FOR his debut solo album, Nigerian singer Kingseyes called on various musical influences including reggae.
The album, Curiosity, is scheduled for a December release. It has songs produced by Javier and Julian Montilla from Colombia, Germany's Royal Commanders and Ganja Man, Jamaican-born multi-instrumentalist Anthony Shawn Locks, and Jimmie Love from New York.
The 30-odd-year-old Kingseyes, whose real name is Clement Ehijator, describes his music as a fusion of reggaeton, dancehall, soca, salsa and electronica.
Signed to German independent label Nicbay Records/Cut Music, Kingseyes spoke to the Sunday Observer about his diverse influences.
"My sound is appealing to reggae and soca followers, but can easily be identified with those who are soothed by smooth lover's rock, dancehall, pop or house music. All these things are what make me stand out," he said.
Born in the city of Lagos, Kingseyes says he left Nigeria with his family in 1993 and moved to Stuttgart, Germany where he has resided since.
He joined a pop group called E-Connection in 1996, earning some recognition with the hit single Dreaming of You.
In 1998, after leaving the group, he became lead singer of German ska band No Sports. Though he listened to Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff, Yellow Man, Freddy McGregor, Josey Wales and Shabba Ranks, Kingseyes says it was a song, Passing Glance, by Don Carlos that spurred his interest in reggae.
"I had an undeniable urge to sing after hearing Passing Glance. Since then, I've completely fallen in love with reggae music," he said.
In the lead-up to Curiosity's release, three songs from the set are available digitally: Mamacita Bonita, Love Me For Me and Sunshine Girl.