Luminous skin, dark brown eyes and sky-high cheekbones: 20 something-year-old Nigerian musician and composer Kaline Akinkugbe is diminutive, witty and undeniably stylish. To say Kaline has star quality is an understatement: she positively beams it.

Firstly, there’s her live performances (if you’re lucky enough to have seen one) which are electrifying, and effervescent. Her voice, which can slide effortlessly from a lilting melody to a power ballad and back again. But it is her relentless focus and drive that is positively mesmerising and puts us on notice that we are in the presence of that rare thing; a true star.

Alongside her stellar composing chops, Kaline has turned her edgy but endearing charm and innate charisma to singing. Following a string of indie performances, performing at Eko Hotel, Hard Rock Cafe, Federal Palace Hotel, Bogobiri, the Shaw theatre, and the Queenshead in London; she performed as a supporting act for Chaka Khan and Angelique Kidjo, Bez, Somi and Bob James to mention a few.

She has composed the theme music for Kemi Adetiba’s wildly acclaimed King Women, featured as Rume in SARO the musical in London and contributed songs to both ELTV projects the Wedding Party 2 and The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.  She is now set to launch her first solo project, an EP which should be out next year.

The award-winning Berklee College of music graduate (who also has a degree in BSc Business Management from Imperial College London, BMus Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music Boston) loves her stage style as ‘glitzy’ as possible; She wears mostly self-designed looks – usually a shorts ensemble and her personal style? Well bright, trend-setting and bold. She cites Solange as the nearest thing to style inspiration but insists on her own unique style. She talks influences, style and her onstage looks with BN Style.


2 Brothers, one of which is DAP the Contract – rapper/producer

Collaborations to date
Cobhams Asuquo.

What’s in the pipeline for Kaline?
An EP coming out next year.

Contrasting prints, monochrome looks, and out of this world colour palettes? That’s nothing if not a part of Kaline’s signature fearless style.

On getting into music
Started out as a classical piano student under the tutelage of my mother at age 5’

On personal style
[To Me] Personal style is an indication of confidence and freedom of expression.

On downtime
I like reading non-fiction, watching mindless tv and spending time with family and friends.

Signature hair
Afro (She’s been trying it out with braided sections.)

If I wasn’t in music I’d be doing
Athletics or Interior design

Where can we listen to your music?:
KalineOfficial, Soundcloud, Youtube: KalineTV

Photo Credit: Kaline

Follow the rest of the series here: The Cutting Edge