The ability to remain relevant in the music industry is vested in one’s capacity to keep evolving in craft and musicianship. While some artists relied on their talents, a fraction have shifted from the norm to stay relevant by reinventing themselves. A perfect example of artists who have stirred from the usual pattern to unorthodox practices are Nigerian rappers, Falz, Blaqbonez, and Teni. One would argue that their understanding of the music-scape, the challenges, and competitions have inspired their creative processes.
Adekunle Kosoko, professionally known as Adekunle Gold, is an artist who has remained resolute in switching the gears of his musical wheels and his career. A journey into his professional life reveals his phenomenal transition as a graphic artist, a singer, a lover, husband, and father.
We have seen talented artists emerge and fade out without leaving any footprints in the sands of time or the industry. Their lack of understanding and maybe sole reliance on talent has pushed them to the burner, never to return.
Photoshop to Music
Before entering the Nigerian music industry as a professional artist, Adekunle Gold was widely known as the ‘King of Photoshop.’ His creative designs made rounds online, especially the one he did hugging Nigerian superstar singer, Tiwa Savage, alongside other international celebrities. He was also responsible for artworks for Lil Kesh, Olamide, and Viktoh, before signing to YBNL.
Inspired by the likes of Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade, Adekunle’s love for music became intense in his formative years. He even joined his church choir at an early age and wrote his first song at the age of 15.
He made his mark in the Nigerian music industry in 2014 after he released a track titled “Sade,” which was a cover of One Direction‘s song titled “Story of my Life.” The song gained widespread acceptance and was nominated Best Alternative Song at The Headies 2015, and in 2015, he signed a record deal with YBNL Nation and eventually exited after it expired. He then went to start his band “The 79th Element.“
Love, Music, and Fatherhood
While rumors about Simi’s relationship with Falz brewed and amplified on social media, Adekunle Gold went behind the scenes to demystify the unfounded stories.
In the manner Travis Scott and Rihanna – when they were an item, Adekunle, and Simi kept their lives private and off social media. They did such an impressive job keeping their relationship away from the news that their wedding was not officially reported at first. But in January of 2019, Adekunle finally confirmed his marriage to Simi after dating for 5 years. He made the confirmation in an email he used to introduce his single titled “Promise.”
“Earlier in 2018, I asked my girl of five years to be my wife. Knowing all of my imperfections and shortcomings, she said yes!” the email read. It has become evident how being a lover, husband, and father has changed Adekunle. In May 2020, AG and Simi welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Adejare.
AG’s new look and fashion sense not only became appealing, his new type of music shows a remarkable transition that has not only encouraged old fans but garnered the attention of new ones.
Challenge and Prospects
Though it seemed like AG’s career has been seamless over the years, he has faced his fair share of challenges. He confirmed this in a recent mail where he revealed his soon to be released album titled “Afro Pop Vol. 1.”
While he’s been harboring the idea of AFRO POP since 2017, AG became experimental and stepped out of people’s notion of who he was or what they thought of him. This decision was not without its repercussions, as his new sound and style didn’t resonate around the few people he pitched his sound to at first.
However, 2018 signified the birth of a new dawn for AG after he released his critically acclaimed single “Before You Wake Up.” And after he was turned down a couple of times the previous year, deals started coming. “I had 5 deals lined up,’ AG offered. “Yes! I was finally going to get the support I needed.”
From a mere photoshop artist to a multiple award-winning singer, husband, and father, AG’s trajectory is a beautiful phenomenon. It could be said that 2020 will see the heat in Afro-Pop as AG takes full stride and takes responsibility for his talent to satisfy the expectations of his fans both home and abroad.