It’s Fireboy DML’s Birthday! Here Are Some Facts About the Elusive Singer
Today the 5th of February marks the birthday of one of the voices of the new wave of Nigerian music that’s taking the industry past the catchall term afrobeats, Fireboy DML is the artiste getting balloons as he turns the quarter of a century. Born Ademola Adefolahan, he came into the scene with the irresistible high-life infused summer number, Jealous in early 2019 and latched onto our playlists and hearts but not much is known about the YBNL golden boy.
So in honour of Fireboy DML’s birthday, here are some interesting facts about him to demystify his persona:
1. Background and childhood
A native of Abeokuta, Ogun state, Fireboy makes no secret of the fact that he’s a recluse who loves to be by himself and this is because he’s always been a natural hermit. Born to a family of 5 and three boys which he is the firstborn of, he preferred to pass his time reading books and writing poems.
He penned his first poem at the age of 13, it was a love poem but sadly, it got lost in transit and the intended owner never received it.
He also enjoys the works of American author Dan Brown and the Irish poet, Oscar Wilde and his favourite book is the latter’s Digital Fortress which according to him is compelling.
2. Education and Finding His Music Passion
Fireboy studied English at the University of Ife. It was in his second year he discovered his musical talents past the initial young chorister phase which most singers had while growing up. His first song was also a love song and he was impressed by his abilities he started to take his music more seriously while his grades suffered.
Despite this, he did not discover his unique sound till early 2017 and had recorded regular afropop songs.
3. Lagos and the music hustle
Upon finishing school in 2017, Fireboy immediately moved to Lagos despite not knowing anyone there. His sole aim was to perfect his music and attain stardom and he spent most of his time recording in studios and songwriting. He also mentioned writing songs for some artistes who eventually took advantage of him, but he chalked it up to developmental stages and claimed that it taught him a lesson.
On a progressive note, he shares writing credits for Tiwa Savage’s Temptation on which she featured Sam Smith.
4. YBNL Discovery
In late August 2018, after slugging it out in the studio and posting his work on free platforms such as Soundcloud, Fireboy got an opportunity to showcase his talent on Cool FM’s Aux Sessions where he sang “I’ll Be Fine”. Some days after, he got signed by street hop legend, Olamide Adedeji to his YBNL record label.
His record deal was described by some as the stuff of fairytale but it had actually been in the works. According to Fireboy, he’d been speaking to an A&R who worked for YBNL and had told him that Olamide would reach out to him sometime. Fireboy had been in doubt and remained in doubt even when Olamide chatted him up some days after his Aux session. He got signed over the phone but he still remained in a daze till he saw the notification from YBNL’s Twitter page where he was welcomed into the family. He also shared that he and Olamide started working on his debut album the very next day.
5. YBNL Signing, breakout song and Attaining Stardom
Other than Olamide himself, Fireboy is currently the only other recording musician signed to YBNL. But when he got signed, it had been a full house at the record label and they’d dropped a compilation album titled YBNL MaFia Family, in 2018. Fireboy’s Jealous had caught the attention of several listeners and it was released as the standalone track that we all know in 2019.
For his parents, especially his dad who expressed disappointment in his decision to move to Lagos to do music, as opposed to a path in academics which he had been towing, his stardom made them his biggest fans.
6. The Artiste and his sound
When asked to describe his sound, Fireboy always pegs it ‘Afro-Life’ which he says for him is not a genre but a way of defining his music which is a more lyrical and soulful fusion of Afrbeats, Afropop and Afro RnB.
On the issue of collaborations, his debut album, Laughter Tears and Goosebumps, has no collaborations because he was still trying to define his sound.
As for his most personal song, Fireboy says it’s the 24 (interlude) on his sophomore album, Apollo which is personal, he made it short as he couldn’t let it all out.
On Apollo itself the star has mentioned that the inspiration behind the name was the Roman god of poetry because he was in a god-like space.
Happy birthday to Fireboy DML!