The internationally known highlife singer-songwriter expresses how he found balance during quarantine.
Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, Adekunle Gold's (née Adekunle Kosoko) music was his purpose, and through his constantly evolving sound he provided never-ending grooves that have been a hit on airwaves everywhere.
It is evident that the thirty something-year-old singer-songwriter has been cooking up something while we’ve all had to sit down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, “Antidote,” his silky-smooth collaboration with NAO hinted to the summer of #BlackJoy that we’re currently experiencing post-Juneteenth commemoration season.
And with that all in mind, the Platoon label signee sure knows what he is talking about. As Blackness and Afrocentrism are celebrated globally, everything happening right now has made Adekunle Gold even more conscious of the legacy he wants his family to inherit.
In an exclusive chat with EBONY, the highlife musician and new dad shares why Afropop is to be embraced, how the pandemic inspires his future work, and expresses why the world is his and yours.
What has your experience as a new father been so far now that you’re a full year in?
Adekunle Gold: It’s been great actually, sometimes I can’t believe a whole new human that [my wife, Simi, and I] created is walking around the house. Still shocks me, but my daughter [Deja] is independent and has a full blown personality, which I just love to watch develop.
Afropop is playing all over the world—and with its music becoming challenges, dancings, and inspiring new works of art in the US—how do you see your impact on the genre? In your opinion, what do future collaborations look like between Black American and African artists?
As it should, it's great music. I already see the impact of the genre in subtle ways, but what I see more prominently is the willingness to acknowledge shared experiences and collaborate. We grew up vibing to music made by our family in the diaspora, and I’m glad that we are no longer lost in the “world category” and our sound is easily identifiable and embraced.
Black families in the US are receptive to West Africa’s call to relocate back to the Continent. What would be your pitch to those looking for opportunities who may be on the fence about leaving America?
My pitch is: try everything; leave no stone unturned; go where you are welcome. Go where you are happy; go where you grow; go where you thrive. The world is yours.
How has family inspired and affected your creative process?
My wife is an incredible singer-songwriter, and is the first person I bounce anything off of before anyone hears it. She inspires my creativity. My baby is my stabilizing force, as my desire is to be creative but with the intention that I have a little family and a little human whose needs have to be met.
What should fans and new listeners be excited about when it comes to your upcoming project?
A coming to fullness of oneself perhaps. You will listen and feel like you have arrived into wholeness.
What has been your perception of the benefits and differences with fatherhood in the Black American and native African communities?
The difference for me is that it’s not just a role of going out and spending time trying to make ends meet. Showing a form of fatherhood that depicts involvement in all aspects of family life, shows who we truly are—well-rounded, loving Black men, who love family. Over the stereotype of the striving firm and stern Black/African father who has no relationship or emotional connection with his family. At our core, that’s a falsehood.
Crazy to say this and mean it but I truly have all I ever wanted. Contentment is a gift and I’ve got it from having the family I have.
Kevin L. Clark is an editor and screenwriter who covers the intersection of music, pop culture and social justice. Follow him @KevitoClark.