Could it be the deep richness encased within his lyrics? Is it the calmness with a spark of energy that accompanies his sound? In all, how he perfectly blends creativity and wittiness in his own unique style remains a mystery, especially in a world where just rhythm and beats seems to sell.
Time and again, the Afro-fusion Singer and Songwriter, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu professionally known as Burna Boy, has used his music as a tool for reaching out and creating connections that go beyond geographical boundaries. In the words of a major American daily newspaper, The Washington Post, Burna Boy is described as:
“an ‘African Giant’ with a sound that defies geography.”
“…crossing over to American audiences.”
“Like Kuti’s, Burna music feels both expansive and streamlined, worldly in its ambition, yet, firmly rooted in the soil from which it springs”.
Whilst a seemingly noisy planet that we live in, Burna’s voice is one that has got the world listening. What emits from his throat are songs that are relatable to our daily lives as humans, beyond skin color.
“Burna Boy’s commitment to his sound and message is evident in his music- the lyrical content, rhyme patterns, drums, horns, chants, roars, melodies. He creates music that goes beyond classification. It’s an energy; something you listen to with your heart, not your ears. Africa is in Burna’s voice, his tone and the very essence of his being. Rather than dominating a record, he invites listeners to take a look from beyond his shoulders.”- Ronnia Cherry, a Jamaica based Contributing Writer at DJ Booth.
Highligts of Burna’s Journey
The Superstar born on July 2nd, 1991 in the South West region of Nigeria, Lagos. The singer, who hails from Rivers, Port Hacourt, is currently rated as the fastest rising star in Africa.
Reports have it that he began to create his own music as early as age 10, on an old computer. After his secondary school education, he moved to London to further his studies. However, Burna dropped out of the university after two years and moved back to Nigeria.
At age 19, his music career fully began in 2010, and this served as a foundation to the global influence he is rapidly gaining.
Zoom to 2015, Burna Boy created his own record label- Spaceship Entertainment and with the impact of his fusion of Nigerian highlife sounds, reggae, Caribbean dancehall, rap and R & B, many fans sensed that Burna was ready to fly! However, who could have thought that his soar would be this magnificent within a short period. Indeed, with the rate at which Burna is presently going, his ‘soar’ is a display of an endless one.
A Swift Glide: Burna’s Success 2018 -2019
In 2018, Burna released his third studi Album- ‘Outside’ which had 6 Singles: ‘Rock Your Body’, ‘Ko Ji Baje’, ‘Sekkle Down’, ‘Street of Africa’, ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and the game killer- ‘Ye’.
The Album’s biggest single ‘Ye’ was described by various top media outlets as the “biggest song of 2018″, with Okay Africa naming it as one of ” The Best Nigerian Songs of 2018.” The Album ‘Outside’ deducted at number 3 on the Billboard Ragge Albums Chart and also emerged Album of the year at the 2018 Nigerian Entertainment Award.
During the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, Burna won 4 awards, including the most sought after- African Artiste of the year and Listener’s Choice Award. On October 9, 2018, Burna Boy was announced as one of Spotify’s New Afro Hub Takeover Artiste. Within the same space, he was also named YouTube’s Artist on the rise for 3 months.
Moving straight to January 3rd, 2019, Burna was announced as one of the artists performing at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Then came the realse of the banger, his fourth Studio Album- ‘African Giant’ bearing 6 hot hot singles: ‘Gbona’, ‘On the low’, ‘Killin Dem’, ‘Dangote’, ‘Anybody’ and ‘Pull up’. Usually, artistes have one or two hit songs within each Album, but with Burna Boy’s ‘African Giant’, every Single is a masterpiece on its own.
From the radio airwaves to our television screens, all social media platforms and even the loud cheering of fans all over the world during shows, the Album ‘African Giant’ has proven beyond doubt to be a pure display of its name in the music sphere, beyond boundaries.
July 2019, Burna was announced as Apple’s Music Up Next Artist.
On September 15th and 16th, 2019 Burna performed at the Fillmore Silver Spring.
Burna thrived on to win the Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards. The accolade was received by his versatile mum, Bose Ogulu, who in her acceptance speech related the singers message to every African- “remember you were first an African before any other.”
2019 also led Burna into the league of Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Class of 2019.
The Album ‘African Giant’ reflects the vibes, struggles and life in general, as it causes and emotional stir within its sound and lyrics in entirety. Burna described the Album as his most personal work till date.
Below are the various International Tours in promotion of this latest Album:
20th October- The African Giant Returns Tour. Brussels, Belgium
24th October- Burna Boy Amsterdam Concert. Amsterdam, Netherlands
25th October- Burna Boy At Berlin, Germany
26th October- Burna Boy, Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland
3rd November- Burna Boy African Giant Concert, London
6th November- Burna Boy African Giant Tour, Manchester, United Kingdom
9th November- Burna Boy African Giant Tour, Leicester, United Kingdom.
10th November- Burna Boy, Birmingham, UK
14th November- African Giant Tour Sweden
To crown it all, Burna Boy who was under the category of Next Rated, during The Headies 2013, transcended in 2019 to hitting the most nominated artiste in history of The Headies with 10 nominations from different blazing categories.
Beyond being an entertainment celebrity, Burna Boy has risen to become an essence of the African music industry, both in the uniqueness of his sound and the totality of his content. A reward for passion interwoven with commitment.
With Burna at the peak of his career, we see a Legend with both the fire and the ice, ready to take African music to the brightest of limelights.