Nigeria's Burna Boy Takes Second Crack At Grammys
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Sat 13th March 2021 | 09:30 AM
Lagos, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Mar, 2021 ) :Already an Afrobeat superstar and this year a leading voice of his country's youth protests, Nigeria's Burna Boy is now hoping to add a Grammy to his growing list of accomplishments.
Burna Boy has been nominated in the Best Global Music Album category at Sunday's awards for his 2020 album "Twice as Tall", alongside four others including Malian band Tinariwen and US band Antibalas.
"This year's nomination is very specific," says UK-based Nigerian music critic Dami Ajayi. "There was a plan (by Burna Boy) to get another Grammy nomination." Ajayi said it was a deliberate choice to get US record executive Sean Combs as executive producer and to feature world music star Youssou N'dour.
But Burna Boy seems to have always been making deliberate choices.
Two years after he left, the ambitious singer dropped out and returned to Nigeria and in 2013, he released his first studio album, "LIFE" -- an acronym for "Leaving an Impact For Eternity." "Unlike a lot of other people, I've had to go through never-ending steps to get here, whereas other people have taken the elevator up," he told GQ in an interview published in March 2020.
"I've always been too heavy for that kind of elevator, so I had to take the stairs. Now I know every floor and everything on every floor." Burna Boy followed the release of LIFE with two albums; "Redemption" in 2015 and "Outside" in 2018 that included Kanye West endorsed song, "Ye".
"Dada cover my face," is a memorable line from the song. He is singing about himself and his locs (Dada is a local term for dreadlocks), bolstering the feel of a tune that is about owning oneself and shunning criticism.
"He seems to have solidified his style," Ajayi says about the singer's evolution. "It is so unique, so cutting, and so irresistible. You can say it is the finest fusion of contemporary African music we have at the moment." If songs like "Ye" opened international doors for Burna Boy, it was his 2019 "African Giant" album that proved he had arrived.
- African icon - The album was largely centred on social commentary around governance and classism, bringing comparisons to iconic Nigerian singer Fela Kuti.
"The guy is obsessed with Fela," Ajayi said. "He samples Fela very closely." Burna Boy's grandfather was once Fela Kuti's manager, and his mother Bose Ogulu, who is now his manager, left her job as a translator to work with Kuti.
Like Fela, Burna Boy has refused to be silent.
"We are the new generation, relentless and tireless," he told the London rally after holding up a clenched fist. "No justice, no peace."