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Why I abandoned royalty for music – Adekunle Gold

Adekunle Gold, whose real name is Adekunle Kosoko, is a member of the famous Kosoko royal family of Lagos. He shot to stardom with his…

Adekunle Gold, whose real name is Adekunle Kosoko, is a member of the famous Kosoko royal family of Lagos. He shot to stardom with his hit songs ‘Sade’ and ‘Orente,’ and is not resting on his oars as he is due to release another hit this year. The Arts and Industrial Design graduate of Lagos State Polytechnic explains why he jettisoned royalty for music among other issues.

Weekend Magazine: How did music start for you?
Adekunle Gold:
Music started for me basically when I was growing up, while I was going to church and singing in the junior choir. I remember when my dad used to take us to school, he always played classic songs from Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, and that way I fell in love with their music. That way I developed interest and love for music. I also thank God for my aunty who used to put me and my sister to bed at night; she used to teach us then to sing in different tones. So for me, singing started from way back.
WM: Did you ever think you will take it up as a career?
I didn’t think too much while growing up and all I knew then was that I loved music. When I grew up to age 15 to 16, I started thinking of the idea of singing professionally.
WM: Why did you choose to move from royalty to the ordinary life of being a musician?
Being a musician is not an ordinary life, it is a beautiful one. Music is everything for me. In 2008 I knew I needed a name because I didn’t want to use Adekunle Kosoko, so I told God to give me a name. Then in a sermon, the preacher said, you can’t substitute brass for gold, and I immediately took a cue from that and that was how my name Adekunle Gold came about.
WM: Since your songs ‘Sade’ and ‘Orente,’ your fame has soared, how have you been able to manage your rising fame?
To be honest, it has been interesting and challenging sometimes, like the things I did before and got away with, I can’t do them anymore. Another thing is that I can’t just walk like the normal person that I am without getting attention. I have also learnt to take hundreds of selfies with people when I step out. It feels good to be known by people.
WM: What has been the most embarrassing situation you faced since you became famous?
There was a time I was on the road to the studio, not properly dressed. In as much as I tried to disguise by wearing a face cap, a hoody, and glasses to cover my face, three girls jumped from a tricycle (keke NAPEP) screaming Adekunle Gold and the tricycle driver was amazed that he was carrying me in his tricycle. Attention was immediately on me and everyone wanted a piece of me somehow. So I thought to myself that after the entire disguise I was still detected.
WM: Being a famous musician, what do you miss about normal, simple life?
I wish I could just enter a bike when there is traffic (jam), stop on the road and buy roasted plantain.
WM: Tell us about ‘Orente’ and ‘Sade.’
I have always said ‘Sade’ happened to me in 2012. I was chasing a girl called Sade in 2012 and she kept rejecting me, we ended up not dating. In 2014 I decided to write about Sade but I had written about Orente before Sade. ‘Orente’ was written to give good women a face, as at the time I wrote the song, there were too many songs talking about bad women, so I thought of writing a song to praise good women, one who will stand by her man through thick and thin no matter what.
WM: Nigeria’s music industry is very competitive; who do you see as your major competition?
For me, there is no competition, as far as I am concerned the sky is so wide and anybody can fly.
WM: Your style of music is described as urban high life, way different from what we have on the Nigerian entertainment scene and yet your name is one to reckon with in the industry, what is your secret?
My secret is basic; I write people’s story, my story and all that we all go through in life, so people easily get attached to it. There is not a secret, like ‘Sade’ has happened to almost every guy and ‘Orente’ is all about a good girl, there are good girls who are there who need to be praised.
WM: What collaborations are you working on?
For now I can’t talk about the one I am working with nationally, but if I have the opportunity to feature anybody internationally, it would be Adele, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. I would love to feature them because I love their sound. Locally I would love to collaborate with Asa.
WM: You just celebrated your birthday, what new thing should your fans expect from you?
My album will be dropping this year.
WM: What would you tell a younger you?
I really can’t say, but I know while growing up I always struggled, maybe I would have told myself to struggle harder.
WM: Asides music you are known as a graphic designer, if you are asked which your first passion is, which would you chose and why?
Music, because music came before graphics. My love for graphics came from my love for art, I studied art in school. I love designing and anything creative but I will chose music over any other thing.
WM: You are all about showing people the artistic part of you, what is your great fashion piece?
My tie and dye (adire) material. I chose to stick to it because naturally I like anything Nigerian. Before I became Adekunle Gold I had always told people to buy anything Nigerian. How can we help the country grow if we don’t push what we have? I know we have things that can be exported, adire is so beautiful, if you go to Kano and Abeokuta you will see different kinds of adire, all this can be exported if channeled properly. I am not comfortable wearing jeans; I feel adire is beautiful; I love the art about it. I am going to stick to adire because I love it and it is Nigerian. To be sincere I am stuck with adire material.
WM: What’s your best food?
I have out grown that, I don’t have one anymore. Give me anything I will eat.
WM: During weddings your songs ‘Orente’ and ‘Sade’ are always a must play. How much does it cost to have Adekunle Gold perfume live at an event?
I can’t say that say oooo… If anyone wants me for a show they can always call on me to find out.
WM: The year is still fresh, what are your plans?
The only thing I have planned is my album which I believe will be a success by God’s grace.
WM: The ‘Headies’ just ended and it went down as the most controversial award event, what is your take on it?
Well, I am happy I got my award, my category was tough but I got mine. I am grateful to God, my fans and friends.
WM: What last words do you have for youths?
Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it because people will definitely tell you that and discourage you. I remember someone told me that my diction was very bad and that they don’t think I could do well with songs.
WM: Did you go for any vocal training?
I did not; I was just disturbing everybody with my songs, people who know me will tell you that I sing everywhere. I remember when I always sang everywhere my dad would stop and shun me, telling me why do I sing like a woman. Today my dad calls me everywhere he goes and tells me when my song is being played around him. Sometimes one just has to do a lot to prove to people that you can do it.
WM: Was there a time you thought of giving up?
Never! Nothing of such ever crossed my mind.

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