Adekunle Kosoko, popularly known as Adekunle Gold, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and graphic designer. For the longest time, he was known as the ‘Photoshop king’ on social media, thanks in large part to his ability to seamlessly Photoshop himself into trending pictures of celebrities. In 2014, he released his first single ‘Sade’ and became a big hit almost instantly. Soon after, he signed with YBNL and it’s just been multiple success stories after that. Despite leaving YBNL, Adekunle is still waxing stronger and having a flourish career. In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, he talked about his music, coming projects, relationship amongst others.
Congratulation on the success of your concert, how do you feel?
I feel happy that all the works put in towards the success of the show has yield positivity; it can only be God and efforts of all the members of the team.
Let’s look beyond the concert. What’s your plan for 2018?
First, I’m releasing an album. It’s my second studio album, ‘About Thirty’. It will be released in the first quarter of next year. Unlike the Gold album, I have more collaboration on this one. There will be a lot more videos. There are collaborations with Djs as well.
You forgot to include the marriage plans in 2018….
That might not be public knowledge but yeah…
(Cuts in) But there is a plan for it?
I don’t know.
Do you have a woman in your life at the moment?
Yes, I do.
Despite leaving YBNL, you refuse to flaunt your own label, was that intention?
I may not have announced it, but I’m under a record label called Afro urban which is something my team and I run.
Why did you decide to keep it a secret?
There is no reason to talk about it. I mean, as long as you listen to my music, its fine.
Will you be signing other artistes to the label?
I don’t know for now. I don’t have such visions for now, to be honest. But I may. It’s something I will like to do, but I just don’t want to put myself in a situation where I make such announcement and it doesn’t eventually happen.
Is this because you don’t think you have what it takes to own and operate a label?
It’s not easy to own a label. It’s not just about having some money and contacts in the industry. You have to do it right. Shout out to the people doing an amazing job. The kind of label I would want to run, I don’t have the capacity for it now.
Some people are of the opinion that you can’t afford to flaunt a record label because of the type of music you do which doesn’t appeal to a lot of people; Is that a correct assumption?
First I have to correct that; my music appeals to a lot of people, you will be shocked. My concert in London, children came out. The audience consisted of aunties, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, everybody, so that’s a good sign. And here, I have performed at different places where all ages came out. And I have performed at churches too.
It takes so much to produce great music like you do. What inspires you? What brings the lyrics to your mind?
My process is my experience. Who do I want to talk about? I like to talk about things that have happened to me; in short, I like to tell stories. There need to be an experience or something I want to talk about, that’s first. Or it could be random. Sometimes I make up songs, like temptation that’s on my album, Gold album. I made that one up, it didn’t happen. So it’s first the experience, and then the music. I have season producers. I have Pheelz, Seyikeys, Oscar; Master Kraft even did one for me. So I think about the song and I ask myself “who do I hear on this song?”, Who has the right sound for this song? Then I reach out to the person. I’m very much involved in my production. Sometimes, I tell the guitarist what I want to hear. I tell a bassist what I want to hear. I did a lot of that in this new album. I tell almost all of them what I want to hear. And when we make the music together, I make corrections and then I start writing. Sometimes I write the music, I write the song before I even get to listen to any beat. One of them is “Ariwo ko”. I recorded it as a voice note and sent to Pheelz, he sent back the music and I started recording. So it’s first the experience, how do I want to say it, what melody, what bounce, What produce, what instrument amongst others. For me it’s easy, because I have my guys around me to come up with everything.
Talking about lyrics, your song ‘Nurse Alabere’ is deep, who were you referring to?
The song was actually to my ex. Lover Yinka, My ex. Yinka. I can’t forget, Yinka. She did me dirty.
Do you mind sharing the story?
Ok, I was dating a girl that had a boyfriend and I wasn’t aware. Three months into the relationship, I noticed that she was always picking fights with me. You can imagine taking a bike from Ikotun to Lasu, that kind of distance to go and beg a girl. I got to her hostel by 12am. I was thinking of passing the night there because she stayed alone, but she told me to go back home. I did. A week later, some guy just called me and said ‘I heard you’re the one disturbing Yinka’. After inquiring of his identity, I was informed that he had been dating Yinka for a while and that they were getting married soon. He told me to back off. When I called Yinka, I discovered that I had been blocked.
How did you feel?
It was deep, it was painful. There has been a lot of that. It was really tough.
Has that affected your mindset about love?
No, nothing has changed. I love!! I love girls.
Looking back from where you started to where you are now, would you have done anything differently? And would you say you are fulfilled?
I won’t say I’m fulfilled and I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I started out with God and I want it to remain that way.
How do you intend to take your kind of music to the streets as you are considered a classical musician?
If you have a goal, it only makes sense to follow it through right? My goal is to be timeless. There would always be distractions for someone with a goal. I just told someone that I would be lying if I said that when I hear new sounds from other artistes, it’s not tempting to want to join them. But what is the point of doing something that is not you? What is the point of getting off a journey that you have started well? I want to be timeless; I just want to improve on me. I’m making my sound how I know it and I’m learning every day. Like I said, I’m getting involved in production so I’m learning new sounds to add to what I make. My goal is to be timeless, and I’m going to follow it through.
If not music what will you have been doing?
Art. I still make Art. I design my entire flier you see. And I’m very extra. If you invite me to your show, and the flier is bad, I will design my own. I design my website too. I’m pretty much involved in anything that is creative.
Before music and the fame, did you do menial jobs?
No, it was not that bad. What was bad for me was that I had to distribute my CDs in traffic.