Grammy win a big moment for African music: Burna Boy

Modern African music is altering perceptions of the continent as part of a global cultural shift that marks a “big moment”, Nigerian music artiste Burna Boy told Reuters after hailing his first Grammy award.

Burna Boy was awarded a Grammy for the Best Global Music Album this month for Twice As Tall, which was released last year.

He is part of a generation of Nigerian music artistes, which include Wizkid and Davido, that has enjoyed global success in recent years as proponents of the Afrobeats sound. The African genre is now almost as likely to be heard in London or Los Angeles as it is in Lagos.

“It’s a big moment and a big time for African music and Africans in general,” Burna Boy said during an interview at his home in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.

The artiste, whose real name is Damini Ogulu, said his award was part of a “domino effect” that gives Africans 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 be African when 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,” the artist, who grew up in southern Nigeria and moved to London as a child, before returning to the west African country said.

He said his win showed that African music was attracting worldwide respect. — Reuters