Cyril-Alex Gockel (born July 16, 1984), known by his stage name C-Real, is a Ghanaian hip hop recording artist, entertainer, writer, poet and record producer. In 2009, he won the Ghanaian edition of the Channel O Sprite Emcee Africa talent show and placed second at the show’s finals. He is regarded as one of the leading hip hop artists in Ghana. He was featured on “Next Up”, a song off Coptic’s mixtape The Rising Stars of Gh Vol 1 (2012). Biography and music career
C-Real was born in Hohoe, a town in the Volta region of Ghana. He graduated from St. Peter’s Boys Senior Secondary School, and later from the University of Ghana. C-Real started writing poetry, rap verses and basic literature in 2009. Growing up, he listened to artists such as Ini Kamoze, Das Efx and KRS-1. He and one of his friends formed a rap group called NT, an acronym for Nipa Tumtum. C-Real has cited The Notorious B. I.G., Elzhi, Black Thought, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Canibus, Method Man, Eminem, Nas and Busta Rhymes as his key rap influences.
Channel O Sprite Emcee Africa (Ghana)
In an interview with Richmond Adu-Poku, C-Real said he decided to partake in the Ghanaian edition of the Channel O Sprite Emcee Africa talent show after hearing about it. He advanced to the top 10 round after the first round of auditions. Subsequently, he battled Padlock, Chymny and Rocky for the crown. After emerging as the winner of the competition, he conducted radio interviews and co-hosted the Brown Berry Show on Choice 102.3 FM.
2009–15: Mixtapes and debut studio album
In the aforementioned interview with Richmond Adu-Poku, C-Real said he was working on a mixtape with his cousin, Joseph Deo-Silas, and some of his close knit friends. On November 3, 2009, he released the mixtape titled Multiples of C. It includes 7 tracks, and features guest appearances from underground artists UNO and A.ma. C-Real described the mixtape as an “exhibition mixtape” designed to showcase his versatility.
In April 2011, C-Real teamed up with E.L to released Project Hip Hop, a collaborative mixtape made up of 9 songs. The mixtape features guest appearances from Sherifa and Gemini. It was produced by DJ Juls, E.L and Aphroteq.
C-Real started working on his debut studio album, Em C.E.O., at Mix Down Studios. As a prelude to the album, C-Real released “It’s a Rap” and “Kneel, Pray, Rise, Conquer”. The latter is a Gospel inspired track. The album, released on December 1, 2012, features guest appearances from Efya, Chase, E.L, J-Town, Gemini, M.anifest, Lousika, Zeus, Bebelino and Yom da Poet. It contained the singles “I Be The Swag”, “Em.Ceo” featuring J-Town, “Mission Possible” featuring Yom da Poet, “Opeimu” featuring M.anifest, and “Do the Azonto” featuring E.L.
“I Be The Swag” was released as the album’s lead single in the summer of 2011. The music video for the single was released on August 30, 2011. It was directed by Nana Asihene of NKACC. The music video for “I Be The Swag” was nominated for Best Hip Hop Video at the 2011 4Syte Music Video Awards.
On August 17, 2012, C-Real released the music video for his single “Em.Ceo” featuring J-Town. The video was directed by SABA Arts. It was uploaded onto YouTube at a total length of 3 minutes and 9 seconds. The music video for “Em.CEO” was nominated for Best Hip Hop Video at the 2012 4Syte Music Video Awards.
On July 19, 2013, C-Real released the music video for “Opeimu” featuring M.anifest; it was directed by Nana Kofi Asihene. The music video for “Opeimu” was nominated for Best Collaboration of the Year, Best Hip Hop Video, and Best Photography Video at the 2013 4Syte Music Video Awards.
In January 2014, C-Real released The Reigning Season as his third mixtape. The mixtape, which consists of 10 songs, was recorded in Pidgin, English, Twi, Ewe, and Ga. It features guest appearances from Stargo Da Don and Johnny Boy. On the song “One Mic”, C-Real pays tribute to American rapper Nas.
On February 19, 2015, C-Real teamed up with E.L for the second time to release his fourth mixtape Project Hip Hop 2; it comprises 10 songs and features guest appearances from Gemini, Stargo, Kojo Cue, Lil Shaker and Lady J. The mixtape was produced by Nel Magnum, DJ Juls and E.L.
C-Real is currently working on his second studio album, The Reality. He is also working on a spoken word album titled Writes of Passage. “Shine” was released as the upcoming album’s lead single.
C-Real started out as a junior copywriter at Origin8 Saatchi & Saatchi. He is currently the CEO of MixDown Studios and Pulse Communications. C-Real is also the head of marketing at OG FARMS, as well as an avid public speaker.
C-Real presented a Hyundai Santa Fe to his mother for Valentine’s Day 2014.