Adekunle: The golden artiste and his craft
If you are a lover of live performances, you will appreciate Adekunle Gold. The stage is always on fire whenever he performs, a pointer to the high level he has taken his music to since going solo in 2014.
With many sold out shows, awards including Grammy recognition, Adekunle, the once member of a boy band called The Bridge, is worth seeing or listening to anytime. He is truly the Golden Boy.
Sometime ago, at the Johnnie, Jazz & Whisky concert, Nigeria’s biggest and brightest afro-jazz music platform, Adekunle Gold was on fire. Amid support from the 79th Element, his band, he serenaded the audience with afro-jazz covers of popular hits. In other concerts, he always gives nonstop performances with the mastery that only comes with years of skill and preparation.
The afro-pop singer also shutdown Lagos in December 2018 with his ‘All wrapped in Gold’, a 3-night live music concert at Terra Kulture, and doubled the same excitement for his fans in 2019.
The unique thing about the ‘Ire’ crooner and his live performances is that at the end, the adulating crowd and fans become one with their entertainer; miming, singing and dancing alongside.
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But who really is Adekunle Gold? He is a Nigerian urban highlife singer, songwriter and graphic designer. Born Adekunle Kosoko in Isale Eko, Lagos Island, Lagos State, he is a member of the Kosoko Royal House of Lagos and the only son of his parents.
Adekunle discovered his musical talent at a young age. Like most of his folks, he started singing in his church junior choir and wrote his first song at the age of 15. He went on to study Arts and Design at the Lagos State Polytechnic and majored in Graphics. In the early years of his career, he was a member of a boy band called The Bridge. He went solo in 2014 after he disbanded the group, forming his own band, which he called the 79th Element.
Adekunle added Gold to his name after an inspirational session in church. His single ‘Sade’, a cover of one directions ‘Story Of My Life’ enjoyed massive airplay from radio stations in Nigeria. It was termed best cover by music critics. The single won Best Alternative Song at the 2015 Headies Award. After the release of “Sade”, Adekunle released his first official single titled ‘Orente’ through YBNL Nation after signing a music contract with the record label on March 5, 2015.
After the release of two successful singles, he released another hit song Pick Up. After numerous back to back hits, Adekunle released an album titled ‘Gold’ in July 2016. The album is a 16-track project that had production credits from Oscar Herman, Masterkraft, B Banks, Pheelz, Sleekamo and Seyikeyz. With pictorial representation, and hitting # 7 spot on Billboard World album chart, the Gold album did not fall short of fans expectations.
The success of his album earned Adekunle Gold various awards including Best Alternative Song Headies 2015, Best Song Beat of Lagos 2015, Best New Act NEA Awards 2016 Revelation of Africa, AFRIMA Awards 2015, Best New Act to Watch Nigerian Entertainment Awards, and Best Song Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
Adekunle Gold departed from YBNL Nation due to the expiry of his contract in December 2016. He unveiled his band ‘ The 79th Element’ in reference to the atomic number of gold. His 2017 songs ‘Only Girl’ ft Moelogo and ‘Call On Me’ off his anticipated 2017 album received massive airplay and rave views.
Following the success of his ‘ One Night Stand’ UK tour, Adekunle Gold held his first headline concert in Nigeria at the Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel. His About30 Concert in London on June 29, 2018 was a sold-out show.
In the first quarter of 2018, he released a new song and music video titled ‘Ire’, a personal song, which reflects on his life’s journey with a message that will inspire his fans for a long time to come. In his usual unique style, ‘Ire’ is a life lesson packaged in a slow tempo song and accompanied by traditional Yoruba percussion sounds.
Interestingly, Adekunle Gold sings in his native Yoruba language as is his usual style. He also sings in English for an uncharacteristic amount of time, alluding to his desire for his songs’ important lessons to be understood. At the release of ‘Ire’ he explained, “Ire’ is a symbolic summary of my life experiences and my journey to becoming Adekunle Gold.” Then, he also took to Instagram to let his fans know that “This song will be the soundtrack of your life.”
In March last year, Adekunle Gold gave an enthralling performance at A Night Of Music And Conversation at the 2019 ‘Songversation With Aramide’, an event supported by Wema Bank in commemoration of international women’s month in Lagos.
Moreover, he is multitalented. Apart from music, he also excels in movie acting. He made his movie debut in the movie ‘Mentally’ where he played the role of a bus conductor. But the afro-pop artiste is just beginning. He is promising fans new releases and excitement on stage, radio, TV, online and more with Adekunle Gold’s brand of music. “Watch this space”, he insists.