Since the 70s/80s, with the likes of critically acclaimed music from artists like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Sade, among others, Afrobeat has been inching towards snagging a permanent spot in international planes. For decades, while the genre has stayed afloat, only really sinking in with a contained popularity that came from the worldwide revolution of music across genres, Nigerian artistes have struggled to build fan bases that transcend our continent.
In 2011, D’banj established a connection with G.O.O.D music that blew our minds and had us longing for more international features/recognition and from that moment, millennial artistes have strived to collaborate with foreign contemporaries to ensure their sounds are not just soundtracks played to keep shoppers busy at Malls or spirit stirring music played at Clubs to make international DJs come across as well versed. Nigerian artistes strove to go beyond being buffers in Afrobeat playlists to becoming crowd controllers who sell out shows at international locations. PSquare tapped into this in the mid-2000s, members of the now-defunct Mo’Hits records did, Wizkid also made history as the first African act to perform at the o2 Arena, Davido made the cut too. On the 7th of October, 2018, Burna Boy’s fans in their raging multitude went ballistic as he picked up the microphone to entertain them with his infamous ‘national anthem’ Ye. The genuine love from the thousands of people at the arena inspired an outpour of emotions from the young artiste; a sign of a sort of raw connection between himself and his fans which quite frankly most of his colleagues can’t boast about.
From not being granted a visa to perform in the United Kingdom in 2016 to topping the list of Nigerian musicians who have not just sold out shows in international locations but actually successfully controlled the emotions of fans with his sound barely two years after, Burna Boy continues to fulfill the requirements that make him eligible for legendary status in the music industry.
Burna Boy sold out 02 academy and this is the performance everybody is talking about 👑 pic.twitter.com/5EVerJjbqk
— SOUNDCITY AFRICA! (@SOUNDCITYtv) October 8, 2018
The Afrobeat connoisseur now has a pile of non-debatable and respectable accolades to his name and we couldn’t be more proud.