You can’t turn on a radio in the USA today without hearing elements of West African music prominently displayed throughout Top 40. Arguably one of the most controversial figures to arise from Afrobeats’ explosive migration into USA mainstream music, singer/songwriter/model and aspiring actor Morachi, has a flamboyant style and showmanship that has carved him out a lane of his own. Born Richie Marvin Chieme Akuba, the son of a preacher in Bariga, Lagos in Nigeria, Morachi recalls a childhood where he was “scared and unhappy.” Timid and shy, Richie learned to adapt to his strict environment by creating the musical persona we know as “Morachi” today, as a means of self-expression. Writing and performing songs for friends, as well as himself, as far back as grade school, “Morachi” eventually became Richie’s transport to thing he says saved his life: music.
With his eyes and ears on the world around him, Morachi found influences in American Pop culture and music, citing Michael Jackson as one of his biggest inspirations, and adds that American hysteria-inducing boy bands like *NSync, Backstreet Boys, and crossover solo-darlings Enya, Cranberries and Dido, gave him the foundation he needed to “understand music and showbiz worldwide.” The legendary Bob Marley and the king of the afro-beats in Nigeria, Fela, have also influenced Morachi’s unique sound. Taking notes from many of these pop idols, Morachi naturally gravitated towards the flashy aspect of the entertainment industry. He’s known for his lavish outfits, larger than life personality, and a “shock and awe” approach to presenting himself that has drawn him legions of fans worldwide, as well as criticism for his unabashed, unapologetic pictures and videos.
After a string of successful releases in Nigeria, with impact that stretched across entire continent of Africa in many cases, Morachi has his sights set on carrying his brand of flashy flicks and memorable melodies stateside. His new single “Kakalo” is set to impact US charts this year. More interestingly, perhaps, is what version America will see of Morachi. Freed from the confines of a home and culture that might not have even been ready to fully elevate him to superstar status, America presents the perfect opportunity to showcase what he’s capable of doing. With a new album in the works, and Morachi looking to flex his creative ability over Afrobeats and beyond – the USA looks to be in for a wild ride from one of tomorrow’s most promising global artists.