As the year gets into full gear, the music scene booms as it’s primed to be one of the biggest yet for African music yet as the growth of Afrobeats to the global world grows even more, and more authentic and promising Afrobeats talents continue to surface.
One of these gems is Kinsolo, a young, rising Afrobeat artist who’s a talented artist making his name in music with back-to-back singles and projects that have helped him build an organic and ever-growing cult fanbase.
Afrobeats singer, songwriter, Kinsolo, dropped his debut EP, “Kinsolo 1,” in 2019 to rave reviews. The EP came with the singles “Queen Sheba,” and “Grace” which have a million views between them on YouTube. In November 2019, he embarked on a USA tour to promote his singles. In March 2020, he dropped his second EP “Kinsolo 2,” with the singles “Drummer Boy” & “Time of Your Life” ft Buju. On December 4, 2021, he dropped his debut album “Grooveland” which contained the singles “Kom Kom” & “All Mine” ft Buju (now known as BNXN).
We caught up with KINSOLO to chat about how his style of music comes together, specific songs from his impressive, growing discography and creating music at different points & places in his life.
1. How would you describe your sound and what it means to you?
My sound is AfroGroove. Groovy African music. It does what it says on the tin. My producers and I combine African melodies and sound to get you grooved up. This is my gift to the world. Ultimately it’s Afrobeats, in the broad sense, but there’s always my groovy take to it because whenever I make music, I envision crowds of 50,000 or more people screaming those lyrics back at me at the top of their lungs. That’s the crux of my music, music for enjoyment. Music to create happy memories with.
2. Tell us about your influences, and how they shaped your love for music early on?
I grew up around a lot of music. My parents would dress my sister and me up for school with some Don Williams or Fela playing in the background. These were some of my earliest memories. Music has always formed an integral part of my consciousness. I was also part of a dance crew called DFGz in secondary school, and we spent a lot of time listening to songs to pick what to dance to. I watched a lot of Chris Brown’s music videos, memorized and recreated most of those dance steps, and I could sing a lot of his songs word for word. It’s with this foundation of music that I grew into the world, and it only made sense in the end that I devoted my life to music.
3. What’s the inspiration behind your name Kinsolo?
Kinsolo is the one. Kinsolo is the exception. Kinsolo is the special one. In everything I do I try to stand out. I don’t ever try to do it like anybody else because I believe my approach to anything is unique. Hence, Kinsolooooo.
4. What are some hurdles you’ve faced through your career and some milestones you’ve also experienced?
Where do I start? Do I start from the gatekeeping? Or the payola? Or the empty promises? Betrayals? Too many bro, too many.
5. What do you want your music to mean to whoever listens, what levels do you want to reach with your sound in the coming years?
I want my music to be the soundtrack to your best memories. I want you to remember the nicest things that have ever happened to you and there’s Kinsolo’s music playing in the background. I’m always trying to outdo myself. So whatever I say I want to do here in 5 years, once I do that I will want to supersede it. Overall I want to top all the charts in the world. And I want that Grammy. Or 5. Or 10. Basically, just give me all the trophies because I’m coming for all of them.
6. Grooveland was your debut album, talk to us about the reception and creating that?
Grooveland did what it was supposed to do: a well-produced, well-sung, and well-arranged album to show that I didn’t come to play. So that when people look back 10 years from now when I’m on top of the world, they can see that this guy started out being dope. Creating Grooveland was another step in the story that we started from Kinsolo 1. My next 3 albums have already been planned and they all tell the story of Kinsolo and Grooveland. Although they may have different titles, they are all strung together with the story of Kinsolo and his new kingdom of Grooveland.
7. What stands out about the Nigerian sound right now to you and what do you feel about the global dominance of Afrobeat around the world?
I feel like Afrobeats is maturing and taking its ordained role as the leading party and vibe music in the world. Afrobeats is from West Africa and we love to party in that part of the world. As it expands its reach and takes on new listeners and fans, there’s going to be a huge demand for more Afrobeats stars. We are ready for the world.
8. What do you have planned for 2022?
My producer Eli De Great has a tape coming out on February 18 called “Love is a Drug.” I have two songs on there, one alone and one with Buju. Then my other producer Zimbocrix has his own tape coming called “Formations” and I have a song on there as well. Then my own album “Efiko” is coming out as well. If there’s still time after these we can squeeze in “Grooveland 2” or “Kinsolo 3.” These three albums of mine are ready and we can’t wait to give it to the world. Oh and my label, Forlana Records has a compilation tape called “Legasea” coming out this year as well and I have a few songs and collaborations on it. It’s going to be a song-filled year.