About 30 is an album that touches on Adekunle Gold’s individuality, maturity and experiences finding the perfect conveyor belt to thrive.
Album – About 30
Artiste – Adekunle Gold
Record Label – Afro Urban Records/Empire (2018)
Duration: 14 Tracks, 2 Bonus tracks (54 Minutes)
It had supposedly taken him two years to put together this album, Adekunle Gold set a standard with his debut album, Gold released in 2016, but events have since taken place leading to his sophomore project, About 30 anxiously looked upon as one of the most anticipated album of the year.
From leaving his label, YBNL, Adekunle Gold has gone on to set his own imprint, establish the 79th element band and enjoyed successful tours in Europe and America, showing artistic visionary and creative growth along the line.
Hey Guys, (about30.info peeps) The amount of thanks I can give will never be enough for the support you give me. THANK YOU! If you have not joined, don’t miss out on things coming up… 1. Exclusive view into 29🙏 2. The album release date 3. An opportunity to hear it first at an ultra super secret location..🤫 4. Be a VVIP guest at the #about30 listening. Can’t wait to meet you. I mean this. I can’t wait! AG💛
Again, amidst the monotonous and saturated pop sound prevailing on the scene, Adekunle Gold is that one artist that has always gone left from the crowd and ‘About 30’ serves up a refreshing and solid alternative.
Heightening anticipation around the album was the deftly rolled out album release promotion vehicle, getting his fans more intimate with the 14 track project, where he shares his experiences over the past three decades touching on love, growth and purpose.
First, he had done well in limiting the number of previously released singles as only two songs, ‘Ire’ and ‘Money’ made it on the album.
With Adekunle Gold, love has always been a theme with ‘Sade’ and ‘Orente’ on his debut effort, and it is no different with this album as it gets displayed in a telling spectrum; from love gained or flourishing in ‘Surrender’ and ‘Somebody’, which kicks off with a funky kick as he reiterates love for his girl despite the distractions, to love gone sour in ‘Damn’ Delilah’, which he reveals is a true life story.
However, unlike his debut album where the only featured artist comes in the form of Simi, Adekunle Gold expands his range working with the likes of DYO, Flavour, Seun Kuti and the Lagos Community Gospel Choir, and even though Simi doesn’t get name credit on the art cover, her vocals are splashed across the album.
The first guest feature comes in the person of Dayo Olatunji also known as DYO, who invades your deepest senses with her explosive vocals on Down with you, a song of two lovers exchanging devoted vows interchanging verses in different languages. ”I’m down with you always, I will never let you go”.
‘Yoyo’ with Flavour gives a classical high-life music created to be radio friendly, but however fails to inspire or reach the desired heights, while ‘Mama’ is another of those songs dedicated to the mothers and sounds more like an album filler.
Personally, the album’s finest moment comes in ‘Fame’, which touches on loneliness, want and depression even in the midst of family and loved ones, the message send volts through your head and the production is an absolute eargasm.
‘Mr Foolish’ with Seun Kuti also brings Afrobeat to life with the blaring horns and conscious message.
‘Pablo Alakori ‘ inspired by a social media miscreant named Pablo is another highlight on the project as Adekunle Gold is the conscious police preaching patience and hard work as he sings ”Mago mago no be the way, wayo no be the answer”, while There is a God with the LCGC sees the singer reflect on the glory and beauty of God from a birds eye view.
For his follow-up effort, Adekunle Gold has served up a really fascinating album, cohesive, distinct, matured and clearly progressive, however there still remains room for improvement in execution as he stayed along the safe line all through which could leave his sound occasionally montonous.
‘About 30’ is a well crafted project that while falling short of raising the bar set by Gold, it however will further strengthen his legacy on the scene.
3-Worth Checking Out
Adekunle GoldSinger delivers the perfect roll out for About 30 album
For an album he says took him two years to complete, Adekunle Gold is setting a trend on how to create an experience off releasing your project.
Adekunle Gold is creating an experience with the release of his sophomore album, ‘About 30’ in a way that his contemporaries have not woken up to.
Since the release of his debut effort, Gold in 2016, it has been a journey of exciting times and accomplishments for the singer and all this he aims to capture in his follow up project, About 30 scheduled for release on Friday, May 25 2018.
But unlike your regular artiste who when not doing a Beyonce and dropping an album unannounced, goes ahead to advertise a release date, with the only buzz around the album tied to the pre-order links.
Adekunle Gold has gone ahead to create a happy moment with his promotion that deepens an intimate relationship with the fans, builds up the anxiety for the project and also create a victory lap for the effort he has put into it
Adekunle Gold began the journey to About 30 with listening parties in the US, but knowing it all started for him at home, it is in Nigeria that he has delivered something futuristic.
It all started with the TraceLive event, where for the first time, he treated guests to few songs off the upcoming project, then it heightened on his social media accounts as he provided regular updates on the album.
Track titles are an important signifier of your direction as an artist and on May 12, Adekunle Gold shared the tracklist for the new album, significantly numbering the songs on the project as a continuation of his debut effort, starting from number 17 instead of the regular number one.
He then released the art work days later, requesting that his fans put it up as their social media display pictures.
— KING AG #ABOUT30 (@adekunleGOLD) May 20, 2018
But perhaps the most riveting and embracing of the journey with his fans has been the listening room creating a one-on-one intimate experience for his fans who register through the website particularly set up for the album experience, about30.info and the daily countdown on his pages leading to the day of release.
— KING AG #ABOUT30 (@adekunleGOLD) May 22, 2018
I just finished listening and @adekunleGOLD is 🔥
— Mayowa ✌ (@Mayowady) May 23, 2018
My experience at Upbeat for Adekunle Gold’s listening session
So as I closed from work after another hectic day, I had to stop over for my About 30 experience and even though social media was telling a story of fun-times and happy moments, I kept an open mind making my journey through the gates of the venue.
Walking through a pathway littered with About30 posters, one immediately gets sucked in to the singers presence, leading to a room with coloured lights and balloons in the shy.
He had also provided for 14 booths with headphones catering for the 14 songs on the album with the lyrics displayed for a sing along, so it was a moving experience from one booth to the other, where you get the pleasure of having a personal ride with each song.
There was also the soft touch of gifts presented to listeners with the wildest reactions in their respective booths.
As I exited the final booth, It was a journey worth starting all over, time had flown by in no time, but there were others on the line and all I could do was gaze into the moment that a Nigerian artiste creatively delivered something different.
In his marketing and promotional ingenuity, he has succeeded in turning his fans into family while showing how to build the perfect release and put joy into the entire album journey.