Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, has just awarded a Grammy for Best Global Music Album. The Nigerian musician is one of the continent’s most successful musicians. After releasing his debut album L.I.F.E. in 2012, he burst onto the music scene. The singer spoke to BBC Africa exclusively about his victory, his album “Twice as tall,” and the importance of African voices being heard.
‘Burna Boy on winning a Grammy… “I felt very relieved because I deserved it?”
In 2012, he realized that his music had an impact on a large number of people. “It’s bigger than me, and that’s when it hit me that this is no longer a hobby; you used to do this on the streets and everyone would go insane, but now I don’t see anyone better than you, so it’s like this is serious now.”
“It just shows like you know anything is possible and whatever situation you may be in, and whatever environment you find yourself in does not really determine your future and what you are going to do,” Burna says of the impact of winning a Grammy award for him and other African artists.
You know, that doesn’t stop you from thinking about your fantasies. Cause at the end of the day, we are in an environment that is very discouraging; you understand, an environment that doesn’t even believe in itself before they even think of believing in you.”
Why this album was important to Burna Boy
“It’s always important for me to make music and bodies of work as much as possible because for me that is what will be left behind when I’m not here. That’s going to be my footprints on the world. I believe at every step of my life to create a body of work that narrates and explains that time of my life.”
On why Africans should be telling their own stories’
Because our stories have always been twisted and told and most of the time our stories have been twisted into the western world and then white faces have been put on the real characters; do you understand?
Now is the time to overturn all that because finally we have a generation of Africans who is not going to stand for that. You understand?
So what better time to start to do, to change the narrative back into the truth.