‘Melody Gad’ Kranium has often classified his songs as creepers, but he’s also had underdogs, as is the case with Can’t Believe.
Though the record reached Gold certification in Canada in 2020 for selling 40,000 units, Kranium said it was far from anybody’s favorite when he recorded it alongside Ty Dolla $ign and Wizkid in 2017.
“Nobody believed in the record,” he recently shared on The Cut. “When I dropped that song, I can tell you that is one song I can openly say nobody understood it. It was one of the hardest records to work.”
He provided context by saying Nobody Has to Know, his 2015 Gold-certified (U.S.) song remixed with Ty Dolla $ign, had already set the bar high for his future releases. He followed up with another Gold-selling single (Canada), We Can featuring Tory Lanez, only to come with a record that was early in incorporating elements of Afrobeats which was not as mainstream as it is today.
In explaining how the song came to be, Kranium said he was in Amsterdam with a Tanzanian woman, who asked him if he listens to Wizkid. By then, the Nigerian singer was making waves in the West with songs like Ojuelegba, which was remixed by Drake.
“I was like, ‘yeah’. It’s crazy, I came across him through a Chris Brown feature and she said, ‘He’s really good’.”
Kranium said he knew that the Afrobeats movement would be a global success, which motivated him to dabble in the genre early on.
“I’m like, yow, dem boy yah a come enuh. Dem a forward because at the time, I was going through Europe and normally, 2014-16, normally deh pon tour, you’ll see next week dah artist yah a come… But then mi start see Stonebwoy and mi a see Olamide and mi a see Wizkid, and mi a seh ehh? Hear waah gwaan now, mi a go over yah so now, so, that’s how I came up with Can’t Believe.”
The peppy, dance-imbuing instrumental was created by Jammy ‘Jam 2’ James, son of analogue dancehall pioneer Lloyd ‘King Jammys’ James.
“Shout out to ZJ Liquid; him send me the beat and mi mash that up. And shout out to the (Tanzanian) woman who made it possible.”
The song was treated to a dance video, then a trending concept, which has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.