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Essentials: Fireboy DML’s Playboy Is A Concise Expression of A Superstar’s Reality.

Playboy explores a kaleidoscope of emotions that make up Fireboy’s new life as a superstar: lust, gratitude, and acceptance for what is.

Fireboy DML is accustomed to creating impact. During his 2018 breakout, he fashioned a formula that kept us hooked on his music, with the release of 3 singles that brought a new lease of life the moment his first words reach your ears. His image and the creativity of his vocal execution endeared him to many in such a short space of time. And with the backing of one of the premier labels in the country, everyone knew that he was destined to be something different.

A glance at Fireboy’s career trajectory will give perspective to his latest effort, Playboy. With the release of his second album, APOLLO saw an attempt to add a new dimension to his sound by crafting globally appealing music that’s laced with African flavor. Since then, he has been privileged to experience some firsts: performing on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and the BET Awards mainstage as well as debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 with the remix of his smash, “Peru”. Playboy is an all-encompassing, concise expression of the realities that a superstar experiences.

His penmanship helps us keep things plain and simple. The project explores a kaleidoscope of emotions that make up Fireboy’s new life as a superstar: lust, gratitude, and acceptance for what is. He highlights the internal struggle of dealing with life shifts in “Change” as he sings, ”See my life’s about to change/but I feel some type of way”. The brevity of his words — and by extension, the album — allows listeners to fully grasp the weight of the messages he tries to express.

Fireboy’s commitment to simple messages is alluded to by the project’s name. If you hadn’t heard of him before “Peru”, the visuals for the record capture a cool personality that aids our image of the Nigerian playboy. Tracks like “Ashawo” and “Sofri” tie to the album title, as he engages his musical muse in sultry serenades over bounces created by African drums and percussion. He has shed the cloak of innocence that he was clad in during his career’s infancy, and Playboy highlights the fiery element evident in his sexually-charged lyrics and embodied in his bad boy persona.

This persona was born from a time of difficulty for the 26-year-old singer. The project ends with Fireboy laying bare his scars for his listeners to see. On “Glory” he sings, “I’m out here in the studio/Workin’ all day through the pain/Man, I really went from hustlin’ for free bedspace/To investing in real estate”. Fireboy wears his heart on his sleeve like a designer clothing piece, with an understanding that the pain was a necessary part of the road to his current reality.

Along with other stars, he is now at the forefront of Afrobeats’ charge for global dominance. In addition to collaborations with his contemporaries Rema and Asake, he takes Chris Brown, Shenseea, Euro, and Ed Sheeran aboard the Playboy express. He creates an environment that allows him to co-habit with his guests without any disparity in the project’s execution. It feels like one big beach party on an exotic island, and everyone’s just having fun.

The project is lighthearted and as simple as could be, and this could be a testament to the erasure of complications in the 26-year-old’s life. At its core, Playboy is a celebratory record that certifies Fireboy DML as who he says he is — an innovative artist with a penchant for creating impactful albums. Playboy makes for a smooth listen, rich in sonic excellence and cohesive songwriting. It is fair to say, that with his 3rd album in as many years, Fireboy DML is yet to miss.

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