“I Bless God For His Exposure & Experience” – Kingsley Ikenna AKA Violin

Categories Choral Music, Classical Music, Interviews, Music Personality

We recently caught up with an amazing musician who is both a vocalist and instrumentalist. In our chat with him he lets us in on his musical journey and his passion and love of the arts.

Introduce yourself please?

My name is Alozie Kingsley Ikenna. My nickname is VIOLIN.

When and why did you start playing?

I started playing officially in year 2O13. I have always had the passion for playing the violin since high school; I like the sound that comes from the violin and the movement (bow and fingering movement of the players), I also have an uncle who is a professional in playing the violin. So, the passion and dream became a reality in 2013 when I received the violin as a birthday present. I was really elated.

Which instruments do you play?

As aforementioned, I major in voice and violin, I minor in piano and clarinet.

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

My fondest musical memories dates back to my primary school days when I was made the choirmaster of the children choir of St. Mary’s Catholic church, Isolo; that was the period I discovered myself because I was barely 9 years old and I was placed in charge of a group of children from different backgrounds, mindsets, belief system etc. I struggled with that position for years till I entered the University. I remember many times I thought the wrong notes and music, had quarrels, conducted the central choir etc. It was really worth the while because it made me confident, made me research more in music and gave me so much exposure.

Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?

Yes, I do. I can’t remember how many concerts I have performed both as a Soloist (violinist or voice) and with a choir or chorale group. I have performed at recitals, orchestra performances, etc. I performed at a Fund raising concert in Lekki for the Saxum project in Jerusalem, also done some in Omole Estate, VGC, etc. I have performed at dinners, conferences, hymn singings, funerals, social gatherings, just to mention a few. I bless God for his exposure and experience.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

A funny one, I appear to be quite confident in singing or playing the violin. Well, I was taught that every mistake is a style, so, I just smile and improvise. Smiling boosts my confidence level and makes me more relaxed.

Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?       

Yes, I do. Every where and time.

What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

I’m a catholic and I was taught to make the sign of the cross before embarking on anything. Aside this, beginners shouldn’t be scared of anything, I’ve made so many mistakes and I just smile and let it go, afterwards, I get positive feedback. Make sure you take a deep breath before climbing the stage or before starting a piece because it helps you to be relaxed and confident. Always be optimistic about things especially performances. These steps help a lot.

How often and for how long do you practice?

I practice minimum of 2hours during holiday period, I.e with my violin. On the other hand, I do vocal exercises every day and time even on the road.

How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

This is the question I’ve always asked myself since I started my music journey in life. However, over the years, I’ve discovered that those who work in the Lord’s vineyard do not go unrewarded. I have never been seen lagging behind academically and otherwise, I bless God for that. I have been tops in class and everywhere I have schooled, I have been made the music director /choirmaster, for instance; my home parish, secondary school and presently, in the University of Lagos Catholic Chaplaincy. It has really been tough but God sees me through. I can’t count times I had to miss lectures and presentations to attend shows and concerts. I just balance my time well and pray to God always.

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