Fireboy DML – The Rave On Fire
Words By – Yemisi Suleiman
Adedamola Adefolahun, professionally known as Fireboy DML, is no doubt having one of the best times of his most loved career.
After a major breakthrough with his debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps’, in 2019, Fireboy kept up his prolific pace this year, with the launch of his latest hit single ‘Peru’, a song currently on the lips of the young and young at heart.
The singer and songwriter, who has a song for every feeling from love, breakup, happiness to travel, says the song ‘Peru’ basically recounts his journey and holiday fun in San Francisco.
As he takes on Lagos today, January 2nd for his first major headline concert tagged “The Fire Concert” at the Balmoral, Federal Palace hotel Lagos, the English Language graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, says he is optimistic about the future of the new year, with regards to satisfying fans.
Fireboy, who carted home the highest number of awards at the 2021 Headies, shares his excitement on the ‘Fireboy Concert, his latest collaboration with British high-profile singer Ed Sheeran and influences while growing up, among others.
You are headlining your first concert ever in Lagos “The Fire Concert” How does that make you feel?
Ecstatic and anxious! I can’t wait for that night on the 2nd of January, 2022. I’ll be performing many songs I’ve never performed before so it’s going to be super special.
Tell us about your latest album? What is the inspiration behind it?
I made my sophomore album during the lockdown in 2020, with the sole purpose of giving my listeners a little peek into my life and personality. My debut was simply an introduction to my sound so I decided to make the next one a bit more personal and introspective.
What is the inspiration behind your latest hit ‘Peru’, how did it come about?
There is no particular depth to it, to be honest. It was a drunken freestyle—just a young man who had found himself in a foreign land and had decided to enjoy every single minute of his experience there. I was simply telling my truth in melody. I had just landed in San Francisco to pay a courtesy visit to my empire team in the studio. I met Shizzi there, told him to play me a beat and that was it. In 40 minutes, ‘Peru’ was born.
And how would you describe the reception so far?
Amazing! The song has gone on to become a global smash hit! Right now, it’s my biggest song yet. I am super grateful to God, my team and to the fans, media houses, and every stakeholder of the afrobeat genre who made this possible.
Tell us about the remix with English singer Ed Sheeran, why Ed?
When the team told me it was time to push Peru even further globally, I told them I wouldn’t do a remix with just anybody, no matter how big they were. I’m big on mutual respect and organic energy when it comes to collaborations, so I waited patiently till it came. When the opportunity presented itself, I knew Ed was the one for this song, because he genuinely loves the song and also because I have been a fan of his, for as long as I remember, so I connect with his sound. He made me fall in love with acoustic guitars, and then when we met and shot the video, the energy was amazing. I am super grateful to have him on this project.
How would you say your style has evolved since the beginning of your career?
For me, every album is a different era. LTG was the boyish lover boy who just wanted everyone to listen to his sound; APOLLO was the deep, reclusive guy in his introspective bag. This era is different. This is the guy who is more comfortable sonically, the guy who is out of his comfort zone, and more open to different possibilities. My next album will be my most commercial album yet.
Who helped you most in your journey?
Olamide, without a doubt, is a mentor and guide I can never replace. I am forever grateful to him.
Where and how do you get inspiration for your songs?
For me, there are no particular perimeters with music-making. As long as I can hear the sound and it’s pleasing to me, inspiration and every other thing comes naturally, it just flows. I can’t explain it.
Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?
Anywhere music plays. I like to constantly surround myself with music and anything that has to do with it keeps me in a constantly creative zone and headspace.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
I love football a lot. I love playing and watching. Once a week, I play football with my friends, we even set up a sort of “football club” and yes, your guess is right, I am the captain of the team. I also love video games; it’s one of those things I do to unwind. I don’t like going out so it’s mainly indoor activities I do to keep me relaxed. I love to read a lot, and occasionally I write poetry.
What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great musician?
Songwriting for sure, I think it’s what sets me apart. I strongly believe that the ability to make music is more important than pure singing ability. Nothing beats being intentional with music-making, and no better way to make music than being an amazing songwriter.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
I admire a lot of musicians for different reasons but three people stand out for me, and I consider them the foundation of my sound; Passenger, Jon Bellion, and Wande Coal. I admire them for the soul and honesty they bring into songwriting.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
The complexity of human beings makes it so difficult to navigate this journey, but the passion and love I have for the craft makes it easy for me to overlook these things. We move, regardless.
If you could change one thing in the music industry in Nigeria, what would it be and Why?
Our industry is beautiful at the moment, but I think we could do with a better structure. We are definitely getting there, we just need more time.
Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?
It definitely chose me, because I thought my passion would be something else. In the middle of the chaos that was my life, music found me and I found purpose.
If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?
Probably a professional footballer or a professional writer, it’s a weird combo but it is what it is.
What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to 10 years?
For myself and for afrobeat, I see myself becoming a bigger and better proponent of the genre, performing on the biggest stages, and becoming a legend.
It’s Christmas, what does Christmas mean to you and what’s your wish this Xmas?
Even as a kid I was always indoors, probably reading a book or something. But I always loved the atmosphere Christmas brings. There is some sort of peace and joy in the air that I can’t explain and it’s beautiful to see. Right now, I’m all about spreading positive energy and bringing genuine smiles to the faces of my fans and family, with music and genuine affection. My Xmas wish is for this pandemic to completely go away.
Tell us your New Year resolutions for 2022 and your plans for the year?
I have no resolutions. As for my plans, I have a lot! I’m having my first headline concert in January, and doing my first USA tour in February. In the 2nd quarter, I will be in Europe touring. After that, I’ll start working on releasing my third album. I’m almost done with it at this moment.
What is your motto or good advice you live by?
Good things take time, great things take everything.
Tell us a bit about where you were born, your growing up, and how that impacted your career today?
I was born and raised in Ogun state. I grew up in Abeokuta, with my parents and two brothers. As the firstborn, I was always the quiet and responsible one. I never went out or had too many friends and it has shaped me into this reclusive creative. I like it that way, it helps me focus and it keeps me away from a lot of energy I do not need.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Thank you for staying with me through this journey. I love you and I can’t wait for you all to experience my next album. Stay masked up this period, and stay close to your loved ones.
Have a happy New Year.