Adekunle Gold, the musician, says critics mocked him when he pivoted from highlife to Afropop.
The hitmaker started out in music with the 2015 single ‘Sade’, a highlife cover of One Direction’s ‘Story of My Life’.
Adekunle Gold subsequently signed a record deal with YBNL and released his eponymous debut studio album.
However, between 2019 and 2020, the singer began releasing Afropop-tinged records in what became a pivot.
He released his 2020 album overtly titled ‘Afropop‘ after which he admitted that the changes had been gradual.
In a newsletter to fans on the occasion of his birth anniversary, Adekunle recalled how critics mocked his choice.
“When I first started putting my photoshop images online, some people laughed at me. Others ignored it and some supported me. The same thing happened when I started sharing my music publicly,” the singer wrote.
“People didn’t really pay any attention to it. Some of the people I really respected made fun of my voice. In 2019 when I started releasing Afropop sounds, I saw a tweet where someone had called me a ‘Yoruba singer’.
“[They] told me to stick to what I knew. In hindsight, I wonder why they thought ‘Yoruba singer’ was an insult. I didn’t allow anyone’s opinion to stop me from expressing my creativity. I was doing it for me.
“My point is, with everything you do, people will have their own opinion about it. Some will criticise you openly and others will keep it to themselves. Some opinions will discourage you and some will empower you.
“Sometimes, those that support you will turn on you when you’re no longer winning. Just make sure you’re doing everything you do for yourself and not for the approval of anyone else.”
In 2020, Adekunle clarified that drifting toward pop didn’t amount to a total overhaul of his music style.
“It makes sense to say I don’t have a sound because I can do anything,” he had stated during a private forum.
“The album ‘Gold’ was highlife. ‘About 30′ was an upgrade with more pop. Now, ‘Afropop’ is totally different.
“Who would think that I can do dancehall, R&B, an EDM-sounding song like ‘Here For Ya’?
“I’m trying to take music to a new level where people have not. The legacy is, I want to [be able to] say I did all.”
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