Nigerian born photographer, graphic designer and multi talented creator, Kevinprecious finds new ways to elevate the art scene in Canada. Whether it’s through his lens or maybe his exhibitions, creativity will never dwindle with this visionary. KP has goals of connecting artists from different scenes with the intent of allowing them to grow, build and maybe even create together. It is truly admiring to see the genuine interest KP has in the work of other artists work, and his support for their talents is worn on his sleeve.
KP is mainly recognized for his work behind the lens, but it’s not something he is tied down to. After seeing his gallery and having a brief conversation with him it was clear that his mind was always working on the next captivating project. Kevin hosts a yearly exhibition that allows artists from the community to showcase their work and interact with one an other, all creators are welcome whether it’s musicians, designers, painters, dancers etc. Giving us the heads up for October 2020, Kevin also went in on telling us what his goals are with this project and also what started this journey.
After our sit down and chat we were quick to learn that KP is always trying to learn new things to further his craft. Kevin explained why he enjoys concert photography the most, how he learned graphic designs and even why he named his exhibition ‘Alfarma Expression’.
After KP opened up about his move to Canada, what inspired him and his goals, I must admit this was a very memorable and inspiring interview.
I met you at a concert and got to see some of your work, you also mentioned some other avenues. Tell us a little bit more about what you do.
KP: I categorize myself as a creative, people always ask me “Oh what do you do?” I always have a hard time answering that. How do I say I do photos, I do videos, make graphics, host events, I make events, offering advice on making your brand better. How do I say everything with one word, so I just call myself a creative. I try to do everything more or less.
Is it safe to say that Photography is what you’re mainly known for online and on social media?
Yeah, the crazy thing is last year I “RETIRED” from photography and everybody was trying to bring me back in. I don’t think I can ever escape it, it’s like a part of me now, it’s what I’m mainly known for.
Before going into anything else what made you want to “Quit” or “Retire” in that 7 month span?
I always used the word retire so people would just leave me alone, I was going to come back anyway. Every creative has that moment in their career that makes you just want to get grasp on their life, just to know what you’re doing and get some clarity on your creative direction. I felt like I wasn’t connecting to most of my creative work and I lost my essence in my creative work and I was trying to get that back. That was the only reason why I said I should take a break, identify myself and figure out who KP is. When a creative discovers who he is, when you have that self identity, it shows your work, you see the reflection in your work.
What types of photos are your favorite and why do they speak to you the most?
I do a lot of everything, but concert photography. I’ll do some events but concert photography! I love taking pictures at concerts,if you asked me what is something I want to do everyday, it’s eating pasta and taking concert photos. I like concert photography because it merges to of my favorite things, Photography and Music. I’m a huge music head, when I’m at a concert the energy is just different, you see music artists being themselves, performing and how the fans react to it. I feel like it’s very spiritual how the energy is translated from the stage to the crowd. You capture different moments, you don’t know what to expect, the artist can splash the crowd, kneel, dive and as a photographer you anticipate what’s next and I like that anticipation.
Are there any concert genres you like specifically?
I can’t really pick one genre, but Hip-Hop artists have an energy that I do like. I’ll say this back home in Nigeria there is a type of music called Alte, they make alternative music. those concerts are really cool because they are very intimate with the crowd.
Being from Nigeria how is it seeing influences from there popping up in a lot of music, athletes and art?
I have to admit I am very proud of Nigerian artists are expressing themselves on a global market. People love to mention Drake & WizKid because of ‘One Dance’, it was a very culture changing song because it is recognized for opening the doors for Afrobeats. I feel like people disregard Timaya, he’s a big Dance Hall artist and he has global songs. I am really proud of Nigerian artists entering new borders. Even seeing bigger artists like Major Lazer doing shows in Nigeria and artists like Lil Wayne talking about Nigeria, makes me think that’s pretty cool!
How would you say social media influenced the growth of artists around the world?
Back home people used to say social media was bad, like all the older people saying the youth aren’t facing their studies anymore. I think as creatives we see it in a different way, social media is your one ticket to achieving your wildest dreams. For example a Nigerian painter posted a painting of Kevin Hart and it got retweeted till Kevin saw it and wanted to buy it. One tweet and his life changed, you never know how that one tweet that one post will change your life. Look at Lil Nas X, people down play ‘Old Town Road’ but he’s using social media to his advantage. I think social media is huge for letting people into merging cultures and teaching us better.
How do you think the art world has been connecting with each other and what else do they need to continue the growth?
