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Nigerian Afro-pop singer Asake found breakout success in 2020 with "Lady," an indelibly sunny track with a brisk beat and good-time vibes. Over the next two years, he built on his popularity with further hits like "Mr. Money" and 2022's high-profile Olamide collaboration "Omo Ope." When his debut full-length, Mr. Money with the Vibe, arrived later that year, it reached the upper half of the Billboard 200. Born and raised in Lagos State, Ahmed Ololade Asake studied theater and performing arts at Obafemi Awolowo University and was initially focused on dance. He began releasing music around 2018, blending bright Afrobeat rhythms with his own mix of singing and nimble freestyling. After developing his sound over early singles like "Ayeeza" and "Kanipe," he released "Lady" in 2020, which effectively launched his career. Nods from more established tastemakers like Broda Shaggi and Tunde Ednut helped extend the song's reach, and he followed with "Mr. Money," which became one of his signature songs. 2021's "Don't Hype Me" and "Yan Yan" helped build anticipation for Ololade Asake, his 2022 debut EP. The EP's lead single "Omo Ope" featured Nigerian superstar Olamide and subsequently became Asake's biggest hit. All of this built up to the September release of Mr. Money with the Vibe, the singer's debut album. An eclectic and wide-ranging mix of styles that included Afrobeats, Fuji, classical elements, and plenty of glowing pop, the album brought Asake further success in the U.S., hitting number 66 on the Billboard pop chart.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo
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