Interview

Interview: Fireboy DML Gets Deep & Personal with 'Apollo'

The 'Afro-Life' singer wants to show that Afrobeats can be cohesive and more than just vibes, beats, and instrumentals.

Fireboy DML is one of the custodians of the modern African music totem. Following his signing to YBNL, helmed by veteran artist Olamide, the singer burst onto mass appeal in early 2019 with his genre-defying smash hit, "Jealous", initially housed under the label's December 2018 compilation project. "Jealous" ruled digital charts, airwaves and contended for Song of the Year at The Headies Award, Nigeria's most prestigious music award.

Singles like "What If I Say," "King" while sustaining momentum, made way for his debut album dubbed Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps. The album houses zero features and has been hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed albums amidst Nigerian classics like Wande Coal's Mushin to Mohits. According to Fireboy, LTG was aimed to introduce the world to his sound, which the singer touts as Afro-Life. "It is not a genre; my music is different and I feel it deserves to own an identity," he said. This identity encompasses balancing his love for R&B, contemporary pop, Afro-pop, with affectionate, gleeful or melancholic motifs. The singer, who co-wrote "Temptation" by Tiwa Savage and Sam Smith, is often lauded for his songwriting abilities.

Following singles such as "New York City Girl," "Eli," "Tattoo," the singer born Adedamola Adefolahan released his sophomore album, Apollo. The new album features D Smoke, Olamide and Wande Coal, who Fireboy acknowledges as one of his musical influences. Unlike LTG, Apollo sees Fireboy bring to light to his persona. Chatting with the singer, we spoke about the genesis of his artistic persona, cutting through the noise of mainstream African music with witty lyricism, and driving a novel narrative about Afrobeats through his music.

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