Later tonight, CoKo Bar will be lit up with all the festivities celebrating the birthday of Burna Boy himself. Earlier this week we caught up with the music sensation to hear what he had to say on Afrobeats, his Homecoming Tour and all things Burna.
What to expect from the Homecoming Tour in October: “New music”, he says ironically with a lighthearted grin. “[This tour will be] one of the most detailed show that any African show has done before.” The Homecoming Tour (which will be in London on October 1st 2016) has been in various stages of planning for a while now so we wouldn’t expect anything less.
Advice to upcoming artists: “Me personally, I need advice. Do you have any for me?” he jokingly says. “Learn from your mistakes”, he continues to tell me. “Be yourself. Show love [to other artists and DJ’s] but always be real to yourself.” In an industry where it is so easy to compromise your creative expression to sell out in order to reach a main stream audience, Burna cautions new artist: “Don’t do it! You’ll end up crashing.” This was something that Bura Boy often repeated. The need to maintain your authenticity, “[staying] real” is not somethings to take lightly. In fact, when asked to describe himself in three words, he simply said “The Realest…Ever”.
Inspiration: This comes to Burna Boy in many forms, from his environment to his feelings. “Music is my therapy…it both creates and recreates life [around me]”. As for the musician that inspires him, Burna Boy remains true to his roots by calling on Fela Kuti. How so? “Just him being him. The revolutionary that he is. The composition of his music. The story, the soul in it, the feeling. The reception of it from his people. It’s also something to hope for. That’s the goal [for my music].” For me, the Burna song that most embodies this ideology is Soke. “I wouldn’t even say it’s a political song”, he explains “it just says what’s going on, what everyone in Nigeria can see. I’m telling about how there’s no lighting, they’re no water. But you can’t complain because you’ll get arrested. We all know these things. We’ve all seen these things.”
Impact of social media: “Its’s a gift and a curse”, he tells me. “It gives you a platform to reach out to the whole world. But at the same time it also gives baseless people the privilege or the ability to have strong opinions where it’s not needed. You can’t really win…I don’t really do social media unless I’m bored. So I try not to be bored”, he says with a chuckle.
Needless to say how nervous I was before the interview. Not only because it was the Bunra Boy, but also because people tend to spread their own presumptions on how they think a celebrity will behave. To me, Burna was nothing but courteous and endearingly modest. He was real! It was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to interview him. Until we hear him perform later on this year, check out his new single Pree Me from his much anticipated EP.
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AUTHOR: Ama Badu (Senior Online Editor)
For reviews, premiers and red carpet events on the Afro-British scene, Ama is your go-to blogger. With an analytical mind and articulate pen, she hopes to write articles that will get Africa (and indeed the world) discussing “real” issues and tangible solutions.
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