Burna Boy… Grand coronation of Afrofusion king
For Nigerian artistes, 2018 has been a good year in terms of musical exploits. But particularly for Afrofusion artiste Damini Ogulu, otherwise known as Burna Boy in showbiz circle, it is a year of many accomplishments music wise. And with his live music concert, Burna Live, already gathering momentum, it’s surely going to a grand coronation of Burna Boy as King of Afrofusion.
Billed for December 26, at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the gig will be an opportunity for fans and music lovers to watch the Rivers State native live as he performs tracks from his rich repertoire, especially his latest hits, which are making waves across the globe. Meanwhile, there are indication that other notable artiste will be on hand to thrill the audience.
Right from his early stage in the industry, Burna Boy showed sparks of creativity; he stepped out with a different vibe that easily endeared him to music fans. However, credit must go her mother, who stepped into the gap to ensure he gets all needed media exposure. On the other hand, his grand father Benson Idonije, renowned music critic, who was first manager of Fela, also put in words to get Burna Boy on limelight. But unlike some, who depended on hype, talent saw Burna Boy through.
Though he had been playing gigs in the country, especially within Port Harcourt axis where he stayed upon his return from London, Burna Boy’s first major outing was on March 11, 2012, when he opened for Grammy award winning American artiste Bobby Brown, at the Polo Club, Port Harcourt. The gig, which featured other notable Nigerian artistes such as 2Baba, Banky W, Modenine and others, was an opportunity for Burna Boy to showcase himself on a big stage. With his single Wombolobo, he left nobody in doubt of his musical ability. To day, the rest is history.
Earlier in January, Burna Boy dropped his long anticipated album, Outside. The 13-track album, which is his 6th studio album, featured some of his already released singles such as Sekkle Down ft. J Hus, Koni Baje, Heaven’s Gate ft. Lily Allen, Street of Africa and Rock Your Body. Just a week into its release, the album, which was released under Atlantic Records, was already winning; it debuted on Billboard’s Reggae Albums Chart at the Number 3 spot.
This year also saw the singer clinch different awards and sold out his shows. In addition, he launched a limited edition cereal in the UK and has also released visuals for Devil in California and Ye and released new singles All My Life (in collaboration with Major Lazer) and Gbona, both of which were accompanied by videos. Burna Boy is the only featured artiste on Fall Out Boy’s recently released album Mania, Rita Ora’s Your Song remix, and J Hus Good Time.
On October 22, the Ye video, quite possibly the biggest track off Burna Boy’s Outside album, was played on the big screens at Times Square, New York sponsored by YouTube Music.YouTube ran a 3-month campaign that focuses on Burna Boy as a global Artiste on the Rise. The Artiste on the Rise program was initiated to promote a diverse lineup of relevant and revolutionary new voices in music, cut across all genres, and connect them with their fans worldwide through in-product promotion and programming, out-of-home, social and fan events at YouTube Spaces. Now, you understand why his upcoming live concert is a big deal for music enthusiasts?
The announcement of Burna Live had Afro-fusion pioneer receiving a myriad of speculations from fans and the media regarding the feats to expect at the event. Undoubtedly one of the most discussed musical occasions of the year, the gig is sparking anticipation on a global scale, with thousands constantly bringing up the topic on social media.In a recent interview, Burna Boy finally reveals what the world should expect at the concert – assuring millions the concert will deliver feats out of the norm and convention. When asked what his entrance would look like at the concert, the singer simply replied; “We are going to up the ante a few notches from what you are used to. The entrance is important”.
This is particularly a reference to his previous concerts where his entrances were part of the most consequential aspects of the event; with many looking like scenes taken straight from a suspense-fuelled flick.Fans of the singer have since taken the statement as a gratification to some of their curiosities, with many expressing their enthusiasm and thanking the singer for his decision to raise the bar some notches higher with the upcoming concert.
So far, other speculations linger, such as which artists will grace the stage alongside the singer, special segments, appearances, among others – all of which the singer says will be revealed at the concert. Even the singer himself is yet to reveal other details regarding the concert, leaving thousands to wonder what he has up his sleeves for the highly anticipated concert. No matter what the package turns out to be, it will surely be a grand coronation for the song of Niger Delta.
Born in Lagos in 1991, Burna Boy began making music when he was just ten years old, and while at school, a fellow classmate gave him a copy of the production software FruityLoops. Armed with these means, he began to create his own beats on an old computer. After he graduated from school, he moved to London to attend university, but dropped out after two years and moved back to Nigeria. In 2010, the 19-year-old traveled to Nigeria’s southern coast where a mutual acquaintance, producer LeriQ, had some studio space. This marked a period when he began to connect to the music of his native country, having spent most of his youth immersed in American acts like DMX.
He delved into the dancehall and reggae music his father listened to, and the Afrobeat music that his grandfather preferred. As a result of his new discoveries, he reated a confluence of genres that would become his signature sound. Alongside LeriQ, they created Like to Party, which marked his rise to prominence, and created a local buzz along the way. Year 2013 saw the release of his debut studio album, L.I.F.E., which featured guest slots from Wizkid, Timaya, 2Baba and M.I and drew favorable reviews from the music press. For his sophomore effort, 2015’s On a Spaceship, he parted ways with both his record company and LeriQ and delivered a record even more diverse than his first. In 2017, he teamed up with producer Juls for the single Rock Your Body. A host of singles followed throughout the year.