Our song of the week!
A couple of weeks ago, there were several reports that Fireboy DML was set to feature global pop star Ed Sheeran on the official remix of his hit single “Peru.” The single already had a bunch of unofficial “refixes”, the most popular one being Buju’s - one that has turned out to be a fan favourite.
However, it turned out that Fireboy, real name Adedamola Adefolahan had bigger plans for the track, a fact which he confirmed by posting screenshots of conversations between him and Sheeran discussing the remix. On his own part, Ed Sheeran raised anticipation in an interview on Rocket Hour, Elton John’s show on Apple Music, where he said “I recorded a verse for it… and it’s a song that’s blowing up in Nigeria and Ghana at the moment and their club scene runs over Christmas - so you basically put a song to the club in the middle of December, which would seem a weird thing to do in England” before adding that he found the song addictive and had it on constant replay at home.
Background aside, the remix is a bop. Even though it’s an incredible task to destroy a song as brilliant and catchy as “Peru”, there were doubts, including a few from the writer of this article, about a possible conflict between Ed Sheeran’s pop style and the Afrobeats that is the base of “Peru.” But great musicians are great because of their ability to deliver every time, even when in uncertain territory, and few are greater than Mr Sheeran in our world today. Compared to the hedonistic vibe Fireboy brings with his allusions to drugs and luxury expeditions in various cities, Ed Sheeran maintains his status as a loverboy extraordinaire on the track, with lyrics that both showcase his excellent penmanship and his penchant for the romantic:
“Girl I want you in my life (yeah)
If there's a heaven then it's right here
I will never leave your side, stay tonight
When ya wanna see me when you wanna see me
I'm in West London this evening
Giving me feelings, no I'm not leaving
Until I fly LA next weekend”
It’s probably a foolhardy decision to distrust international Afrobeats collaborations at first mention these days. While we understand the dangers of appropriation or even plain and simple rubbish music, the urge to gatekeep and dismiss these collaborations is hurtful, as it creates bias and closes the door to delightful surprises. In Afrobeats year of true global expansion and acceptance, the “Peru” remix is another stamp of the intentions of a generation of musicians determined to take their place on the world stage. It’s perhaps necessary to take a look at another set of Fireboy DML lyrics, this time on Ladipoe’s “Running”:
“Afrobeats or na kpangolo (eh)
I took that shit international (eh)
Ain't leaving until it's time to go (eh)
Galloping like I'm an antelope (Ou, ah!)”
Stream Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran’s Peru below: