For artistes, there are many routes to the top in the Nigerian music industry. You can choose to explore multiple ways to go about your business and get the best results to aid your career. But the most trodden and trusted path is to A) Hit the studio. B) Create an original song. C) Promote the song. D) Shoot a video and promote E) Make covers of popular singles to increase in popularity.
That has been the tested and trusted way of the industry, because it works, continues to work, and will work for years to come. Perhaps until the game experiences a shift in marketing dynamics, only then will that change.
For Adekunle Gold though, he stands tall as one of those with a very unorthodox route to the top. He choose option E, and it worked like magic for him, after A failed. Adekunle’s foray into music was from an early age. At age 15, he wrote his first song. When he decided to go professional, hee formed a band calledThe Bridge with his best friend Seyikeyz. The duo released three songs; ‘No Sleeping on a Bicycle’, ‘Norm Breaker’ which featured Skales and a cover for John Legend’s ‘All of Me’.
These formed the ‘dues’ the singer had to pay to get his come-up. In the Nigerian music industry, an instant star has a minimum of 2 years to hustle professionally. Most times, it is more than that. Humblesmith who had his ‘Osinachi’ single rocking the airwaves this year, began his hustle in 2014 professionally, and has released six songs before he popped. Ycee has been releasing music since 2011, but got his fame in 2014.
Adekunle Gold worked his way through the right channels, identified a sound, and released a debut single titled ‘Let It Stop’, a song about peace for the nation. That never became a hit song. The right channel did not pay instantly, but he kept at it, working his game and perfecting his art. What worked was option E: A beautiful rendition of One Direction’s ‘Story Of My Life’ which he titled ‘Sade’. ‘Sade’ is credited to be the propelling force of Adekunle Gold’s career.
Sade’ became the basis of all his work so far, the ground zero for his success. Covering a song in Nigeria is an art that is lost on many people, but occasionally happens. Wizkid covered Kiss Daniel’s ‘Good time’, Reekado Banks created a cover for Dice Ailes’ ‘Machinery’. Adele had the most cover of her ‘Hello’ smash hit from Nigeria. The same thing happened to Desiigner’s ‘Panda’.
For Adekunle Gold, that’s what worked for him, and has kept him in good position for all the good things that have become a part of his career. ‘Orente’, ‘Pick Up’, and ‘Ready’ are – in a manner of speaking – a result of it.
Today, he is celebrating the release of his debut album, a 16-track that contains the ‘Sade’, of course. While you get out and buy that album, listen and take in the fact that sometimes, things work out from the unorthodox ways.