Adekunle Gold, the Nigerian singer, has joined Def Jam Recordings, the prestigious US music label.
Def Jam Recordings is owned by Universal Music Group (UMG) and has worked with American superstars such as Jay Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West.
Speaking with Billboard, Tunji Balogun, Def Jam’s CEO/chairman, said he has always wanted to sign the Afrobeats star.
Balogun praised the singer for his visible growth in “songwriting, artistry, vocals and showmanship.”
“I’ve been following Adekunle Gold since I first heard his record ‘Sade’ in 2016. Over the years, everything in AG’s world has elevated,” he said.
“His songwriting has refined, the scope of his artistry has widened, his vocals have strengthened, his approach to fashion is more distinct, and his showmanship and performance ability have grown exponentially.
“He has stepped into stardom on his own terms and is completely comfortable being his true self. Adekunle felt like the perfect fit – he’d already done so much work on his own to build a base.
“But I knew that we could scale his audience to an even bigger level if we combined our energies and worked together.”
On signing the record deal, the Afrobeats star said he is excited because Def Jam has a “great track record”.
“He understands it, so signing to Tunji makes sense. He’s like my studio buddy that just comes everywhere I go,” the ‘AG Baby’ crooner said.
“The day he doesn’t have time to be there, I know he must’ve been like stupidly busy. He’s great. The track record is there. The history is there.
“They break artists, and they have niche, unique artists like me, so I think it’s the right move for me. All of the things that I’ve done for myself, they know already and that’s why they’re on board.”
Adekunle Gold gained popularity after putting out ‘Sade’ and a high-life cover of One Direction’s ‘Story of My Life’.
He was signed to YBNL in 2015 but later exited the record label after his contract expired.
He founded Afro Urban Records, his own label, and released two albums, ‘About 30’ in 2018 and ‘Catch Me If You Can’ in 2022.
Adekunle Gold is set to release a new album under Def Jam Recordings in June 2023.
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