In conversation with Adekunle Gold
Nigerian born and bred, Adekunle Gold, has a pleather of successes under his belt! After starting out his singing career in church the lyricist took all he had learnt from his environment and poured it into his music. Honing in on the world of Afropop, ‘AG BABY’ has entered a new realm in his career. Capturing audiences from all around the world with his sincerity, we managed to get some words of wisdom from the man himself as! Urging for more kindness and honesty, Gold lives authentically by the standards he sets. His new single ‘Something Different’, is certainly a tease for the rest of the album- expected the unexpected and a sneak peek into the life of Adekunle Gold.
Hey! How’s it going and what have you been up to?
Great! I’ve been changing diapers mostly! Also nursing my baby and bonding with my beautiful wife.
Wow! What a big change in life!
I love it. She was born just a week ago.
Well, it’s safe to say that as an artist you have had a crazy journey! What has the process of becoming who you are today been like?
I began similar to pretty much everybody’s story, singing in church. When I was younger I was constantly fighting to be the guy who led the church, to get the choirmaster to notice me. I mean, in 11 years no one gave me that shot, but when I left the church I really started to work on my songwriting as well as my voice. In the house, my dad always played the classics- amazing African music and that’s how I found my love of Hi-Life. When I got older, I went up for several talent shows back in Nigeria, but I never made it to the main competition. After not getting through, I told myself- I’m done with this shit! I realised I needed to work on my own reality. I wanted to be original, even though I am very inspired by many different artists!
Who would you say have been some of your biggest inspirations?
I love listening to boy bands; the script for example. It all influences my songwriting, the lyricism particularly. I explore the things that are important to me.
You were also in a boy band yourself, I guess that makes perfect sense!
Yes, me and my friend started out as a band. We then developed as he began producing for me and I would be the face. With him, I worked on a lot of covers, like Rihanna’s Diamonds. I loved that cover. I thought I sound like Micheal Jackson hahaha. It was covers which gave me my big break! One of them blew up and I got signed, got my first international show in London and then did my first album (Gold) which was on the Billboard charts. After that, my second album had my first Grammy consideration. It was crazy that the Grammy’s even noticed by album. My dreams have come to fruition and I am grateful.
Your successes have been truly amazing! How do you take these moments in stride? I am sure it can be overwhelming.
Its a beautiful feeling to be in the corner of your room creating music, releasing it to the world and that other people take on that music and make it their own. I look at my music as the public once it is released. I listen to my music back-to-back but once it’s out, it doesn’t belong to me anymore and I don’t listen. This grounds me. I mean, you will never get used to the feeling of releasing music, people listening and fans singing it back to you when you’re on stage. It’s such a beautiful feeling I don’t think I’ll ever get used it, and I don’t think people should get used to it either!
Because of this success, I was at first shocked when listening to your new single ‘Something Different’, as it feels like a complete turning point in your musical career! Would you agree with this?
Yeah! Right now, I want every project to be different. After my last album, I knew I wanted to make afro-pop music. I started listening to a lot of those songs, listening to classic afro-pop but putting my voice and tonality on it. I wanted to do something entirely different, something people thought I couldn’t do. I picture this album as someone pitching different demo’s to artists- but all in my own voice. This is the AG BABY era for me and I’m totally feeling. I’m taking a new music turn but keeping my essence.
Would you say your essence is rooted within the individual behind the music?
Totally. I take inspiration from my environment and all of my experiences. Like recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Post Malone, I take inspiration from his sound and mix it with my Nigerian roots and it becomes something unique to me. The stories, the African legends are also what is rooted within me.
Your super popular as an artist! Why do you think your music resonates on such a global level?
I think it is my sincerity. I don’t believe in gimmicks or make-believe. I don’t like things to not be true, and I think people see that. People can spot a fraud. People see that my stance is my stance, and if I believe in something I fight for it. Recently, my fight has been focussed on women’s right’s and if people don’t like what I have to say, I don’t care!
I also think its a feeling of wisdom which you bring within this essence because of your lyrics! Any advice you would give to the people reading right now?
Its time we cherished kind people more. Kindness is something people don’t necessarily rate these days. We love gimmicks too much. We make crazy people famous! People who are striving to be a good human being should have more recognition. We have so many crazy things going on in the world, but let’s reward kindness more and embrace it. The world could use more kindness.