Nigerian-American pop artist UCHé’s debut EP, My Generation, delivers a candid look into the excessive ‘YOLO’ spirit of the millennial culture through the singer’s first-hand account. The five-track musical biopic chronicle’s UCHé’s descent into a foggy period of drug-induced hedonism and the subsequent spiritual awakening that saved his life. The vibrant ‘musical sermons’ of My Generation are meant to bring social awareness and call to action his generation and its excessive ideologies.
The EP details an internal fight for control and the songs are sequenced in a specific order for a reason. UCHé awakens the beast with the endorphin spiking party anthem of “Rager.” “It’s a track meant to give everyone a real birds-eye view of where I was mentally when I was at my lowest,” states UCHé. “Just non-stop partying, getting high and doing it all again.” The EP’s single, “Mob Luxuries,” is a lavish, euphoric pop banger laced with EDM injections and MJ-esque howls while the softer, key-driven R&B of “Made of Steel” finds a reflective UCHé at his most vulnerable. The songwriter pens a letter to his Savior with the gospel of “Higher” and claims control of his life with “Do IT All Louder.” The final track represents the culmination and the conclusion of UCHé’s spiritual awakening. “I do it all louder and I am the loudest because of God, without doing drugs I can operate in moderation, I can stay woke.”
My Generation fuses an array of genres into a rich and energetic blend of “Funk” DM. Influences of Prince and Bowie are obvious while subtleties of Genuwine and George Clinton add an eclectic variation to UCHé’s sound. Plain and simple, UCHé goes hard af with the unapologetic social commentary of My Generation. The EP is intimate and personal, yet, upbeat and enjoyable as UCHé keeps it lit from start to finish.
Track Rambler caught up with UCHé to discuss My Generation and its origin. See what the woke pop star had to say below.
On top of singing, you’re a songwriter, dancer, actor and model. How do you create the time to be and all-out entertainer?
I don’t think it’s an issue of creating the time because I just really enjoy doing those things. Everyone always asks me ‘what’s your hobby?’ But, it’s not really my hobby because entertaining is what I want to spend my life doing. I love to entertain. I enjoy being an artist. I enjoy dancing. I enjoy all of it. That’s why I am able to do it hours-on-end and get it done.
Does any particular field of entertainment take priority?
I’m a pop artist and a very ‘get it done’ type of person. Right now I’m working towards the EP release. So, at the moment I’m not able to do choreography as much as I would like. I’m not able to work with photographers as much because I’m focusing on this [music]. We just finished the video for ‘Mob Luxuries’ and now I’m getting into rehearsals for the EP release trying to knock it out so I can kill it for y’all. That’s where my focus is right now.
How do you interpret your generation’s dulled social conscious?
I feel like we’re a very YOLO-driven generation…so much that it’s become a cliché now. But, it’s definitely molded how we think about things. We’re so excessive in almost everything we do…especially our use with drugs. And I talk about that on the EP. It’s so hard to tell your friends ‘no’ now. People don’t want to have moderation. It’s not cool and I’m trying to bring that back.
The EP hits on your personal experience with that YOLO excessiveness. Can you describe your ‘moment of clarity?’
Man, when I was going through all of that, I was going through everything. I was mixing lines of coke, popping Molly, acid…’oh, hey, let’s see what else we can throw on top of that.’ It was such a long period in my life. But, yeah, I had a moment of clarity. I remember waking up that last time…we had just gone to bed around 6:00am and I woke up a couple hours later and everybody was passed out on the floor…coke still dripping out of their noses. I was laying there with a bong right in front of me that I’d been hitting all night and coke still laid out next to it. I started looking around and just felt gross and realized I wanted more out of my life. I don’t want to just live this party life forever. I knew I couldn’t keep going. I said right then ‘I got to stop.’
So, was that the final straw?
Saying you got to stop and doing it are two completely different things. So, it took a little while to completely stop and be entirely clean. But, I haven’t touched in a year and I’m really proud of that. It’s only because of God that I’ve been able to have control or even had that awakening. But, a lot of people don’t get that and I’m trying to inject that back into the world. I want to spread that message because I’ve seen drugs take hold of a lot of people. We’re so much more than that. We can do so much more than just get fucked up. That’s why it’s really important for people to understand. I want to make moderation cool again.
Is it scary putting yourself out there with your music since it is so personal?
It’s very scary. The only thing that keeps me from freaking out is that I feel the message is positive and I know that somebody needs to hear it. It’s really scary because it’s so honest. My mom and I are really honest and she was there when I was going through all of this. So, I feel like it’s okay to be really honest about it. And on top of that, I feel like it’s a ‘God thing.’ I want people to understand they have more control over themselves. It’s okay to not get so fucked up. I mean, literally, last night I was at a party and a friend was telling me about one of his homegirls who had just got a major modeling gig with this huge festival. She had gotten really intense into drugs trying to be all ‘Hollywood’ or something. She was on a bus to NYC for a shoot and had gotten hella fucked up and thought she heard a voice tell her to jump off the bus. She literally opened the emergency door and jumped and ruined her whole modeling career. That’s why I feel okay about being so honest with my story and putting out this EP because I’ve heard way too many stories like that not to. It’s like, how can you walk into your destiny if you’re jumping off the bus on the way to it?
What would you consider your call to action for your generation?
I feel like it’s important to just take a moment and think…to not just jump into the smoke and fog of the ‘turn up.’ That euphoria, that fog, those luxuries you feel when you’re with your mob and turning up like that…you need to step out of that. You don’t need to lose yourself in those moments. It’s okay to not blackout. It’s okay to actually remember what you did the night before. My call to action would be to just stop and take a moment. Say ‘no’ more often and take back your power and not lead your life after other people or by your circumstances and situations.