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Tequila Ever After…A Toast To The Nascent Evolution of Adekunle Gold

By Chinonso Ihekire
18 July 2023   |   2:00 pm
IF Adekunle Gold were an actor, he’d most definitely be Leonardo DiCaprio. His ability to constantly reinvent himself, without breaking the portrait of his potential across the minds of his listeners, is worthy of applause. This Chameleon-Wolf mentality, which has elevated his stardom over the past seven years, is his blueprint to building a legacy…

IF Adekunle Gold were an actor, he’d most definitely be Leonardo DiCaprio. His ability to constantly reinvent himself, without breaking the portrait of his potential across the minds of his listeners, is worthy of applause.

This Chameleon-Wolf mentality, which has elevated his stardom over the past seven years, is his blueprint to building a legacy that redefines popular culture for generations to come.

As his fans yearn for his forthcoming fifth studio album dubbed Tequila Ever After, slated for release later this month, I got a chance to listen to some of the 18 tracks on the album. And the charming evening of cocktails, conversations and music pointed my thoughts towards Adekunle Gold’s artistic evolution and the foreshadowing feel of a rockstar on the rise.

Adekunle Gold, fondly known as AG Baby, is no stranger to change. In one of his newsletters to his fans dated circa December, 2019, he wrote, “I want my past to be silver and my future to be gold. I never want to be stagnant, I always want to do better than I have before. I always have to outdo myself no matter how familiar you are with the outdone version of me.” And that adventurous mindset has spirited all his releases from the Juju-toned debut dubbed Gold, to his Pop-Highlife fusions of About 30, and more broader pop-fusions in its sequel, Afro Pop Vol 1, down to his most recent album, Catch Me If You Can. In Tequila Ever After, he carefully caresses over genre boundaries, bringing out his most vibrant, danceable and evergreen energies as he expresses.

“I was in LA, for the most part, while I made this album. I was feeling very depressed for a bit, and then I drank a shot of Tequila and I just didn’t feel the same. I used to be a cognac person, but this was the best thing I ever tasted in my life,” he caroused over gentle chuckles as we all cozied into the night on the raffia floor. This alcohol-dependence that AG Baby, born Adekunle Kosoko, extols as a deserving muse for creators, is also an echo of his bohemian rhapsody.

Bemused by the idea of his career growth, he unpacks a different vibe that is completely his most sonic maturation so far. From fusing ancestral rhythms of highlife and Griot music to rapid Afro-pop percussions down to Amapiano, AG Baby widens his discography with Tequila Ever After’s vibrant temperance and sonic depth.

While AG Baby continues to receive acclaim for wholesome marketing rollouts and stagecraft, especially seeing his sold-out shows across Europe, North America and Africa, as well as his alluring urban-regal fashion style, which is a fine complement for his gut-driven evolution, the true culprit of his current career growth is time.

From his 2015 social media fame as the ‘King of Photoshop’, to his 2016-2018 run as one of the best protégés of Olamide, his mentor and YBNL record label boss, AG Baby has always been on a pedestal of self improvement. Now, with a global shift in consumer behaviour and a flattering global demand for Afrobeats, AG Baby’s ascent is a harvest of his dedication towards being exceptional.

This is why his discography soars with staggering divergence that pits songs like “Sade” side-by-side with the Lucky Daye-assisted “Sinner” or the euphoric Davido duet, “High”. Now, with Tequila Ever After, AG Baby is sharpening his brand identity as a versatile, brilliant and bandwagon-resisting singer.

“AG Baby, this is school fees music!” Do2tun’s, the renowned on air personality, said. His humour steered the tension further away from the chilly evening. “You’re singing as if school fees are due.” And the joke rested well with the sanguine cocktails that kept finding their way to our throats. However, the real food for thought was clandestine in Do2tun’s reaction; while AG Baby might make catchy bops about his life of luxury, he nurses a deeper hunger for stellar musicianship, and this pushes him to keep paying attention to every detail of his career.

Tequila Ever After is a statement record, with high replay value, amazing collaborations, and sonic variety. It radiates as AG Baby’s most confident and profound body of work, so far. It’s an exciting sojourn within a world of possibilities for AG Baby.

Also, if there’s another thing worth watching out for with this album, it is the stagecraft that will chaperone its consumption. AG Baby’s recent performances in Belgium and Denmark where he melded Electronic Dance Music (EDM) influences into his live performance is a stimulating snippet of how different Tequila Ever After is meant to make one feel. It is reminiscent of his NPR Tiny Desk performance, last year, as well as his iconic opening for Davido, among other several performance gigs across the United States and Europe, where he left audiences crazed, pumped and spellbound by his stagecraft.

AG Baby packs the potential for exponential growth. His main motive seems to be the urge for self expression, or maybe Tequila glasses. Nonetheless, it’s by far one of the most popular artistic rebrands of this era and a satisfying reflection of Afrobeats’ jolly glide to global superiority.

“Dada! (pidgin identifier for a person with locs)!” AG Baby kept beckoning to me, but I only noticed after the fifth time. “Switch the channel,” And my focus ferried back to the silent disco, as I flicked the channels on my headphones. And then I realised it. That is his magic, his sheer and inspiring audacity to steal the spotlight and bask in its halo.