When Adekunle first appeared on the world stage, his blend of a folksy sound with Highlife and a dash of Pop brought something fresh to the Afrobeats scene. It was something that had not been done before, and confused many critics confused when his sophomore album ‘About 30’ dropped; but this did not dishearten Adekunle Gold. He was determined to stick to his own personal style and continued to develop it as he progressed in his career, reaching even wider audiences.
In the middle of COVID tensions, he released two videos ‘Something Different’ and ‘AG Baby’, which embodied the style he had been perfecting over the past year. Along with visuals, these new tracks give listeners a refreshing teaser of what to expect from his impending album and newfound persona.
Finally, on 21st August, the world was able to hear his third album, a 10-track long project entitled ‘Afro Pop Vol.1’.
The album starts off with the track ‘AG Baby’, and despite having heard the track before the album was released, it is the perfect introduction.
Here, Adekunle Gold features boastful lyrics about his nature which we later see in ‘Okay’, but as an opener, Adekunle lets the world know that he truly believes in his sauce.
As the tracklist continues, Adekunle Gold’s main focus seems to be around love, as seen on songs like ‘Sabina’, ‘Something Different’ and ‘Firewood’.
Each song tackles love from different perspectives, evoking feelings, thoughts, and memories that many of us have felt before. The seamless blend of Highlife with Afro-swing and Afro-pop is solidified as the album progresses, to the extent that you would almost think that this album is a commercial Pop album.
His famous intro “AG baby is your baby” floats in and out of the songs which adds his unique stamp to the project.
This album is may be Adekunle Gold’s best album so far.
It has been intentionally crafted to age very beautifully, with each track stirring something different within the listener, with detracting from the project’s overall cohesiveness.
While it has a very commercial feel, Afro Pop Vol 1 remains unapologetically African, from its features to the selection of producers who have worked on it such as Pheelz. The retention of the African essence is something that this album has done very well allowing Adekunle Gold to cross over into the Western music scene without comprising his sound – something that will surely make it a favourite amongst fans.
Listen to Afro Pop Vol 1 here:
Words by: Nat Siaw-Agyeman