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ADEOLUWA is Taking the Scenic Route on the Ride of His Life

The prairie-based crooner embraces both risk and reward on new EP, King Of Detours.

by Ozioma Nwabuikwu

Photos by DWB

Hot off a nomination in the first-ever Afrobeats category at the Saskatchewan Music Awards, ADEOLUWA is brimming with excitement. Performing all around the country, including at RANGE Magazine’s official BreakOut West showcase, 2023 was a landmark year for the Afrofusion artist – but on the heels of his new EP, King of Detours, ADEOLUWA is no stranger to taking the long way if he has to.

ADEOLUWA is aware that his exploration of multiple genres may disqualify his latest record as being traditionally ‘cohesive,’ but he pays that no mind. He doesn’t want to be restricted to only one genre, message or perspective, embracing the complexity of his sound and consequently, of life. Consisting of nine tracks, his latest  EP boasts almost half as many genres, including pop, R&B, Afrobeats, and hip-hop. “I pride myself on listening to what the song needs, as opposed to what I want,” he says. The listener is not only taken on sonic detours, but the tracks also tell a layered story, with multiple turns centering on lost and found love, as well as self-discovery. 

ADEOLUWA’s dichotomous spirit is marked by songs like “Let Me Know” and “This Is Why,” two tracks meant to mirror each other to aptly depict the push-pull nature of heartbreak, as well as ADEOLUWA’s own life struggles. “Heartbreak [acts] as a metaphor for…hardships [the audience] might be going through,” he says. ADEOLUWA’s own personal hardships found him navigating immigration issues while trying to make it as an independent artist. “It feels like you’re always trying to prove that you deserve to be here,” he says of the exams, permits and visa applications that most immigrants regularly have to go through. ADEOLUWA aims to offer solace for anyone going through similar situations, especially on “Keep It Moving,” which he describes as a pep talk for himself and others, even though he didn’t always realize its purpose until the finished product was sitting in front of him. “I will write a song and not know what it’s about till I’m done writing it,” he says, chuckling.

The approach ADEOLUWA takes to his journey is quite refreshing. He is motivated by a younger self who thought his wildest dreams wouldn’t come true and is so grateful that they did. He is no longer wrapped up in the traditional expectations of success through virality, and just wants to continue building his craft one step at a time. “I didn’t think I would get to experience a world where people would take me seriously as a musician,” he says. “I’m down to take the stairs.” And he’s going to savour every step, not being afraid to look back on how far he’s come since his early craft. “I go back [to old videos] and I see myself in those moments…fighting through so many insecurities, and still doing it at 100%!”

Amid life’s ups and downs, ADEOLUWA is clear on one thing – his love of performance. “The major reason I make music is to perform it,” he confesses. He revels in the chance to reinvent the songs, the outfits and his technique. As he prepares to headline for the very first time on his King of Detours tour, no matter where he performs, we’re certain he’ll sparkle.

Listen to ADEOLUWA’s King Of Detours here