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Asake: Of Talent, Energy, and Management

Afrobeats artiste, Asake’s energy is in its dynamo-moment, and there is no stopping in sight. Not just yet.

The rise of chart-topping YBNL artiste and rave of the moment, Ololade Asake, whose studio name is an extraction from his birth name “Asake,” just like his label boss, Olamide. His strategic growth and channeled energy are a high testament to his versatile infusion of talent into the wheels of afrobeats, and his meticulous ability to connect his lyrics in depths that could be felt both in the trenches and on the Island, without oddly balancing the other out. No other contemporary artiste holds this dynamic with such agility and balance like Asake does.

Asake’s signing into the Nigerian dream record label for the streets, the YBNL, in early February, is perhaps the urgent fix for the label to regain itself to its reels of glory. The label, which prides itself in the glorious days of its former signee and YAGI boss, Lil Kesh, the rocky moments of its flurry of exits from Lyta, Picazzo Rhap, and other co-signed artistes to its “merger” into the global music distribution enterprise, EMPIRE, the label surely needs a comeback. Many might argue that the perpetual rise of Fireboy DML into the global limelight is a win for the label, but its collaboration with EMPIRE masks this. With Asake, the YBNL Mafia is back.  

Asake’s rise from his days of the release of his hit studio single, “Mr. Money,” reveals the gradual entrenchment of the artiste into the afrobeats hall of acceptability. The single, which bagged a remix from industry maestros, Zlatan Ibile and Peruzzi, has Asake affirming to his audience and whoever cares to listen back then, that “Me I no dey cap/ Me I no dey form/ My energy is high WTF,” a reverberating confirmation that he is an energy powerhouse right from the start of his career. Also, in “Yanyan,” Asake samples on the now-commonplace Amapiano sound, testing his limits in purging out scintillating lyrics in diverse studio forms.

The artiste’s energy comes undone in the release of his magnum opus, “Omo Ope,” a tape with a collaboration from Olamide. What hits the listener is the reflection of the enjoyment vibe, thankful spirit, and privileged journey that Asake exudes in the song, a rolled-up feeling transcending delicate depths. The song’s first verse reflects a conversation with Asake and the street vibe machine, encouraging him to live his life to the fullest, and the confirmation to himself that he is a personality who basks in enjoyment, an affirmation that reverberates throughout his debut self-titled studio project, Ololade Asake.

What strikes the music market is Asake’s strategic ways of promoting the song, released as a single of his debut project. His dancing in public places to tunes of the song with unique dancing styles, constant push on the sing’s virality on Tik Tok and Triller, feature of content creators to vibe with the verses, and his hilarious chatter to push the song to the top spot of the Apple Music Top Songs playlist, screams an adaptation from the book of marketing genius and artiste – you guessed right – Blaqbonez. These moves reinstate the depths of Asake’s energy and his commitment in pushing a delightful tune to a public faced with varieties of toppings off the afrobeats table.

But Asake is wiser. He knows that he has to prove himself more to the audience to gain complete and full-blown acceptability. He knows that for his first studio project to become the bang he anticipated, his talent has to be equally complemented by a streak of excellent management and optimum energy. He knows that the industry glorifies one-hit artistes as their hits make the good numbers, and it discards the artistes as quickly as it accepts it when a new tune hits the waves. And there is always a new tune hitting the waves.

So, when Asake released a snippet of “Trabaye,” named after a slang popularized by Poco Lee, with an affirmation from the label boss Olamide, the industry knows all is next is the signing into the YBNL Mafia. And it happened. In quick deliberate moves. Soon afterward, the Ololade Asake EP was released on the 16th of February, two days after Valentine dominated the air. Olamide also adopted a new strategy from the bible of Mavin Records boss, Don Jazzy, by personally and aggressively promoting the project of his act, albeit even more than the act has promoted the work himself. 

Now, after an EP and a collaboration with Grammy award-winning artiste Burna Boy and star producer DJ Spinall, Asake’s energy is not stopping yet, and his talent proves unrivaled, largely supported by effective management by his record label. Asake’s career is highly promising, and it shows how talent meets management and showcases the chronicle of an artiste infused with energy. Asake is a testament to an artist waiting to strike the right chords, pushed by talent, energy, and management.

Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez
Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez