Selling out famous arenas in the world used to be a daring dream for Afrobeats artists, but today it is a reality.
For more than one decade, Nigerian Afrobeats artists have pushed the frontiers of the genre, making it an acceptable tune on the global stage.
On Sunday, August 20, Ahmed Ololade, popularly known as Asake joined the ranks of artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido by successfully selling out and delivering a performance at the magnificent o2 Arena in London to the delight of music lovers.
Asake, the ‘Lonely at the Top‘ crooner staged a spectacular arrival that left fans breathless when he stormed the o2 Arena in London for his tour.
Asake like a Hollywood actor on an impossible mission, descended into the well-lit stage from a customized helicopter to thrill fans.
The event was further enriched with guest performances from prominent artists like his label leader Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Fireboy, among others.
After the sell-out of the o2 Arena, Asake has become an internet sensation. Fans and lovers of good musicians are yet to recover from the alluring outing by Asake.
However, while Asake has become the rave of the moment, it’s necessary to look into his journey, little beginnings, and how he has broken into the global music market.
Asake’s Humble Beginnings and Unlikely Path
Like a young child with a bag of dreams, Asake grew up in Nigeria’s most commercial city, Lagos, to a Yoruba parent.
In one of his interviews, Asake disclosed that his musical journey began with the rhythms of his father’s music.
Also steeped in classical tunes, Asake’s passion for sound grew stronger, which later saw him studying Theatre and Performing Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Osun State.
Being a natural dancer, he initially aspired to conquer the stage through movement, but fate had bigger plans for him.
Dancing was his initial dream, but it was the desire for financial stability that led Asake to reconsider his path, Mr Money disclosed this in an interview with ABC News.
He further disclosed that the haunting grip of poverty nudged him toward a new direction, a journey that transformed him from a dancer to a singer.
He recalls his father’s love for music; the mornings marked by loud melodies and cigarettes, and he realized that perhaps music could offer the financial liberation he sought.
Asake’s music carries the essence of modern Afrobeats, blending traditional African rhythms with global influences.
His unique sound, characterized by uptempo Afro beats, and Amapiano-styled production and backing vocals, captured the hearts of listeners.
From his first single, “Mr. Money,” which became a street anthem to collaborations with industry heavyweights like Olamide and Zlatan Ibile, he demonstrated an uncanny ability to craft hits that echoed through radio stations, music channels, streaming platforms, and social media platforms.
From his debut track “Mr. Money,” which quickly became a street favorite, Asake showed his knack for creating chart-topping hits.
His determination was undeniable, and his journey took a monumental leap when he signed with Olamide’s YBNL Records.
Studio Albums of Asake
On the stage of music’s grand theater, Asake is a conductor of melodies that transcend boundaries and unite hearts.
His debut studio album, “Mr. Money with the Vibe (MMWTV),” released on September 8, 2022, marked the inception of a musical revolution.
With hit songs like “Terminator,” “Peace Be Unto You,” and a powerful “Sungba” remix featuring Burna Boy, the album quickly took over the playlists, captivating fans not just in Nigeria but worldwide.
Echoing across continents, “Mr. Money with the Vibe” defied norms and debuted at 66 on the Billboard 200.
Asake’s reach extended far beyond the studio presence, he announced the Mr. Money with the Vibe United Kingdom tour in September 2022.
The O2 Academy Brixton in London was transformed into an arena of celebration, with three sold-out dates attesting to his widespread appeal. This wasn’t just music; it was a movement.
His sophomore album, “Work of Art,” released on June 16, 2023, is a testament to his boundless creativity and evolution as an artist.
The album debuted at 66 on the Billboard 200 with a staggering 13,000 units sold in its first week of release.
But the recognition continued. The music from “Work of Art” resonated on the UK Albums Chart, claiming the 20th position.
Closer to home, Nigeria’s Turntable charts declared it the most streamed Nigerian album of 2023, reaffirming Asake’s status as a beacon of musical innovation.
Songs like “Lonely at the Top” and “Amapiano” are doing well on the streaming platforms.
Awards and Nominations
Asake experienced a flood of recognition in the year 2022. The stage was set as he won the “Break Out Artist of the Year” at the 2022 All Africa Music Awards.
This victory wasn’t just a testament to his musical ability; it was a testament to his emergence as a force, breaking barriers with each note he produced.
In 2022, he received a MOBO Awards nomination for “Best African Music Act” The momentum carried on into 2023 with his nomination for the 2023 BET Awards.
His recognition in the “Best New International Act” category showed his worldwide influence and talent for captivating audiences everywhere.
This year’s Headies Nomination is a big deal for Asake, who got eight nominations.
Asake is the first artist ever to be nominated for both “Best Male Artiste of The Year” and “Next Rated” at the same time.
He also got nominated for “Best Collaboration” for his song “Bandana” with Fireboy DML, and he’s up for Digital Artiste of the Year.
He received a nomination for Album of the Year for his album “Mr Money With The Vibe,” and his song “Joha” earned him a nomination for “Best Street-Hop Artiste.”
His 2022 hit, “Sungba” Remix featuring Burna Boy, made it to the Headies Viewer’s Choice category.