Nigeria’s Burna Boy says Grammy win marks ‘big moment’ for African music

David J. Holcomb
Nigerian music artist, Burna boy, attends an interview with Reuters at his studio in Lagos
Nigerian music artist, Burna boy, attends an job interview with Reuters at his studio in Lagos, Nigeria March 18, 2021. Picture taken March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

March 22, 2021

By Alexis Akwagyiram and Angela Ukomadu

LAGOS (Reuters) – Present day African new music is altering perceptions of the continent as section of a world-wide cultural change that marks a “big moment”, Nigerian new music artist Burna Boy explained to Reuters just after hailing his 1st Grammy award.

Burna Boy was awarded a Grammy for the Best International Audio Album this thirty day period for ‘Twice As Tall’ which was launched last year.

He is portion of a era of Nigerian audio artists, which consist of Wizkid and Davido, that has enjoyed global results in current many years as proponents of the Afrobeats sound. The African style is now practically as most likely to be heard in London or Los Angeles as it is in Lagos.

“It’s a huge second and a massive time for African audio and Africans in basic,” explained Burna Boy, for the duration of an job interview at his dwelling in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.

The artist, whose authentic name is Damini Ogulu, reported his award was component of a “domino effect” that offers Africans additional manage in excess of the way they are perceived by technology, as streaming companies acquire the continent’s arts to a world audience.

“I did not even want to be African when I was very little,” he claimed. “I needed to be nearly anything but who I was, because who we are was not truly the awesome point to be,” explained the artist, who grew up in southern Nigeria and moved to London as a child in advance of returning to the west African state.

He reported his get showed that African songs was attracting globally respect.

Those sentiments were being shared by a lot of at Edge Audio Academy, in the Jakande district of Lagos, where learners compose music in a studio decked out with microphones, laptops and a keyboard.

“The future is shiny,” reported college student Obi Prince. “The way Afrobeats is represented in the globe appropriate now can only be a start out for Nigerian artists. We just have to do our factor and convey out ourselves more globally,” he said.

The academy’s chief govt officer, Michael Tijani, stated Burna Boy’s get was a “huge deal” for Nigerian music.

“People coming into the business now have a much more concrete perception that you can essentially get as significantly as any one else in the globe can go,” he said.

Reclining in a chair in his property studio, Burna Boy reflected on his achievement.

“You just can’t point out the prime five musicians in the planet with out throwing me or an African in there,” he said, smiling. “Now we’re eye to eye with the individuals we utilised to search up to.”

(Creating by Alexis Akwagyiram Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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