Is Burna Boy Really Underrated ?
31st October, 2018
31st October, 2018
When Burna Boy was introduced to the Nigerian audience, it was undeniable that his sound had a uniqueness to it. His single ‘Like To Party’ which helped him gain maximum attention was a commercial hit that received massive airplay all over the country. Practically anyone who listened to, and watched Burna Boy knew that the man was in his own niche. His sense of style was untouchable so much that a designer sunglasses that he usually wore was termed ‘Burna Boy glasses’.
Burna Boy, born Damini Ogulu, is a reggae/hip-hop/afrobeat artiste who is known for his afro-fusion style. He is mostly compared to Afrobeat legend, Fela because of the similarity in their sound. As a matter of fact, Burna Boy’s grandfather used to be Fela’s manager in those days (the very first). Burna began to make music at the age of 10 years, messing around with Fruity Loops. He dropped out of university to move back to Nigeria at the age of 19 with intentions to pursue music. Connecting to his roots, he became influenced by the Afrobeat sound (which his father and grandfather listened to), and after meeting up with LeriQ, they worked together to deliver ‘Like To Party’. His second single, Tonight was given a warm welcome by music fans who had begun to take a liking to the artiste’s distinguished sound.
Unarguably, Burna is an extremely talented act. He has successfully established a brand for himself in the local and international industry. His influence on the contemporary African sound cannot be undermined. His fan base has grown exponentially even after leaving Aristokrat records, changing his look to a more unrestrained look. His music continues to appeal to the hearts of many, and Burna Boy has gradually become a household name. He has made songs with top artists including Wizkid, D’banj, Timaya, 2face, J Hus, Lily Allen and many others. It was reported that he was part of the contributors on Drake’s More Life playlist.
Since the release of Outside, Burna Boy has been one of the frontliners taking the African sound to the international level. His song Ye (produced by one of the finest young producers in Nigeria, Phantom) has easily been one of the biggest songs in the country since its release. The song has been a part of pop culture, especially since it shares the same name as Kanye West’s album which he also released this year. Burna has featured on big magazines such as Fader, Pause, Vogue and many more. He has been on tour in the US, Canada and is currently touring the UK.
I carried out a poll on Twitter and Instagram, asking if Burna Boy is underrated and these are the results;
It is impossible to mention preeminent Nigerian artistes without naming Burna Boy. His impact in the industry cannot go unnoticed. Why then is it still believed that Burna is an underrated artiste? Maybe he was, back when he was with Aristrokrat records. But things have taken a complete turn for him. He is in a league of his own and is now being mentioned with the greats. People are paying attention to his music and he has core fans now more than ever. There are music fans arguing in his favor that he deserves to win Artiste of the Year award at the Headies and any other prominent award show. It should be considered that almost all of his achievements and recognition can be attributed to his talent. This proves that with little promotional efforts, Burna Boy will be an unstoppable force. He is currently signed under Atlantic records.
It is time we accept that Burna Boy is no longer underrated. He has ceased to become that artiste that everyone know has maximum potential, but is nowhere close to being recognized. His latest song, Gbona is on every Nigerian playlist you come across. It is on the lips of anyone who listens to pop music anywhere in the world. Even people who do not understand his lyrics listen to his music because of the vibe.