Asake Talks “Work Of Art,” Music Style & Grammy Nomination as He Graces GQ Magazine

Living up to his moniker “Mr Money With The Vibe,” Asake brings his creativity and style to GQ Magazine’s April/May 2024 issue. The Afrobeats star who rose to fame in 2020 with the breakout song “Lady” in 2020, has found great success over the years. After hits like “Mr Money” and “Omo Ope” featuring Olamide, he debuted his first studio album, “Mr Money With The Vibe” in 2022 and his second, “Work Of Art” in 2023. Both albums reached the top half of Billboard 200 and received numerous awards and nominations, including his first Grammy nomination for Best African Music Performance with “Amapiano” (featuring) Olamide.

But before all of that success, Asake has been grinding hard. “You have to understand: I got there in two years, but I’ve been working for years. People are counting the days you’re successful. They don’t count the days you’ve been working toward it.” He says.

For the latest edition of the New York-based men’s magazine, Asake opens up about his album “Work Of Art,” his recent Grammy nomination, and what he might have in store for the future.

Read excerpts from the interview:

On his style of music and search for higher evolution

“My music is just me,” Asake says. “It’s not something I can really explain. The thing is, I feel like the kind of music I listened to while growing up shapes who I am.”

“I always want to step it up. And I love it. It’s a bit stressful. Trying to get better is like having armour and scissors, and carving yourself. So it takes bone, it takes flesh. But at the end of the day, I know what always makes sense for me is, after all the stress, when I drop it and people say, ‘Wow.’ ”

On his debut record “Mr Money

“I wanted to be myself—that guy that wants money, that wants to go to the strip club, that wants to party, smoke, chill.” With the follow—up, he wanted to plumb a little deeper. “People don’t really know me because I’m quiet,” he says. “So everybody started seeing me as a mystery. “Work of Art is just for them to know me. You have to understand I’m human, but you can’t just deny the heart in me.”

On growth and the ability to defy expectations

“I’ll never limit myself on one thing. I might wake up tomorrow and tell you I want to do an all reggae album. Maybe that’s where God just directs me to,” he says with a shrug.

“For me to be able to do Mr. Money and people love it, that means it is inside me. It’s just for me to try to always bring it out, and be focused and always do it. It is inside you. I always say any artist that make a hit song—they can always make 40,000 hit songs. But it’s just like, if you forget yourself, then you can’t make the song again. The problem is not to forget who you are.”

On not winning a Grammy Award

“It’s not a loss for me. I might just get more next year. But in my head, I was not even taking it too seriously. I appreciate the fact that they nominated me—I won’t lie, that’s a lot to me. Even me, I didn’t see that coming this soon. I’m relaxed about it. Maybe because I know there will be a day that win will come.”

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