Fireboy made a stage debut into the music industry in 2019 and easily caught everyone’s attention. From a sleeper hit jealousy, to a brilliant love song: what if I say; to a sonic soul r&b single: King. And then ending the year with a masterpiece album, ‘Laughter, tears and goosebumps’, which happens to be his debuts album: Fireboy showed the star quality to put him forward in the league of new generation music artists in Nigeria. Getting at least10 major award nominations on his first main year in the industry with massive music stream goes beyond doubt to say that Fireboy was one of the most successful newcomers in the industry in 2019.
Fire boy DML, whose real name is Ademola Adefolahan is a 23-year-old Nigerian singer and songwriter signed under YBNL Nation, a record label owned by Olamide, one of Nigeria’s finest indigenous rappers. He was born on February 5, 1996, in Abeokuta, Ogun state. He grew up living with his parents before heading out to Obafemi Awolowo University to study English in 2011 at age young age of 16. In 2012 while he was at 200 level, he gave music talent a chance. Going to the studio to record his first song that year, he became convinced that he had what took to become an excellent music artist. Unlike most upcoming artist back then in OAU who enjoyed featuring in stage performances across the campus, Fireboy stuck to making his music in the studio before exporting them to his small audience online.
Fireboy started with Afrobeats and looked up to WizKids and Davido in his hay days. Along the way, he decided to carve a nitch for himself by creating a different sound he calls ‘Afro life’, which is a blend of country music, folk, soul, R&B, reggae on Afro sounds. The Jealous crooner’s dedication in music affected his academic performance in a bad way. This wasn’t good for a boy who was known for his academic brilliance, and his parents were concerned. However, after studying in 2016, Fireboy shocked his parents with the news that he wants to move to Lagos to pursue his music career. Although his father was not happy with the decision, he allowed him to live his dreams.
The young singer moved to Lagos, got very serious with his music and started making little money through songwriting for upcoming and popular artists. In 2018, after deciding he was ready to take up music as a career like his life and soul depended on it, he found his way to cool FM aux session, a music studio platform where upcoming artists get to show their musical talents. While striving to succeed in music, at the age of 21 in Lagos on his own, Fireboy experienced a tough time. His house rent expired, and he had no money. He had to decide whether to go and sleep under a Lagos bridge or continue to crash in the studio for a little longer before going back home to his parents, little did he know fate was on his side. Fireboy revealed that a friend told him severally that Olamide was picking interest in him, but he found that too hard to believe. His doubt was almost conquered when Olamide himself chatted him up on WhatsApp to discuss his interest in signing him after listening to his tracks.
It wasn’t until Olamide himself posted on twitter saying, “Fireboy, welcome to YBNL” that he knew for sure that it wasn’t a dream. That very day, on October 16 2018, Fireboy moved in with the YBNL nation and became part of the family. The next day, Fireboy was made to join the YBNL family album project and started recording immediately, and 2 of his songs would later feature in the collaborative YBNL mafia family album. The album featured all the YBNL mafia family members which include Olamide, Picazo Rhap, Yomi Blaze alongside other affiliates of the label in Limerick, Lil Kesh, Temmie Ovwasa, Lyta and DJ Enimoney. The 13 track body of work didn’t get much traction, but Fireboy’s impact on the album wouldn’t go without being noticed. His songs “I’ll be fine”, “Jealous” plus Olamide “Motigbana” were the major hit songs on the album. At that point, everyone knew Fireboy was unique.
He brought a different sound to the team. Just like Adekunle Gold, Fireboy stood out and perhaps became the one to fill the space of AG left behind. He later admitted that Adekunle Gold influenced his music to an extent. He also acknowledged Jon Bellon, Passenger and Wande Coal as the three major artists who Influenced his music a great deal.
Written by: Tcode