For the past decades, many artistes with talents have risen to stardom and engraved their name in the heart of Nigerians and music lovers worldwide, amongst these talents is Adekunle Gold. Adekunle Kosoko known by his stage name “Adekunle Gold” and also nicknamed “AG Baby” is a talented Nigerian artiste that found his way to limelight in 2014 with a smash hit single “Sade”.
As a YBNL Label signee, starting his career with highlife music seasoned with some fuji aroma, his debut single “Sade”, a cover of One Direction’s “Story of my life” was received with mixed reaction from music enthusiasts nationwide and the song became an eulogy for lovers. When the song dropped, people were wondering what he was trying to do, as funny as the lyrics sounded to some people back then, they were very catchy and the lines on the song became pick up lines for people in love. Adekunle Gold didn’t just walk into the industry with a seasoned-highlife sound, he also brought a fashion sense that became his identity back then along with his sound. He walked in with his kampala (Adire in yoruba) Tees and trousers, and this became his brand identity. This style became a trend amongst Nigerian youths. He released another single titled “Orente” which became an instant smash hit, the song was well received by music lovers across the country and it cemented his love in people’s heart. He went on to release “Pick up”, “Ready”, “No Forget” featuring Simi, and “Friend Zone” which eventually lead to the release of his debut 16-track album “Gold” in 2016. Following the success of the lead singles, the album came right in time to add fuel to the burning inferno of Adekunle Gold’s brilliance.
The success of Adekunle Gold’s debut album “Gold” buried his love in the hearts of Nigerians and so the journey of a thousand miles began with a giant step. He left YBNL shortly and went ahead to unveil his band named “The 79th Element” coined from the atomic number for “Gold”.
Following his departure from YBNL Record Label, he announced a deal with Empire Music for the distribution of his music. However, he began the journey for his second studio album “About 30” which served as the introduction to his new sound. Fuji-seasoned Highlife sound is Adekunle Gold’s stronghold and for a sound deep rooted in yoruba culture, it’s expected of him to match it up with an identity that goes along with it and the adire fashion style happens to be a strong symbol of yoruba culture. On the quest to further spread the gospel of his music, and also in preparation for his sophomore album, he released a smash hit single titled “Money” which was met with enthusiastic approval across the country. The song could have been added to “Gold” album and it wouldn’t seem odd, but instead it was used as a bridge between Adekunle Gold’s debut album and the sophomore album. Furthermore he released songs like “Ire”, “Surrender” and “Call on me” to add more firepower to his ammunition and “Ire” happened to be the nuclear weapon amongst them.
“About 30”, a 16-track album dropped in May, 2018 and was received with flowers and smiles by music lovers nationwide. Following the success of “Gold” and “About 30”, Adekunle Gold opened a new chapter of his career and so the AG baby era began. The era began with a complete rebranding of sound and appearance, Adekunle Gold released a song titled “Kelegbe Megbe” in 2019 sounding completely different from his usual highlife sound and also with a completely different fashion style and appearance in the music video. Even in a highly demanding and volatile music industry like Nigerian music industry, evolution and complete rebrand of Adekunle Gold was a big surprise. Adekunle Gold started his transition from being a simple-looking Highlife artiste into becoming a elegant and luxurious Afro Pop artiste flaunting his six packs and “Kelegbe Megbe” marked the beginning of that journey. He followed “Kelegbe Megbe” with another Afropop song titled “Young Love” shortly, and the picture he has been painting became clearer to his fans. The Adekunle Gold with Adire fashion style, Afro hairstyle, beads on his wrist and neck, switched side to a more sophisticated appearance with braided hair, gold chain necklace and rings on his fingers like an American football champion. His transition is so good that you could barely identify him on his own song, everything changed, including his vocal texture. With the success of his first 2 albums, it was only a matter of time before he decided to broaden his audience beyond African borders. However, he also decided to bond with his fans, he started a personalized newsletter campaign where fans get to sign up and receive emails from him personally.
Around late 2019 to early 2020, Adekunle Gold announced he was working on his third studio album titled “Afro Pop Vol. 1”, he released tracks like “AG Baby” and “Something different” as lead singles to the album in 2020. “AG Baby”, the self titled track became a chant on the street telling people about the new era of Adekunle Gold. “Afro Pop Vol.1”, a 10-track album dropped in August, 2020 and it was received with joy and laughters. It enjoyed wide critical acclaim and it earned him more respect amongst his contemporaries.
Adekunle Gold has been on songs with different artistes like Kizz Daniel, Moelogo, Wizkid, Omah Lay, Simi, Tekno, Patoranking, Lil Kesh etc that do completely different sounds from his yet he managed to be on par with each artiste on every song he featured on with them. However, this confirms the fact that Adekunle Gold’s brilliance goes beyond his comfort zone, he’s a genre fluid artiste who finds way to adapt to every sound that comes across his table.
Late last year, Adekunle Gold announced he would be releasing his fourth studio album titled “Catch Me If You Can”, a 14-track album with enough firepower that could bring the world’s attention to Adekunle Gold on platter of gold. Songs like “It is what it is”, “Sinner”, “High” featuring Afrobeats sensation “Davido” and recently “Mercy” dropped to clear the way for the album. In a highly competitive music year for Afrobeats, “High” managed to rise beyond level of regular Adekunle Gold’s song, the reception of the song has been nothing but extraordinary.
“Catch Me If You Can” is not just an album for Adekunle Gold and his fans, it’s more of a statement passing a message to the world that the sky is just a starting point for Adekunle Gold. The album features artistes like Ty Dollar Sign, Stefflon Don, Davido, Lucky Daye, Foushee and Fatouma Diawara.
Nigeria music industry is more of a battlefield than an industry, fans have the choice and luxury to jump from one artiste to another at their own convenience, considering the quality and quantity of music Nigerian music dishes out. However, Adekunle Gold made the kitchen his home to ensure he doesn’t serve his audience same meal let alone starve them. His transition is a supernova in Nigerian music industry. This album is bound to increase Adekunle Gold’s audience outside African borders, it’s obvious he is not slowing down, he still has more firepower under his sleeve. However, in the next couple of years he might be one of the biggest Afrobeats artiste to ever grace the world’s music stage.