Fireboy DML is killing it right now. Since he popped up in 2019 with Jealous, Fireboy has refused to lift his feet off our neck — but we’re not complaining.
Born Adedamola Adefolahan, Fireboy DML has become one of the biggest stars leading a new school of Afrobeat hitmakers. But how did he get here? Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
2017: Damola finds his way to Lagos
Every artist has the moment they made that big move to follow their dreams. Before becoming Fireboy DML, Damola Adefolahan packed his bags right after finishing from Obafemi Awolowo University and made his way to the chaotic city of Lagos. Squatting with a friend, he wrote music for other artists for the 10 months that followed, selling them for ₦30,000 – ₦50,000.
2018: Meeting Baddosneh, picking a new name and YBNL’s Mafia Family
After hustling in Lagos for a while, Damola meets the one and only, Olamide, popularly known on the streets as “Baddo”. With stars like Adekunle Gold and Lil Kesh already signed to YBNL, Olamide mentioned he was done signing new artists when he met Damola. But something about this guy’s sound caught his attention, and he had to do the needful.
After being signed to YBNL, Damola rebranded as Fireboy DML. The DML came from his name, Damola, while Fireboy was a nickname his friend called him, nothing profound. Now, I’m curious to know how Joseph Akinwala Akinfenwa-Donus became Joeboy, but I digress.
Like Mavin did with Solar Plexus and EME with Empire Mates of Mind, YBNL dropped a compilation album, Mafia Family, on December 14. The album features Fireboy DML’s first song, Jealous.
March 2019 : Jealous blows up
Despite coming out the year before, Fireboy DML’s Jealous went under the radar until its video dropped in March 2019, making the song inescapable.
June — October 2019: Back-to-back hits and a cameo at Wizkid’s concert
After Jealous became a nationwide hit, Fireboy dropped back-to-back bangers with What If I Say in June and my personal fave, King, in September.
As he does every year now, Wizkid shut down the O2 Arena, London, with Starboy Fest where he brought out 2019 breakout stars like Naira Marley, Teni, Oxlade and of course, Fireboy DML, for his first UK show — this guy didn’t even have an album or EP at this time.
November — December 2019: Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps scatters everywhere, literally
Finally, on November 27, Fireboy DML dropped his first album, Laughter Tears and Goosebumps (LTG).
From Need You Now to Wait and See, LTG became a no-skips album and a mega-hit for an album with ZERO features.
The album packed so much energy that during the 2019 NativeLand concert in December 2019, one of the stages collapsed while Fireboy DML was singing Scatter. It was giving poetry.
March — June 2020: Signs of new music
In an Instagram post during the lockdown, Fireboy DML revealed that he’d been stuck at home
baking banana bread making new music. And in another post in June, he stylishly gave us the lyrics to Spell featuring Wande Coal.
August 2020: Fireboy DML, ma pa mi nau!
Less than ten months after hitting us with Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps, Fireboy DML dropped his second album, Apollo, with hits like Eli, Champion, New York City Girl and his sexiest song yet, Tattoo.
December 2020: Closing out the year with collaborations
Fireboy DML closed out the year with features on Sere with DJ Spinall and Southy Love with Peruzzi. Whew!
April 2021: From Abeokuta to Jimmy Fallon
Showing that he’s not anybody’s mate, Fireboy DML makes his first international TV show appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing Champion and Vibration.
July – December 2021: San Francisco jamming or San Francisco, Germany?
We first got a glimpse of Fireboy DML’s next hit, Peru, when he posted this picture in a recording studio in San Francisco. Rumour has it that this is an image from the actual day Peru was recorded.
After teasing us, Peru dropped on July 21, and we all collectively lost our shit.
Fireboy DML closed out 2021 with a remix to Peru featuring Ed Sheeran in his afrobeat bag in a not-so-surprising twist. The song became a big hit, climbing the UK Charts like soft work.
February — March 2022: A playboy meets the Queen of Pop
Fireboy DML and Madonna weren’t names I expected to see on one song, but it happened, so there was that.
Not one to take breaks, Fireboy DML dropped his first official single of the year, Playboy, and everyone started barking “Ooof”.
June 2022: Fireboy DML cries in London and makes history in LA
Making his first appearance in Wembley Stadium, London, Fireboy DML got emotional after performing Peru alongside Ed Sheeran. Awwwww.
That same month, he made history as the first Nigerian act to perform on the main stage at the BET Awards.
July 2022: Album announcement and Bandana
On July 6, after months of guessing, Fireboy DML finally revealed that his new album would be called, Playboy. He eventually followed the announcement with the album’s new single, Bandana, and a feature from our latest obsession, Asake.
Today, August 5 2022: From jealous lover to bandana-wearing playboy
Fireboy DML’s third album, Playboy, officially drops, and for the third time in four years, we’re losing our shit all over again.