The Pick: Fireboy's "Peru" Is An Afropop Masterclass
Our song of the week!
When Fireboy DML stepped onto the scene in 2019, he was quick to set himself apart from the ‘dreaded-head, lanky Afropop singer’ trope prevalent at the time. While his earlier singles “Jealous” and “King” proved that he was immensely talented, it was his debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps, released in November 2019, that truly made him stand out. The exceptional project birthed dynamic hits like the party-starter “Scatter”, “Vibration” and “Like I Do”, along with a handful of fan favourites. It also garnered millions of streams across several streaming platforms in just a few months of its release, highlighting the singer’s massive appeal. He would further emphasize the disparity in talent and class (amongst his peers) when he released his sophomore Apollo just nine months after his debut.
Apollo showed evolution and growth (in such a short period) and incorporated more influences than it’s predecessor. Numbers like the R&B sleeper hit “Tattoo”, the Wande-coal assisted “Spell” and the grand “Champion” stood out, further setting apart the 25-year old. During the period between both releases, Fireboy went on an extensive press run, revealing details about himself and his musical process. In an interview with Dazed, he revealed that his major musical influences include Passenger, Wande Coal, and Jon Bellion.
While his lyrical ability and dynamism are apparent – influences from Passenger and Jon Bellion, respectively – it’s the Wande Coal influence that’s the most obvious, something that he fully channels on his latest single, “Peru”. Over Shizzi’s bubbly synths, Fireboy chants, coos and glides with immense flair like a seasoned act casually displaying a masterclass. He interpolates Peruzzi’s popular catch-phrase “I’m loooouuuu”, tying it cleverly with the catchy “Peru! Para!” to create an incredibly melodic hook that sticks at the very first listen. His equally snappy mellifluous verses are memorable, firmly confirming the 35-year-old veteran pop star’s influence. On the second verse, Fireboy’s voice almost metamorphosis into’s Wande Coal’s at a point, seeming like an attempt at his best impression of Black Diamond. Nevertheless, this takes nothing away from the record as Fireboy continues to show time after time that he’s a class above his many peers, if not all.