Adekunle Gold has been taking Nigeria around the world for years and now has something special in store for their fans in the United States.
The Nigerian-born and raised singer-songwriter divides his time between Lagos and Los Angeles, cultivating a worldly sound rooted in the beats and beats of the continent with the mellow sounds of American R&B.
“I absolutely can’t wait for people to listen to the madness I’ve been working on for two years,” he said, speaking to ESSENCE ahead of his album’s release. “This is my fourth studio album and I’ve described it as level four of my career. Level four of my adventure game. Just think of my albums as levels in an arcade or adventure game .
“The first album was Gold, this is level one. The second album was About 30, this is level two. It gets interesting with every level. And then level three was Afro Pop Vol I and now Catch Me If You Can, level four. And, literally… catch me if you can.
Released in February, Catch Me If You Can features guest appearances from R&B heavy hitters like Lucky Daye, Fousheé and Ty Dolla $ign to name a few. Its melodic mix of Afrobeats and soulful overtempo beats has made it a fan favorite around the world, though its name may be new to your rotation.
Gold, who goes by AG in the conversation, says he’s thrilled the United States has finally caught on to the afrobeat wave that’s been crossing the Atlantic for years.
“It feels good to make music in the corner of your room, then the minute you drop it, people from all over the world already know the song,” AG said of the live performance. after the pandemic has stabilized. “And then they sing it to you while you’re on stage. I think it’s the best feeling ever.
AG will capitalize on that sentiment even more this summer when his Catch me if you can visit kick-off. Hitting 19 cities across the US (with a stop in Canada), AG will bring their brand of Nigerian-born Afrobeat soul to theaters packed with American audiences looking for more of the global sound we’ve been hearing about these last time. years.
Although Afrobeats has been around (in its current form) for most of the last decade, it has only really gained momentum in the states in recent summers – as interest in the continent has increased since the major 2019 Year of Return festivities in Ghana. , specifically.
“It’s never too late to recognize the beauty of African music. I’m happy it’s exploding there,” AG said. “It’s good. For us, it seems normal because we’ve been making good music for a while. It feels good to be recognized because, more importantly, the idea of being called “word music “has totally disappeared now.
“I feel like for a long time anything coming out of Africa and some other parts of the world would always be locked into the world music category. It never really did justice to the kind of music we make because there are various sounds from Africa. People do R&B, people do Highlife, people do Afro Pop and people do Amapiano. There are so many.
With increased popularity inevitably comes crossover – the most obvious being remixes and additional verses added to already popular Afrobeats tracks. By now, surely everyone has heard the likes of Wizkid Gasoline starring Justin Bieber or Fireboy DML Peru with Ed Sheeran. While each of these collaborations is straightforward, there’s understandably a fervor among artists across American cultures to use the hottest sound of the moment to get higher on the charts.
“It’s a conversation we need to have. You listen to songs that come out of America once in a while and then you hear Afrobeats, like groove and I’m like, “this is happening,” AG said. However, he says the intermingling of sounds naturally goes both ways. “But that’s okay. I mean, the music is influenced. Like African music, I’m sure at some point, Nigerian artists or African artists were also influenced by hip-hop artists I guess it works both ways, that’s fine. Good credit just has to be given. If you’re doing something Afrobeat, talk about it. Say you’re influenced by this or that artist from Nigeria , Ghana, Kenya. That would be good.”
In the meantime, AG has a brand new show to prepare, not only to deliver their fans the shows they’ve been missing throughout the pandemic, but to introduce themselves to new audiences experiencing their sound for the first time. For them, he has only one message:
“Discover my music. I like to say that my music is second to none. The sincerity – I put my heart into it,” he says. strength of what they can create together.
And I’m glad they took the time to work on this project with me. So it does good. I can’t wait for people to listen to these songs. For me, collaborations are very important. They are not gimmicks. It was never about numbers. It’s always been for the music.
But with undeniable sound and help from a few familiar faces, expect to hear more from Adekunle Gold very soon. With confidence, he certainly expects you to too.
“You will hear my name more, very soon, in the United States. In the world in general. So be vigilant. »