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Burna Boy started making music from the age of ten, this was after a classmate gave him a copy of the production software FruityLoops.
Once he received this fortuitous gift, he immediately started creating his own beats. After his stint at Corona Secondary School in Agbara, he moved to the UK, where he attended the University of Sussex to study Media Technology. He also attended Oxford Brookes University to study Media Communications and Culture.
With his fusion of dancehall, reggae, Afro-beat, and pop, Burna Boy emerged in the early part of the 2010s as one of Nigeria’s fastest rising stars. The LeriQ-produced 2012 single “Like to Party” proved to be his breakout track and paved the way for his full-length debut, L.I.F.E, a year later.
Over the next five years, Burna released two more albums and collaborated with a variety of artists, from J Hus and Skales to Fall Out Boy and Lilly Allen. His international exposure widened with 2018’s Outside, which hit number three on the Billboard Reggae chart and won the Nigeria Entertainment Award for Album of the Year.
Ahead of his next LP, 2019 African Giant release, Burna Boy made his first appearance at the California’s Coachella festival.
Born July 2, 1991
Place of birth Port Harcourt
Rivers State, Nigeria
Language English, Kikuyu
Alma mater University of Sussex
Burna Boy released his first single titled: “Shobeedo (Freestyle)” in 2011. This was quickly followed by his next releases ‘Consume Notice” and “Consume Identity”.
On the 31st of May 2012, Burna Boy released a follow up single titled: “Like To Party”. This single was shortly followed up with a music video which was released on the 5th of September 2012, the video received critical acclaim and popular rave reviews among the ever growing legion of Burna Boy’s fans.
The “Like to Party” music video, produced by Squareball Media administrations, is considered by many to be Burna Boy’s marquee moment. His already growing popularity, soared after the video release. It seemed to have played a major role in transforming Burna Boy into a household name: both home in Nigeria, and internationally.
After this breakthrough moment there was a flurry of activity from the now, ever increasing in popularity, Afropop vocalist. Burna Boy’s debut studio album L.I.F.E was released on 12 August 2013, serving as the follow-up to his second mixtape Burn Identity (2011). L.I.F.E was produced entirely by Leriq and featured guest artists such as 2face Idibia, M.I, Timaya, Olamide, Reminisce and Wizkid.
In 2014, Burna Boy split from his record company, Aristokrat records, and established his own record label, Spaceship Entertainment in n February 2015 eight months after.
In November 2019, Burna Boy got a Grammy nomination for his AFRICAN GIANT album in the BEST WORLD MUSIC category.
The Nigerian singer Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu famously known as Burna Boy has yet again confirmed that he is one of Africa’s music giants when his song ‘Destiny’ made it to the official playlist at Joe Biden inauguration as US President.
Burna Boy is the only African artist whose song was playlisted at the just concluded US Presidential inauguration that paved the way for 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris to officially start their first term.
The 46-track playlist in which his song features was selected by American actress Issa Rae’s record label Raedio and Derrick Jones. The playlist includes other international artists such as Dua Lipa, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Tame Impala.
Reacting to his track selection on his Twitter account, Temidayo Ogedengbe said that he now agrees that Burna Boy is an African giant who deserves the crown.
Burna Boy international status was also earlier in the summer confirmed when he featured on former US President Barack Obama’s summer playlist in 2020.
The Nigerian star’s song ‘destiny’ is part of his Grammy-nominated album ‘African Giant’ that was released last year.
American artists that made it to the 46-track playlist include celebrities such as Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, and Kendrick Lamar.
The US presidential Inaugural committee that selected the 46 tracks reportedly based their choices on songs that are empowering and celebrate diversity.
The Afrobeat artist is one of Nigerian celebrities that doesn’t shy away from expressing his views on political issues. Burna Boy released ‘20:10:20’ track in October last year to protest against the Nigerian government’s violent mishandling of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality.
The track was inspired by the dramatic circumstances on 20 October 2020 when Buhari’s government allowed the military to shoot and kill Nigerians protesters at Lekki Toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria. In his track, Burna Boy was advocating for justice for the victims of the massacres where 12 protesters were killed according to Amnesty International.
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