Kene Eso

Meet Kene Eso, a Nigerian Creative, based in Canada. You might remember him from a previous blogpost, ‘Marron w/ Kene Eso‘. I got the chance to interview him and talk about his art.

Nikky: Hey Kene, welcome to Creative Corner. Tell the readers a little bit about yourself

Kene: Whats good Nikky?

Well, I’m a photographer, and I’m based in Canada. I prefer the green indomie to the original cause why not. I am also very friendly and shy when necessary.

Nikky: Lool the green indomie is my fave as well. Can you talk a little bit about how you got into photography?

Kene: Very funny story actually. I always had a passion for taking pictures, but I never had a camera. So, what I would do is take pictures of my friends and just edit it for them, although I really wanted a camera. When I moved to Canada, my mum got me a camera, so me and Gunna (my homie) decided to practice. Gunna was actually my first model.

Eventually, I just started to shoot random things and people, I had this thing for getting people to feel confident about themselves.

Nikky: Do you remember the very first picture you took on the camera your mum got you?

Kene: Yep, it was a picture of my friends (Gunna and Odosa). They came to my room on Odosa’s birthday and I took pictures of them. Immediately, Odosa posted the picture on Instagram and credited me. That’s when people started to realize I had a camera.

Nikky: Would you say that was the point you started seeing yourself as a creative or did it take more than that one picture?

Kene: Tbh I always had an eye for stuff like that. I used to paint before, with water colour, and I noticed that whenever I would use light blue paint, it calmed me down. From there I just felt that if I could create cooler pictures of people, it gives this strange effect that is comforting.

Some people I shoot with are not models, but just because when I see them, I picture a way they can look cool and pleasing, I end up making stuff with them.

Nikky: So, is blue your favourite colour?

Kene: Nope, it’s red, funny enough. But, I really love vibrant colours, so much, especially light blue, orange, purple, pink, and yellow.

Nikky: It makes sense now, cause I notice you incorporate those colours a lot in your work.

Nikky: Do you have days where you don’t feel as creative? If yes, what do you do on those days?

Kene: A lot, in fact it became very common at one point. A lot of times I’m barely confident about my work, so I end up showing all my very close friends so they can appreciate it ????.

I have a lot of projects I’ve never shown anyone, maybe with time I’d start tweeting them one by one. But whenever I don’t feel very creative, I listen to music, mostly instrumentals.

Nikky: Out of all the projects you’ve put out, which one would you say is your favourite?

Kene: Ah that’s hard lmao. Well I’d say my best as of now is the channel orange series. To be honest, before then, I was trying to figure out what I enjoyed about pictures, whether it was only the people in them, which is what I initially thought. I tried to follow a trend of how I felt pictures were supposed to look and I’d always reduce the colour or not make it vibrant because I felt people wouldn’t accept it. It wasn’t until I decided to do colour themed shoots that I realized how much I liked colourful stuff, so I took full advantage of that.

Nikky: That actually brings me to my next question. Your channel orange series has been getting a lot of buzz on social media, can you talk a little bit about what inspired that?

Kene: Haha thanks! To be honest it was just me being in my element

I love colours a lot, and I wanted to play with that love for colour so I decided to focus on vibrant colours to catch the eye. I look up to some photographers too like Willyverse, Kwvku and also Ify P, who inspired me to do something colourful when I saw how many colours were in them.

My friends also played a role in it too. My best friend, Charleston Mekwunye, is a make up artiste, and she likes vibrant colours a lot too, so many times we would brainstorm on what a good colourful shoot would look like.

Nikky: Your pictures always give me Tumblr vibes! Do you spend time on there?

Kene: Thanks! I love Tumblr. I have another account I use there to creep, but besides that, my normal Tumblr page is still there.

The funny thing is, I started using my Tumblr less when I started using my Instagram more. I never used to post on Instagram because I wasn’t confident enough to post pictures. I was so scared of criticism that I decided to post them on Tumblr because then, people weren’t using the website.

Nikky: Would you say that’s where you get most of your inspiration from?

Kene: Yes! For sure! And my environment too.

Nikky: Earlier on in the month, you shot Quentin Miller. Can you talk a little bit about how that happened?

Kene: I’ll give a backstory to that.

Well, sometime towards the end of last year, I got signed to a media technology and events company called Skynation, based in Burnaby BC.

The CEO, kayode fatoba, also one of my good friends, came up with an idea of a hip hop showcase called cxxlaid (pronounced coolaid). It’s a hip hop platform for artistes.

Quentin Miller was the main artiste for the show and that’s how I got the opportunity to work with him. He is a very cool guy, awesome spirit and positive. I’ve been a big fan of his music before we met, so it was a big moment for me.

Nikky: Wow, that’s pretty amazing. Congratulations on getting signed!

Kene: I appreciate it.

Nikky: What is one quote you live by?

Kene: “A lizard and a crocodile can never come together and fry plantain”

Nikky: Lool can you please explain that quote?

Kene: In other words, somethings don’t make sense, but that’s the fun of it. In other other words, keep creating.

Nikky: Lool you’re hilarious!

Nikky: What movie/song/book has strongly impacted your life?

Kene: Anything Kaytranada, that dude is phenomenal, very big fan of his music. Also this song, ‘new chapter’ by monte booker. It’s actually just a beat, but I always use it when I want to edit.

Also Tobi Lou, that’s my dawg right there, watch out for him lmao, his song ‘hopefully‘, really inspiring.

Nikky: I listen to Tobi Lou as well! His songs are amazing!

If you had your own country, what one thing would you make free for everyone?

Kene: Free cereal! Free cereal for everyone! I love cereal so much!

Nikky: What’s your favourite cereal?

Kene: Cinnamon toast crunch!

Nikky: Omg! I love that too!!

Nikky: What advice would you give to sixteen year old Kene?

Kene: Better believe in yourself, you don’t know how much you will do!

Nikky: Any last words?

Kene: Well, as for you (Nikky), we got gems to create!

But as for everyone else, do what you believe in, people can judge your stuff, but they don’t decide what your art is.

Shout out Ayomikun and Thompson too btw lmao, those are my creative heads as well

Nikky: Yess! let’s work!!! Thanks for coming on Creative corner and thanks for keeping it real! Your pictures are breathtaking! Keep doing your thing and don’t stop using colours!

Kene has definitely been my most hilarious guest, I really enjoyed talking to him. To keep up with Kene and see more of his work, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Show him some love! Always remember that supporting someone else takes nothing away from you!

Be you. Do you. Stay true.