Adekunle Kosoko, well known as Adekunle Gold, is synomymous with classic tunes seasoned with delicious lyrics, life-dripping beats and unique deliveries. Breaking into limelight from the stables of YBNL, he has stood the test of time. In this chat with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his new management, life after YBNL, career and new album set for 2018
I’m under a record label called ‘Afro Urban’
It’s a label I run by myself and my team. I’ve been running it for about a year now. I don’t know if I’ll be signing on other artistes yet, I don’t have such vision for now to be honest, but I may in the future. It’s something I’ll like to do but I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I make such announcements and it’s not happening, so for now I don’t know. It’s not easy to run a label. I’m not going to say because I have some money and contacts in the industry then I jump into it, no; I have to do it right. Shout out to artistes running their own labels, it’s actually amazing, but, right now, I don’t have the capacity for the kind of label I want to run.
Coping with female fans and fame
It’s interesting because I have my eyes on the prize. I didn’t suffer that many years to come and let frivolity take my glory. So, yes, I get advances from women and that feels good. I remember when I was chasing them as well. I’m friends with them. There’s no pressure. When I want to say yes, I say yes.
At the risk of sounding cocky, I knew I was going to be great
I just didn’t know when. I grew up in a not so well to do family. We were not poor, but we were comfortable. I was the eldest son. There was the dad and mum drama and I just had to be there for my sisters. I lost my youngest sister at a point in my life and that was in 2011. My world crumbled that day because she was my feminine version.
I’m not threatened that someone new will come
I’ll be lying if I say that it’s not attractive outside, especially the new sound that everybody is jumping on. I’d be lying if I say that sometimes I don’t think about doing stuff like that. But when I remember my goal, which is to be timeless, it keeps me going.
Working with Simi
It was amazing. She has an ‘excellence’ spirit and that’s my vibe. We had issues on some songs that I thought was fine already, but she will make me do it again. We recorded Nurse Alabere three times. And that was Simi trying to be perfect.
I thought about quitting when I was still in a band called the bridge
It was me and my friend, Seyi Keys, who is my producer now. We weren’t getting any attention. We sang everything and at one point, I felt I was Bruno Mars. I was always trying to sound like him. But people didn’t pay any attention. I will write songs and put all the English in the world. Imagine writing a song that is titled Last Dose of Sadness.
But people just didn’t notice us. I guess people like what they like. So I told my friend that he should focus on music production, let me sing. Let’s try with just one song. If it doesn’t work, then we can focus on other things. It was not easy to have that conversation, but I’m glad we had it. That was when I released a song called Let It Stop, and that song changed everything for me. When I released the song, it was Dotun of Cool FM who supported me all the way. That is why I will forever be loyal to him. He played the song every day for one month. And people started listening to it, people started loving the sound.
Greatest decision I ever made
The one I can remember now is quitting my job in 2014. I was working with a social media brand activation company. And I was the Brand Manager. I was earning very good money; good enough that if you earn that kind of money now, you are still big. I wasn’t getting shows then but I knew that my music was suffering and I wanted to do something about it. So, I just woke up and resigned. My family thought I was crazy so did everybody because I didn’t have any back-up plan. Then, I was very fearless. Who wakes up in the morning, from earning good pay and just decides to quit? There was no backup plan, it’s not like I had saved money somewhere. I just felt I was helping someone else build their dreams and mine was lacking. I wanted to do my thing.
YBNL changed me
I had Sade before YBNL and it was already getting popular. When I got signed to the label, we shot the video and it became like a sensation everywhere. Getting signed to YBNL took me to London for the first time. That was in 2015. So YBNL changed everything for me.
My new album is titled ‘About 30’
It will be dropping in the first quarter of next year. I have more than one feature this time. My sound is urban highlife. It is a fusion of pop and highlife. Well, when people mention my name, they talk about urban highlife.
So people are beginning to understand it. They love the sound and it resonates with people. Eventually it will be a celebrated sound.