I’m going to start with what you need to do! Back home in Nigeria,I had my Instagram and made connections, if I wanted to shoot a concert I knew who to reach out to. Coming to Canada in a new environment I didn’t know anybody, I just had to do the work and need to see who I had to know. I had to research on who to reach out to who the best artists were etc. One advice I have to give to creatives is don’t let anyone downplay your social skills, because you need connections don’t build an anti social shell. Be proud, promote your events support others, be different and approach people. Look at us for example, we met an event doing photos, we talked now we are creating something. Your attitude matters, be a good person, you know that saying “No one man is an Island”. learn to be humble and open minded working with others.
When did you decide to pick up the camera and go on a run with this, how did you begin the creative journey?
That question has 3 chapters. I learned to handle a DSLR working with my uncle in 2013, how to shoot pictures and the basics, then I got shipped off in Nigeria for school in another state. I didn’t have a camera. I came back in 2015, I had friends who liked photography but I still didn’t have my camera then I finally got one and started taking random pictures. Professionally I started taking pictures in 2016. Different stages, I learned then had my own camera then finally shooting professionally. The thing for me it wasn’t one picture that spoke to me, it was the feeling of capturing moments, I’m a huge fan of moments. If I’m out I’m on snapchat recording, I’m always trying to catch a moment. One thing a lot of people need to understand, memories you can’t always get them back if you don’t capture them. A concert, dinner, what ever it is it gives a physical memory. I look at photos from 5 years ago and think wow I started taking pictures like that, and look at how far it’s come. I used to go outside my house, i used to take pictures of lizards, birds, I’d take photos of rock and those pictures were BAD!! I used to think those pictures were amazing, but now I see where it started. I went from taking pictures of little things to photos of Rich The Kid.
From just talking to you, creativity is clearly a huge part of your personality. You host your own event known as the ‘Alfarma Expression’ tell us what that means.
First I’ll tell you the origin of the name. I had a lot of start ups, my biggest issue was always the name. I was searching for names, searching for ideas, it was kind of the same process of how your mentioned XMPL was EXAMPLE with out the vowels, you know? Just searching for ideas. So I called my friend back home in Nigeria, I said yo i have this exhibition idea and I need a name and he mentioned a word ALFARMA… He was big into vocabulary, so I asked what does that mean? He said it means Pride, there is a native tribe back home the word stems from and it’s basically what I wanted. I wanted people to feel pride in what they expressed so I stuck with Alfarama Expression.
Tell us about it, what kind of exhibition is this?
It’s an exhibit for creatives, I have a strong belief we are all artists in our own way. I feel like that’s something everyone needs to realize. The exhibition was created as a community for everyone who is in the art community or creative community to come together. Anyone can be an artist whether its music, photography, fashion, videos, make up music, spoken word etc, everything is welcomed.
As someone who gets in his own head I have to ask you about this, how comfortable and welcoming is this event for people who are nervous to open up and show case their art?
I feel like in art you can’t define it, I could be worried about an act before the event but the community is open. As long as you express yourself, the crowd always has a good attitude and is welcoming. I always hear good reviews. Last year someone did charcoal painting on bodies, it was something unique to me. It turned out it was one of the most loved parts of the night. The way the exhibit usually is a going around viewing displays and talents, this way you can see what you like and network with each other.
You even do the graphic designs for this event, how did you get into graphic designing?
I’ll admit graphic designs is something I didn’t want to do, but my friends and family were big into wanting me to learn new things. When I was younger I learned how to play drums, guitar… not that I was good at playing them but had to learn them. They forced me to learn graphics, I can’t say I’d professionally design where I’d ever charge someone, but it’s good to know that I can design for myself. I keep it on the low, but it’s amazing knowing I can do what I like in flyers and other projects.
Not necessarily in the crafts you’re involved in but as an artist of many talents what drives you to learn new tools and crafts?
That’s a good question, I don’t really have an answer. If I think it’s cool, I want to learn it, it’s little interests like managing artists etc I just want to learn it.
Tell us about what to expect in 2020?
2020 is the year I have to make my mark, I’m bringing back my podcast on a serious level, ‘The Kevin Precious Podcast’. The exhibition will be a bigger experience, new speakers, a master class. I’ll do more concerts, more pictures, more content on my social media. It’s going to be me in the media space, being in every bodies face. Money is always something to target, and my dream is to be in front of the camera I want to show everyone I can come out from behind the camera, video shows & modelling for example.
3 people you want to work with, not for money, just for yourself?
Kanye, Kanye, I want to work with Kanye.. He’s one of my biggest inspirations and is a very busy creative even his shoes and fashion style. I also want to work with John Mannion, he’s done a ton of Hip-Hop photography.. Travis Scott as an honourable mentions but Will Smith is the 3rd, he started from nothing and is a huge inspiration. Fresh Prince was something he made when he had nothing now he’s a gant actor musician and it’s on of the biggest sitcoms.