Audio

Artist Playlist: Adekunle Gold's Eclectic Mix

Hitmaking Nigerian singer Adekunle Gold selects his favorite current songs and inspirations.

Adekunle Gold is on a mission.


The hitmaking Nigerian singer's latest single, "Only Girl" featuring Moelogo, has been buzzing and riding high on both sides of the Atlantic getting major plays in the UK, America, and, of course, West Africa.

We caught up with the songwriter during his recent visit to New York City and had to know what songs have been on his playlist lately.

Adekunle Gold revealed his highly-eclectic and far-reaching musical taste—which includes indie, folk, Malian jams, and much more—in this artist playlist.

Check out our Artist Playlist: Adekunle Gold below and on Spotify and Apple Music.

Novor Amor "Carry You"

Adekunle Gold: I love this song for the heavy lyrics that are soul penetrating. Writers like this come around once in a lifetime. My favorite lyric is: "I borrowed a love that never came."

Alexi Murdoch "All My Days"

AG: It's the best song from the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies (Real Steel). I love the guitars in this and the folky sound.

Kodaline "High Hopes"

AG: This is a sad and depressing video. It's not every time you want to make yourself sad. But sadness can remind you to appreciate the happy times.

Oumou Sangaré Yere "Faga" ft. Tony Allen

AG: I don't understand anything she's saying which makes me deeply concentrate on the musicality. It is just beautiful and makes me proud to be African.

Habib Koite & Bamada "Din Din Wo"

AG: Another African number in which I don't know what they're saying, however the sound is very familiar. It's that traditional West African sound with a little bit of a modern twist.

Asa "Bamidele"

AG: I listen to this imagining myself performing alongside her. I probably wouldn't sing much because I am in awe of her. I do understand the meaning of the song. It's very nostalgic and iconic; it reminds me of home. Asa is a legend.

Get Adekunle Gold's Artist Playlist on Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/user/okayafricaofficial/playlist/2nlJ1wb4o2EaxwMOpOi15t

Passenger "Let Her Go"

AG: This is such a sweet melodic song with contradicting lyrics. It's a classic oxymoron of a song that describes love in it's sometimes confusing way. I'm also not so secretly obsessed with English folk.

The Script "Millionaires"

AG:A lot of people don't know this but this song inspired my first original single "Orente." "You can have a million euros but you can't buy this." If you know the lyrics of my song "Orente," then you know exactly which lyric was inspired by this song.

Labrinth "Jealous"

AG: Another effortlessly soul-piercing singer who makes abstract things come to life in his lyrics. Labrinth is one of my favorite artists.

Moelogo "Ireti"

This may seem narcissistic but if I could add one more song to my Gold album, this would have been it. Mo is like my spirit animal. My musical twin. This song, "Ireti," is a beautiful representation and symbol of hope.

Florence + The Machine "Dog Days Are Over"

AG: This song makes me feel triumphant. That all my struggles are over. It's a call to rejoicing that you can't help but move your body and gospel clap to.

The Fray "You Found Me"

AG: This song is man's brazen attempt to question an absent "GOD." I love that music allows you the fullest expression of yourself. I also love the soft rock sound of the fray.

Paramore "The Only Exception"

AG: It's clear that I love the guitar. It's heavy on this song. I also love the way the song is formatted. She talks about all the things that are negative in her life, using it to describe all the things that are right with her current love. It's clever and it's touching.

Adekunle Gold "Call On Me"

I love this song because it's another expression of my sound. It's summery, it's fresh, it's danceable and joyous. Sometimes you don't want to think, you just want to move.

Get Adekunle Gold's Artist Playlist on Apple Music

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.