Extras: Everything You Need To Know About Nigeria’s Grammy Nominee Burna Boy

Posted on January 26 2020 , at 04:00 pm
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  • Come January 26, 2020, all of Nigeria will be watching that Grammy stage and if Burna Boy wins, he’ll become the very first Nigerian artiste to win one of those coveted golden gramophones.

Less than a decade into his career, Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy has climbed to heights most of his contemporaries in the Nigerian music industry can only dream of. But none higher than his World Music nomination for his 2019 album “African Giant” at the 2020 Grammys. Here’s all you need to know about Nigeria’s biggest international superstar of the moment: 

Burna Boy is the first Nigerian artiste to be nominated for a BET Award, an MTV EMA and a Grammy in the same year.

A: Aristokrat Records, run by Priye Isokrari, was the label that first signed Burna Boy to a professional contract in 2012. 

B: Burn Notice series – a run of 2 mixtapes (Burn Notice & Burn Identity) that Burna Boy released in 2011 just before signing professionally to Aristokrat records.

C: The Calabar Carnival is where Burna Boy first performed on stage for the first time.

D: Don Gorgon – another alias Burna Boy goes by. 

Burna Boy BET

E: Burna Boy is the first Nigerian artiste to be nominated for an MTV EMA, a BET award and a grammy in the same year. 

F: In “Freedom Freestyle,” off his Burn Series mixtapes, Burna Boy tells the story of his run in with the law in the UK which led to him being banned from entering the country for a few years. 

G: Gambo – the name of Burna Boy’s childhood best friend who passed away. He’s named in at least five Burna Boy songs and Burna also has a tattoo of his name on his torso.

H: Burna Boy was really high when he made “Ye” after Shina Peller convinced him to record the song while he turned up at the club owned by Peller.

I: Internationally, he has inked deals with Spotify, appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Tiny Desk by NPR, Genius, Apple Music’s Up Next, among others.

J: On July 23rd, 2019, Burna Boy appeared on late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, becoming only the second Nigeria to appear on US late night TV.

K: A producer named Kel P has produced 5 of Burna Boy’s last six hit songs.

L: LIFE (Leaving an Impact For Eternity) was Burna Boy’s debut studio album. It was released on 12 August 2013.

M: Mbiama, in Ahoda West Local Government area, Rivers State is where Burna Boy’s family is from.

N: Nissi Ogulu, Burna Boys second sister is also a musician and tours with him performing her music.

O: “On A Spaceship” is Burna Boy’s second album and his first on his own label, Spaceship Entertainment.

P: Port Harcourt – where Burna Boy was born and the city he returned to on his return from the UK. The first makings of Burna Boy the artiste started in this city.

Q: Quilox Night Club, located in Victoria Island Lagos, is where Burna Boy recorded his mega hit song, “Ye”. The club has a studio and restaurant on its premises and Burna Boy has said he is close friends with the owner, Shina Peller.

R: Ronami Ogulu is Burna Boy’s younger sister and also his stylist.

S: “Steel & Copper” is a collaborative EP Burna Boy did with Los Angeles-based electronic duo DJDS. It was released in March 2019.

T: Treehouse Studio, owned by producer Leriq, is where Burna Boy first started recording music.

U: Under his distribution deal, Burna Boy retains the right to distribute his music and the proceeds thereof on the African continent.

V: Burna Boy has contributed verses as a guest artiste to over 30 songs since 2012.

W: Burna Boy signed an international distribution deal with Warner Music in 2017.

X: Burna Boy has openly advocated against Xenophobia in Africa, especially South Africa.

Y: “Ye,” released as a single off Burna Boy’s third studio album “Outside” is his biggest song yet.

Z: In March 2019, at a show in Zambia, Burna Boy kicked a fan who was trying to rob him of his ring, almost pulling him into the crowd. Burna Boy later apologized. 



* Burna Boy has a tattoo of the Nigerian Coat of Arms on his arm. The words ‘Omo Naija’ (Nigerian child) are inscribed around it.

* Burna Boy is managed by his mother, Bose Ogulu.

* Burna Boy’s grandfather, Benson Idonije, is Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s first band manager and publicist.

* Burna Boy also has Psalm 38 tatted on his right arm, which he says he got at a dark time in his life.

* Burna Boy is the only featured act with a solo song on Beyonce’s Lion King: The Gift album. The album is also in contention for the ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ award at this year’s Grammys.

* His father’s name is Samuel Ogulu.

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