Over the years Adekunle Gold has gained traction from his nonconformist music and unique style of delivery, paving the way for himself to thrive in an industry that only just begun to support alternative art. Through these years, he has also evolved from one end of his unique spectrum to another but nothing as in-depth and life-changing as he did this year heralded by singles like Something Different. He might not be at the peak of his career but he chooses this moment as the perfect one for his reintroduction to accompany the completion of another development cycle and Afropop, Vol. 1 is the final piece to complete this pivotal moment for him.
As with everything he does, the ten-track album strategically pans out in a way that accommodates every single highlight of his journey to the sound catalyst he is at the moment beginning with the earlier released Nailah Blackman assisted AG Baby, the song on which he fully divulges the details of his new persona. Although he wields his new sound at the start of the project, Sabina, the following track is where we’re introduced to its extent. The bass-heavy love petition finds Adekunle Gold showing off his range. It’s a stark reminder that the Adekunle Gold on About 30 might be no more.
Unlike Gold, Adekunle Gold is unafraid to share the spotlight with industry like-minds including A-listers, Patoranking and Tekno and up comer, Olayinka Ehi. These features take nothing away from the fact that he remains the star of the show with these artists standing in as backup singers as he completely sweeps up the glory with starry performances powered by the kind of intoxicating confidence we never associated with him. Pretty Girl with Patoranking is one song where he unloads this confidence.
Sound and stories are colorful spectrums for this new Adekunle. On every song, he doesn’t stay on the same point but chooses a different one to serve as the perfect backdrop for his even better narrative. From Dancehall to Afropop, Midtempo Pop, and RnB, Adekunle is unbridled by genres and this just might be the most amazing quality of this ten-track project.
While it doesn’t end on a high note, and comes with a misleading title or one that perhaps speaks to his nonconformism, Afropop, Vol. 1, with its litany of gems for every mood is Adekunle Gold’s ultimate ticket to unlock an entirely different life as a music star in Nigeria.