Adekunle Gold signs with Def Jam Records
Adekunle Almoruf Kosoko, Nigerian Afropop singer popularly known as Adekunle Gold has officially signed with Def Jam Recordings, according to Billboard.
According to Tunji Balogun, Def Jam CEO/chairman Adekunle Gold’s world has elevated from his songwriting to the scope of his artistry, including his strengthened vocals, his more distinct approach to fashion, and his showmanship and performance ability.
According to Balogun, Adekunle Gold has grown exponentially.
“He’s stepped into stardom on his own terms and is completely comfortable being his true self,” he said.
“When I started at Def Jam, I knew I wanted to bring the label into the Afrobeats space tastefully, with the right artists and partnership. Adekunle felt like the perfect fit – he’d already done so much work on his own to build a base, but I knew that we could scale his audience to an even bigger level if we combined our energies and worked together.”
The artiste describes his signing as a full-circle moment after Balogun tried signing him years ago, prior to the executive’s 2022 arrival at Def Jam. The ‘5 Star’ singer said that signing with the label makes sense because he and Balogun share Nigerian roots.
When it comes to signing with Def Jam, Gold continued, “The track record is there. The history is there. They break artists, and they have niche, unique artists like me, so I think it’s the right move for me. All of the things that I’ve done for myself already, they know already and that’s why they’re on board.”
The singer is set to release his new single ‘Party No Dey Stop’ ahead of Gold’s fifth studio album which will be his debut album with Def Jam in June. Gold according to Billboard said Balogun was in Lagos when he and fellow Nigerian singer Zinoleesky were writing and recording Gold’s new single featuring Zinoleesky which marks his Def Jam debut.
“When we started to make the music, it was so easy for me to go in and just attack the song. I wrote my verse, I wrote the chorus, and it was a rap. I knew from then that this song was a jam,” Gold says of the track.
He will go on a four-month world tour in support of the project, which is scheduled to begin in North America in September and travel across the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and the Caribbean in the coming year.
Gold first rose to fame in 2015 with the single “Sade,” a highlife love song that samples instrumentals from One Direction‘s 2013 hit “Story of My Life.” Gold eventually signed his first record label deal with Olamide‘s YBNL Nation and released his debut studio album, Gold, in 2017.
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The Afrobeats star then started his own label, Afro Urban Records — “one of the best decisions I’ve made,” he says — and put out two albums: 2018’s About 30 and 2022’s Catch Me If You Can. He released his 2020 album, Afro Pop, Vol. 1, under EMI.
In a previous Billboard interview, Gold explained why he switched labels and the benefits of working with distributor Platoon, a music distribution company in Nigeria which helped with the rollout for his last album, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, featuring Davido, Lucky Daye, Fatoumata Diawara, Fousheé, Ty Dolla $ign and Stefflon Don. “When I was fully Afro Urban Records and no distribution label, me and my manager [Elizabeth Sobowale] had to do a lot of work. Platoon has the best hands in everything from PR to marketing,” he said at the time. “All I had to do was work on the music and they’re ready to take the rest upon themselves.”
In September 2022, Def-Jam signed an exclusive worldwide joint venture with Native Records to develop African artists.
“I think AG is a truly global artist, and a rightful ambassador for Nigerian music and the emerging Afrobeats scene,” Balogun says. “He has the talent, virtuosity, focus, work ethic and temperament required to be a worldwide superstar. I’m excited to work with him and the Def Jam team to bring more fans into his world.”