A decade ago, the word ‘afrobeat’ came with a completely different set of preconceptions, and brought to mind an entirely different sound.
But with the emergence of the mishmash genre, afroswing and the international recognition of afro-infused beats, African popular music has completely changed. The music now calls on a more regimented and digital sound.
The word ‘afrobeat’ itself has even became shorthand for describing an eclectic upbeat type of popular African music.
Nigerian afropop artist Adekunle Gold is bringing an organic, old school highlife sound back to African pop music.
His track Kelegbe Megbe (Know Your Level) uses live instrumentation as the basis of the rhythm and his echoing vocals are accompanied by smooth backing melodies giving it a retro yet refined feel. His lyrics speak of rejecting conformity, trusting your intuition and doing things your own way.
Speaking in detail on the themes behind the single, Adekunle Gold says “When you know who you are, what you represent and are fully confident in yourself, you stop listening to opinions, trends and suggestions, good or bad because if you believe the good from a source, you better believe the bad from that same source, after all, human beings are fickle.”
The accompanying visual is fuzzy and free flowing, with an Afrocentric retro lens, showing men and woman adorned in colourful print or stood amongst palm trees. With direction from renowned filmmaker Clarence Abiodun Peters, the visual reflects a deep connection with the laid back content of the track.
In fact the video does not has a clear structure or narrative but it evokes a warm, easy-going vibe just like the song.
Prior to his debut studio album, Gold in 2015, Adekunle Gold burst onto the Nigerian music scene with the release of tracks ‘Sade’ ‘Orente’ and ‘Ire’ in 2014. He was then nominated in the Most Promising Act of the Year category at the 2015 City People Entertainment Awards.
‘Kelegbe Megbe (Know Your Level)’ is an impressive single and sees the artist reinventing classic sounds.
You can buy or stream Kelegbe Megbe (Know Your Level) from this link here