Modernmusic is altering perceptions of the continent as part of a global cultural shift that marks a “big moment”, music artist Burna Boy told Reuters after hailing his first award.
Burna Boy was awarded afor the Best Global Music Album this month for ‘Twice As Tall’ which was released last year. He is part of a generation of music artists, which include Wizkid and Davido, that has enjoyed global success in recent years as proponents of the Afrobeats sound. The genre is now almost as likely to be heard in or as it is in Lagos.
“It’s a big moment and a big time formusic and in general,” said Burna Boy, during an interview at his home in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos. The artist, whose real name is Damini Ogulu, said his award was part of a “domino effect” that gives more control over the way they are perceived through technology, as streaming services take the continent’s arts to a global audience.
“I didn’t even want to bewhen I was little,” he said. “I wanted to be anything but who I was, because who we are wasn’t really the cool thing to be,” said the artist, who grew up in southern and moved to as a child before returning to the west country. He said his win showed that music was attracting worldwide respect.
Those sentiments were shared by many at Edge Music Academy, in the Jakande district of, where students compose music in a studio decked out with microphones, laptops and a keyboard. “The future is bright,” said student Obi Prince. “The way Afrobeats is represented in the world right now can only be a start for artists. We just have to do our thing and bring out ourselves more globally,” he said.
The academy’s chief executive officer, Michael Tijani, saidwin was a “huge deal” for music. “People coming into the industry now have a more concrete belief that you can actually get as far as anybody else in the world can go,” he said.
Reclining in a chair in his home studio, Burna Boy reflected on his success. “You can’t mention the top five musicians in the world without throwing me or anin there,” he said, smiling. “Now we’re eye to eye with the people we used to look up to.” (Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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