Nigerian singer Adekunle Gold has signed a deal with Def Jam Recordings, one of the most prestigious music labels in the United States.
The label, which is owned by Universal Music Group, has worked with American superstars like Jay Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West.
Tunji Balogun, CEO/chairman of Def Jam, expressed his excitement about the deal with the Afrobeats star. Speaking to Billboard, Balogun praised Adekunle Gold for his growth in “songwriting, artistry, vocals, and showmanship.”
“I’ve been following Adekunle Gold since I first heard his record ‘Sade’ in 2016. Over the years, everything in AG’s world has elevated,” Balogun said.
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“He has stepped into stardom on his own terms and is completely comfortable being his true self. Adekunle felt like the perfect fit – he’d already done so much work on his own to build a base. But I knew that we could scale his audience to an even bigger level if we combined our energies and worked together.”
Adekunle Gold, who gained popularity after releasing ‘Sade’ and a high-life cover of One Direction’s ‘Story of My Life,’ expressed his excitement about signing with Def Jam.
“He understands it, so signing to Tunji makes sense. He’s like my studio buddy that just comes everywhere I go,” the ‘AG Baby’ crooner said.
“The day he doesn’t have time to be there, I know he must’ve been like stupidly busy. He’s great. The track record is there. The history is there. They break artists, and they have niche, unique artists like me, so I think it’s the right move for me. All of the things that I’ve done for myself, they know already and that’s why they’re on board.”
Adekunle Gold was signed to YBNL in 2015 but later left the record label after his contract expired. He founded Afro Urban Records and has released two albums, ‘About 30’ in 2018 and ‘Catch Me If You Can’ in 2022.
The singer is set to release a new album under Def Jam Recordings in June 2023.