Thursday, November 26, 2015

Burna Boy Talks To Fader About Musical Influences, Music-Industry Politics And More

Nigerian singer, Burna Boy dropped his sophomore album, On A Spaceship yesterday, November 25 2015.

Just in time, UK-based magazine Fader has released a feature story about the 24-year-old which is titled 'Meet Burna Boy, The Nigerian Singer Putting Africa First'
The ever-confident Burna Ranking speaks without minding whose ox is gored. Here are some noteworthy statements from the interview:

On his Influences
Music-wise obviously number one is Fela Kuti. My granddad used to be his manager. My dad used to play reggae and Afrobeats. Every Sunday, we used to have these records, vinyls. And he would just play all of them—Super Cat, Ninja Man, Buju Banton. On his side, I heard a lot of reggae and dancehall. He doesn’t even know it but he influenced reggae into me. The first reggae song I heard was in his car. I remember he bought a V Boot—a Mercedes, old school—and it was one of the first cars that could play CDs at the time. The first CD we had was a mix of all different types of dancehall. And then I turned ten years old and this girl I was trying to get with gave me a Joe CD for my birthday, which introduced me to R'n'B. I'm pretty much a product of my environment.

On the Nigerian music industry being political
It’s political, man. To be honest I don’t really feel like I’m a part of the industry. I don’t get awards because the powers that be don’t really like me. I’m not like everyone else, I won’t do what everyone else does. They don’t like it. Everything is really political and I’m not a very good politician. So I don’t really involve myself in all that. I just drop hit songs, and my fanbase keeps increasing.

About not writing his songs
Music is spiritual. It’s a really spiritual thing. I’ve actually never picked up a pen and pad to write a song. It comes spiritually. I don’t put pen to paper, I just pretty much black out, and you hear what you hear. You’re gonna hear things that are coming from deep down, it’s not gonna be something that’s calculated and trying to appeal to these people or those people. Nah.

On why Nigerian musicians should focus on Africa
It still goes back to the thing I been saying. The politics. Africa has more numbers than America. So if we all used our heads and focused on Africa, then we’d be good. You get me? You have some people that pay a couple of hundreds of thousands to feature their songs in America. At the end of the day, I will never do that. As much as we need to put them on our songs, [Americans] need to put us on their songs. Because as much as they think they got the numbers, we got the numbers.

I keep telling people numbers is not Instagram and Twitter. That’s media, that’s not numbers. You can’t hold on to it. In reality, what the real thing is is how many people will sing along to your shit. How many people have you touched their lives with your songs? How many people have been in the hospital close to dead and listened to your songs and got fucking life? How many people can say that?

For the complete interview, Click Here

Photo Credit: Joe Penney (Fader)

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