Burna Boy has been bubbling as an artist since releasing his debut studio album L.I.F.E. back in 2013. Fresh from winning a Grammy Award for his latest set Twice As Tall, the “AfroFusion” artist talks up his still blazing career, how he’s transformed the musical landscape, and what It means to be a leader for his generation.
Sitting down with British GQ, the entertainer born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu spoke with the publication from his home of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. The piece opens up with the prideful moment when Burna won the Best Global Music Album award at the 63rd Grammy Awards show and the celebration that ensued. Burna’s acceptance speech made sure to center those within his nation and all of Africa.
The interview pointed to the fact Burna hasn’t truly opened up in interviews, preferring to let his songs speak for him and provide insight into his life. As the sound of AfroFusion became Burna’s trademark, so did his fame around the world rise. It is amazing to note that Burna’s style of music has crossed over to western ears but it should be expected when the music is as rhythmic as the style he employs.
As evidenced in the interview, Burna Boy realizes what he represents to his Nigerian brothers and sisters, and it appears he’s ready to accept the responsibility.
“I wasn’t celebrating because of myself,” he tells me. “It was almost as if I’ve broken a mental cycle of our people. Because our people have been very mentally oppressed to feel like they can’t do certain things and that certain things are unreachable. You are what you think, at the end of the day. [It is] time to start thinking about ourselves, not what the society said we should be or what our limitations say we should be. I’ve come from Port Harcourt, the bottom of the map in Nigeria, and now I’ve become a champion. It may not mean anything to someone else, but to me, and to us, it means more than you can imagine.”
The entire piece is a worthy read. Check out the full chat at Britsh GQ here.