The last 12 months have been very instrumental in shaping the direction Fireboy DML’s career. However, Fireboy’s interest in music is not anything of recent times. Hailing from Abeokuta in the Ogun State of Nigeria, Fireboy DML narrates on his song with Asake (‘Bandana’) that his journey into music started out way back in 2006 as a young boy. Fast forward into late 2018 and now a young man, Fireboy began to live out his dream by signing onto Olamide’s label, YBNL (Yahoo Boy No Laptop). 2019 saw Fireboy’s breakthrough with his hit single ‘Jealous’ on his debut album ‘Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps’. Since then, he’s a released a trail of hits including ‘King’, ‘Sere’ (with DJ Spinall) and ‘Running’ (with Ladipoe).
The infamous ‘Peru’ snatched the latter part of 2021. This earned the recognition of the late Jamal Edwards, a crucial pioneer in moulding the state of Black British music. He facilitated the linkup with arguably UK’s biggest popstar Ed Sheeran, which birthed the remix to ‘Peru’. This earned Fireboy DML’s first UK’s top 10, with the song peaking at No.2. With this achievement, it created a solid foundation for him to release his third album, ‘Playboy’, featuring the likes of Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran and Rema this year. All his success in almost half a decade led him to OVO Wembley Arena, where he headlined his first ever UK show. The weather wasn’t quite Peru, but what can you do around this time of year? The atmosphere made it feel like we were there.
The lights began to dim in the arena as the time for Fireboy DML to shine had arrived. Arriving in simple yet smooth style in all and black blazer and trousers (with skin showing for the ladies), Fireboy was assisted by his gracious backing vocalists in opening the show with the song ‘Glory’, the last track on the ‘Playboy’ album. Immediately after, Fireboy got in his bag and followed this up with soulful performances in the form of ‘Champion’ and ‘Need You’. ‘Dreamer’, a song about that of heartbreak, ultimately put fans in their feelings whilst simultaneously allowing them to appreciate the vocal gift belonging to Fireboy DML. ‘Tattoo’ saw an impressive saxophone solo, bringing serenity into the room.
Fireboy decided to shift gears and switch the mood of the place. Despite being an introspective and somewhat deep song, ‘King’ still employs beautiful and danceable melodies which were further highlighted by the backing vocalists and drummer. ‘Timoti’ saw Fireboy activate his rap-like flows which made the heads of many bounce up and down. By this time, Fireboy had the crowd really energised as he performed his smash hit ‘Vibration’, which can be considered as one of his classics today. The crowd was harmonizing with him on the chorus as he sung it, asserting a strong song in his catalogue.
Another gear shift occurred as Fireboy DML made room for his fellow colleagues to express themselves. Up first was Rotimi, an American-Nigerian singer and actor best known for his role in ‘Power’ as ‘Andre Coleman’. He shook up the place with his smash hit ‘In My Bed’ and performed his latest song for the first time entitled ‘Make You Say’. Bad Boy Timz brought infectious energy as he performed the ever popular hit ‘Loading’. The Mayor of Lagos in the form of Mayorkun stepped in the building and he increased the volume on the ‘turn up’ knob. ‘No Competition’ and his verse on Camidoh’s ‘Sugarcane’ remix had the fans reciting the lyrics word for word. Victony joined Mayorkun on stage as they performed ‘Holy Father’. This also paved the way for Victony to perform his latest jam ‘Soweto’, a soothing and velvety track which is also one of the biggest tracks in the Nigerian and African space right now.
An outfit change from Fireboy DML saw him enter a new element as he reloaded the bangers from his musical projects. The evergreen ‘Jealous’ came on and the vibes were on a high. The dancers complemented Fireboy as he performed ‘Scatter’, one of his notable higher tempo tracks which also brought out his moves and that of the dancers. The rap bag was entered again as he performed his ‘Playboy’ freestyle, one of the biggest songs of 2022. ‘Bandana’ with his fellow label mate Asake was given a different feel and meaning as it was a self-confirmation of all the good works he has done in a short period of time.
The show was gradually getting drawn to a close, but Fireboy DML still had one special guest for his fans. Whilst getting his fans ready for the surprise, he performed a beautiful jazz rendition of ‘Peru’. The ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘A Team’ hitmaker Ed Sheeran stepped out to a welcoming reception and performed ‘Shape of You’. The dynamic duo joined forces to perform the ‘Peru’ remix, which was accompanied with a rock-like outro with heavy electric guitar strings and drums.
Fireboy DML has had an extraordinary year. From having one of the longest running top 10 singles in the U.K charts ever, to being the first African artiste to perform at the BET awards, it is a testament to the Afrobeats and Afro-Life singer’s hardwork of years past. To top it off and score a hattrick, he had his first headline show at the 12,500 capacity OVO Wembley Arena, which got progressively better with each moment. The dancers, live band, and fans altogether created a beautiful moment which Fireboy DML and his fans will cherish for years to come.