I’m an unapologetic sucker for music with a good beat, regardless of language or genre. So, when I stumbled across singer/songwriter Fireboy DML via my Spotify Discover Weekly, I was hooked.
In the first few seconds of “Eli”, the bamboo flute sample draws you in, and the poppy dancehall vibes keep you listening. According to the Nigerian artist–real name Adedamola Adefolahan–it’s all part of his distinct “Afro-Life” sound, a combination of R&B, Soul, and Afrobeats.
“Jah Eli Jah / she dey cause wahala for area / someone come save me / save me from Delilah” he croons about new love and meeting a girl, not unlike the troublesome biblical temptress (“wahala”). You can’t help but sway along, or even bop around if you’re anything like me. That is, until the electric guitar kicks in without warning, reaching a dramatic crescendo as he pleads for help from inevitable heartbreak.
After “Jealous” and “Vibration” from his debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps (2019) broke into international charts, and his single “Champion” was included in the FIFA 2021 soundtrack, Fireboy DML continues to prove his worth as a crafter of well-orchestrated slow jams.
While stuck indoors, you might enjoy the fact that “Eli” brings the club to you, demanding at least a subtle head nod from even the most stubborn listener.
Check out the Shaolin-inspired video below.