Apart from a unique, personal sound that every artist strives to possess, the next thing is establishing a pattern of identification. Previously, this pattern used to be in the voice, the intro to songs, the kinds of videos shot – something to help you distinctively identify them. However, artists are now creating a physical identification. It is why you’d see Rema performing with teddy bears on the stage, Ruger having an eye patch, Wizkid using a big vulture and Burna Boy’s representation as a gorilla. While these identifications are for brand purposes, they are also for the purpose of describing who they are despite the existence of a brand.
For Asake, it is his style of dressing.
Since his rise to stardom in 2021, Asake has been on one album spree after another and he understands his time is now. If he is not becoming the landlord of charts, he’s releasing a finely composed body of albums, selling out international arenas or winning multiple awards.
Just like Asake was intentional in getting people to become familiar with his sound, so is he intentional about his style of dressing, which is now considered different. From his hairstyle down to his boots, the thin locs in Sungba’s remix, the multicoloured hair in Peace Be Unto You, his twisted locs in Lonely at The Top, he understand how he wants people to see him, be it on stage or in music videos – different, unique.
His fashion style is a metaphor for his sound – different. Sometimes, it might look out-of-sense (0ut-of-sense, here, means being differently new) the way he wears a big shirt over a thin pair of trousers or a thin shirt over a big pair of jeans, and that’s exactly what I understand him to be. Its first appearance will look unappealing but when it gets constant, it allows you to take notice of the hidden messages.
In his interview with BETNetworks, he describes his fashion style as something that gives him confidence. He wants to “show the little world of mine to the rest of the world in my own way .” While Asake might describe a particular kind of way to dress like him, I believe there is no actual way to dress like him as it would continuously change. Different is never constant and Asake is different. So even though he shares how to dress like him today, he might need to share another one tomorrow because everything about him is defying the norm – from his sound to sticking to Yoruba, to his mode of dressing – he is constantly going to evolve in different ways. And he’s intentional about all of them. He understands that being different is not the norm, so he wields it as a brand, and this is something we never saw coming.