Adedamola Adefolahan (born 1996 or 1997), known professionally as Fireboy DML, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is signed to YBNL Nation, an independent record label founded by Nigerian rapper Olamide. His debut studio album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps was released in 2019. He won Listener’s Choice and was nominated for Song of the Year for “Jealous” at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival.
2018–present: “Jealous” and Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps
Fireboy DML grew up in Abeokuta and was a member of his local church choir. His breakthrough single “Jealous” first appeared on YBNL Nation’s collaborative album YBNL Mafia Family (2018), before being re-released on March 25, 2019. The song is composed of guitar riffs, traditional drums and percussion; it combines African harmonies with elements of country and soul music. “Jealous” was produced by Cracker Mallo and is centered around love and the complicated feelings that go along with it. The visuals for “Jealous” was directed by Director K.
On June 14, 2019, Fireboy DML released the romantic single “What If I Say”. It was produced by Pheelz, who incorporated a mix of percussion, ambient synth harmonies, and a drum riff into the production. The visuals for “What If I Say” was directed by TG Omori. On August 1, 2019, Fireboy released the Echo the Guru-produced single “King”; in it, he declares his worth to his love interest. The accompanying music video for “King” was directed by TG Omori; it contains images of Fireboy and his love interest in a rose petal embellished Rolls Royce, as well as images of him singing at a fashion show where models walk on a runway with simulated rain.
Fireboy DML released his debut studio album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps on November 29, 2019. It was initially scheduled for release on Novemver 25, four days prior. The album’s music is a brand of R&B that combines love and social issues with empirical songwriting. LTG comprises 13 tracks and doesn’t feature any guest artist; it amassed over 6 million streams on Spotify three days after its release. It received generally positive reviews from music critics, but was criticized for being labeled as an “Afro-Life” record instead of an R&B album. LTG was supported by the previously released singles “Jealous”, “What If I Say” and “King”.
Fireboy DML has cited Jon Bellion, Passenger and Wande Coal as his key contemporary influences.
Fireboy DML describes his sound as “Afro-Life” and said he writes songs that audiences can relate to. Alphonse Pierre of Pitchfork characterized his sound as “slow-groove pop” and said it “tells stories about love with the formulaic structure of a Hallmark Christmas romance”.
Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps (2019)
“What If I Say” (2019)