This week our celebrity of the week is a young , brilliant vocalist who is new to the entertainment industry. He blends perfectly lyrics in English, pidgin English, Yoruba and Igbo , a young artist who possesses versatility as well as passion . He is no other person than BURNABOY.
Born as Damini Ogulu on the 2nd of july 1991, hails from Mbiama in Ahoda West Local Government Area in Rivers State. He was raised in the Garden City, Port Harcourt; attending Montessori International School for his primary education before moving to Lagos.
He went to Corona, Agbara for his secondary school education, after which, while furthering his studies in the UK, found his true calling to be music… never the less Burna Boy’s grand dad, Benson Idons, back in the days used to be the legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s manager, So, it’s no surprise what his early influences to music have turned out to be..
Burna Boy officially broke into the music industry in December 2010 when he moved back to Nigeria from London, and has since been bringing in the hits bumping speakers all over Port Harcourt. But, It wasn’t until June, 2012, when he made a cross-over to the Lagos music scene with his mid-tempo Summer Jam, “Like To Party” that the budding star got the media sphere in a serious buzz.
Burna Boy is a splendid vocalist and he oozes versatility as his unique sound blends Dance-hall, Afrobeat, R&B and Hip-Hop into one tightly knit package. His songs span from ballads full of depth, sometimes to controversial subject matter as well as, as his Dance-hall tendency implies, songs that are just meant to get you in the mood for the groove.
Signed to Aristokrat Records and, more often than not, teaming up with their in-house producer, the acclaimed Leriq; Burna Boy has been able to churn out two hot mixtapes – “Burn Notice” and “Burn Identity” back in April and November, 2011 respectively. “Burn Notice” produced the catchy anthem“Abeg Abeg Abeg”; the soulful “Sweetest Girl” featuring Leriq and the dance-hall candy, “Wombo Lombo Something”.
While “Burn Identity” showed a more mainstream quality to his music as he experimented with Reggae, some Afro Pop and more of his prevalent Dance-hall influenced sound. As a new Port Harcourt based artist he is determined to push the envelope of the type of music expected from his city and the country as a whole.
Here, he jumped on Frank Ocean‘s “Novacane” to tell his sojourn into the music industry on “My Journey”; featured the likes of Davido, Korkormikor, L.O.S, P.R.E. (of Twisted Mindz), Sauce Kid and Shank, and produced such bangers as “Firewood”, “Trumpet” Feat. Davido, “Wickedest Luv”Feat. L.O.S. and “Friend Like Me” Feat. Shank.
Having created such a buzz in the industry, Burna Boy headlined his own Industry Nite in 2012 and has performed in a large catalogue of massive concerts, from – Rhythm Unplugged, the New Editionconcert in Port Harcourt; CarniRiv and Calabar Carnival, to – his own Burna Boy Live in Port Harcourt.
Burna Boy is often described as emerging, but it was obvious from his first mixtape Burn Notice (April 2011) that no bets needed hedging with this guy. It wasn’t so much that he was fully formed, but rather that he already sounded so comfortable on the mic, and his dancehall-style delivery so natural. The same applied to the next mixtape, Burn Identity, released a few months later. Dancehall, Afrobeat, R ‘n’ B, Hip hop, he rolls it all together and it comes out sounding like he’s had years of preparation.
Burna Boy is known for his smooth Patois-influenced Dance-hall crooning, and most especially for his hit singles “Abeg Abeg Abeg”, “Party Wit Me”, “Firewood”, “Touch Your Toes”, “Like To Party” and the Davido-assisted “Trumpet”.
While his video for “Wickedest Luv” featuring L.O.S. is still in the works, here’s his Sesan-directed video for“Abeg Abeg Abeg” which peaked at No. 4 on Sound City Top Ten and peaked at No. 7 on Nigeria Top 20.