"I didn't want to become the next King Sunny Ade..." - Adekunle Gold Finally Revealed Why He changed his sound and look


Adekunle Gold has been around! When he broke into the Nigerian music scene with his hit single Sade, Adekunle Gold did a good job of following up the success of that song with other smash hits such as Orente, Ariwo Ko, and Pick Up

He was hailed at the time as the next King Sunny Ade because he sang heavily in Yoruba, and leaned very much into that highlife type of sound.

Then, Adekunle switched it up! The follow-up to his debut album Gold sounded different. That album, About 30 had a lot more pop-sounding songs including Call on Me and Fame. Today, Adekunle's biggest songs from this year, Sinner and High are wildly different from the initial Sade sound. Along with his music changing, so did his image. The once thin Adekunle Gold is now AG Baby, a much buffer, more blinged out version of himself.

Adekunle Gold is well aware of the changes to his music and his look and in a new interview, he is speaking about all of it. Here's what Adekunle Gold had to say about his new sound and look.

Adekunle Gold sat down for an interview with Pan African Music, where he was asked: "From the artist that you were then to ‘AG Baby’ as you are known now, have you always envisioned taking this turn?". 

He responded saying:

To an extent. What I did back then is like giving an evil grin. If only people had an idea where I’m taking this music to, I feel they would’ve loved me earlier. Of course, the sound that I was making then was and will always be beautiful but I just wanted to do something else because I get bored easily. I knew the sound I was going for when I made the Gold album and the day I released it, I said the next album was going to be an upgrade. I already knew my sophomore album will have elements of pop and highlife, which you can see in About 30 where I had “Fame”, “Call On Me” which are pop records; and “Ire”, “Surrender” with highlife influences. People thought I was crazy going from full highlife to “Call On Me”, a pop record. It was such a big switch and I feel it threw a lot of people back but it makes you see how long I’ve been trying to let people know that I am more.

He was later asked, "On evolving into the popstar that you are now, what were some of the things you did to reach this point? " to which he answered:

Interestingly, I had to lose people on the way including friends. Some people love you so much that they want to keep you for themselves and hope you don’t change. People kept making assumptions that I wanted to be King Sunny Ade (KSA). I made it clear that KSA is not going anywhere and there can never be another him, so let him retain his kingship and remain legendary while I go be my own person. When I started making songs like “Call On Me”, some people fell off because they probably didn’t get the vision anymore and for some, I had to do some convincing that it’ll work. I’m grateful for my manager, Niyi, because we went through so much resistance to get people to believe in the new direction. Also, my producers; Pheelz, Michael, and of course Simi were instrumental to the process. It took so much toll on me that at some point, I lost my confidence. Then, I started to write, listen to songs outside my go-to genre, and even listen to rappers. I started to write and work with producers that’ll give me something different. At one point, I’d follow Moelogo and other songwriters to sessions, just to see how they write. All these informed the pop star that I am now. It took me three years to be this confident about creating what I put out now.

Then he was asked, "How did you make it look so easy?" and Adekunle responded saying:

If anything, I’m not one to give up. I wanted to grow and I was going to do it whether or not people got it. Today, I’m definitely not the same person who released Gold. I have a child now, my catalog is getting crazier, my numbers are insane, I’m buff now, my hair is longer. So much has really changed…


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