Fireboy DML: The talented act redefining the Afrobeat sound
Fireboy DML is a mesmerizing and captivating singer. His sound is so unique it leaves listeners spellbound. But what makes him different from other new school artists that came to fame the same period he did?
The first time this writer heard the song, “jealous” in 2019, I wondered whose beautiful voice was it that kept me captivated. Then I was introduced to Fireboy DML and that’s an introduction I don’t regret.
Fireboy DML came to prominence with his breakthrough hit song, “Jealous” which first appeared on YBNL Nation’s collaborative album YBNL Mafia Family (2018), before being re-released on 25 March 2019.
The Cracker Mallo produced song is composed of guitar riffs, traditional drums, and percussion; it combines African harmonies with elements of country and soul music. It talks about the concept of Love and the complicated feelings that go along it.
However, Fireboy DML had started singing way before that, his 2018 “Sing” featuring Oxlade is a testament to that fact.
The song which is soulful lyrics sung over appealing Piano chords despite its non-upbeat nature is a well-written piece.
While everyone thought if Fireboy would be a one-hit-wonder, he dropped his debut album, “Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps“.
The thirteen tracks album is a fusion of Afrobeat and R’n’B. The album release was preceded by the release of “What If” and “King“, both of which are part of the album.
While this isn’t a complete review of the album, I would be picking some songs from the album to demonstrate Fireboy’s unique talent and captivating lyrics.
Fireboy DML is a naturally born talent, one thing he has going for him is exceptional songwriting skills which is basically one of the important parts of Music. This is evident in all his songs.
Next is the fact that he was able to drop a debut album filled with thirteen tracks with no feature and yet stole hearts with it. That is a feat that most artists can’t boast of.
The album amassed over 6 million streams on Spotify just within three days of its release. Like Jay Z said in his 2009 song, “Reminder”, ‘Men lie, Women lie, Numbers don’t lie’ at least not all the time.
The album was a mixture of highs and lows. One song would get you dancing and breathing heavily, another song would have your heart needing company if you are lonely.
In “Like I Do”, Fireboy sings of dreamy promises on a dreamy R’n’B beat. The song is special to a lot of people as it captures the purest form of true love and gives it poetic justice.
“Vibration” is like what the name implies a very vibrant song that sends a lot of energy. This song comes with a Salsa spirit, there’s no way a listener isn’t compelled to try the dance while listening to the song.
“Scatter”, a personal favorite of mine, is more upbeat than “Vibrations”. The Pheelz produced song saves a Disc Jockey the need of adding sound effects as it comes with its own. When the song comes on at a club, the party has to definitely scatter.
In “King”, Fireboy sings about the value of his self-worth and the limits of what he could do for love. He sings “Me i fit fight for your love but i no fit beg for your love”, a statement that resonates with a lot of people in relationships.
While “Need You” the first song on the album, sees Fireboy telling his love interest how important she is to him. I love the lyrics as Fireboy uses corny and hilarious words to express his feelings.
Generally, “Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps” lived up to its name but with more emphasis on the tears and goosebumps. While the name of the album was albeit unconventional, I can take a guess on why his team picked the title.
The album is a combination of different emotions and Fireboy tried to touch on different everyday emotions on the album. Like I mentioned earlier, it comes with its different highs and lows causing a conflict of emotions. A tip, don’t listen to all the songs at once to be safe.
Meanwhile, Fireboy has decided to take a different path in 2020 judging from his current releases. He dropped “New York City Girl” as his official single for the year and when I listened to the song, I knew Fireboy was evolving.
In the ever-competitive music industry, artists know its dangerous to stick to one path as the audience could get bored if you keep repeating the same thing and Fireboy isn’t taking chances.
In “New York City Girl” Fireboy asks a potential love interest to make out time for them as time is against them. The singer does his magic on the Type A produced beat. The lyrics are simple, no many wordplays or corny lyrics. Just a cool song that gives off a summer vibe.
His latest release, “Eli” however is what is tickling my interest. The beat first off is something way different from what I am familiar with Pheelz.
Pheelz decided to travel to the far distant country of China to borrow an element of their music. He incorporated the Chuigushou sound which according to Wikipedia is a traditional percussive musical ensemble most often used at weddings and funerals by the Han Chinese, which usually accompanies a form of oboe called a suona. This type of folk music is diverse, sometimes happy, sometimes sad.
What makes it special is the fusion of this foreign sound with Afrobeat which is a bit relatively new and Fireboy experimenting on this sound is interesting.
In this song, Fireboy goes contrary to his 2019 sound, he delves deeper into the complex nature of a woman. Here he begs for salvation from the woman he is currently besotted with.
While It’s quite impressive with the experimentation done on the song. However, if not explored well, Fireboy could have difficulties solidifying his ground in 2020 the same way he did in 2019.
Fireboy is a music genius but in the world of music, the audience decides what should reign and what shouldn’t. If you must sell something new, it has to be worth listening to.
While Time would decide how his stay in the Music Industry would be and if the International scene would accept him, I’m however hopeful that Fireboy has the potentials and the right tools to conquer the global music scene.
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