural talent but by his generosity. At 20 years old, the artist is more determined than ever to change lives through his music.
Arrived in Luxembourg in 2007 to move in with his parents, Khalid Oke, known as Oke, has come a long way since he joined the church choir in Nigeria at 3-years-old. “I started singing because singing was just fun. In the church you’re like “yes let’s praise the lord!” and you just start singing, you’re happy because you’re just rejoice to express who you are and what you feel at that moment,” he recalled. “My coach calls me a natural singer because I never took singing classes, it’s just something I feel. If you play a song I feel the rhythm, the melody and it’s mostly the melody that attracted me to singing,” he added.
Far from being an amateur, the singer and songwriter has already released several songs, features on German DJ Noize Generation’s new song “Weekend”, and his duo “Waiting For So Long” with Miss Georgia Gray was played on Luxembourg radio. Inspired by his godmother who works with American rapper Jay Z, the rising star has succeeded in being the first Luxembourger to win the Welcome to Europe Song Contest that took place on 21 June 2018. “To be in front of a big crowd and to see how happy they are, to hear their voices, to hear your music, and the love and comments they give is just amazing.,” he explained.
But after growing up in Nigeria with his grand-mother, Oke knows all too well that not everyone has the same privileges in life, “[…] at the end of the day, I would love to go back to my country, to give them what I learned outside, and to give to the next generation that is to come, something that I have in me which is music and knowledge,” he told Delano.
Besides working with charity organisations, the singer uses his songs as a means of giving hope. “I have songs that are a mix from my background or they come from Nigeria with my story in it,” he explained. The artist combines Nigerian beats, tropical sounds and afro-pop, with what he learned in Luxembourg. “There are different kinds of moral issues in society, stuff that I went through when I was a kid when I came here, and it wasn’t easy at all. To use those things to help other people really means the world to me,” Oke said.
Yet, Oke is “hungry for more” and when his manager registered him for the 2018 Screaming Fields, he knew it was an opportunity that could change his career. “Screaming fields allows me to go into a different direction of music and just to gain more knowledge concerning music. It also exposes me to the Luxembourgish public,” he told our reporter, adding, “If I should start anywhere, I should start in this country because it’s what made me who I am today. If not for this country I wouldn’t have a lot of opportunities, I wouldn’t have education.”
On the day of the Screaming fields, Oke will be performing “Sunshine in my face”, “Freedom”, “Waiting For So Long”, “Ife Mi” (Love is free), and notably the moving song he wrote for his late grand-mother, “Thank you”. “It’s the last thing I could do for my grand-mother after she died,” he explained. “It’s a beautiful song that describes how a woman is really important in our life. She was a single and independent woman, she’s one of a kind. She deserves a song, she deserves more than a song but that’s all I could do,” he added.
If the down to earth artist aims to finish secondary school before going to Germany to learn the language, he is positive that more opportunities will come, more opportunities to change the world. “If I really have the power to support their [underprivileged] needs I will do what it’s right. I believe that this is who I am, and I know I will get there someday. I will keep working hard, that’s just me,” Oke declared, adding confidently, “I believe I’m on my way to discovering myself, I’m on my way to discover who Khalid Oke is and who he’s going to be in the future.”
Screaming Fields participants can come at the Rockhal and vote for their favourite artist on 14 July 2018. The entrance is free.