Burna Boy on Nigeria’s music industry
Singer Burna Boy recently had an interview with American website The Fader, where he spoke about a number of issues, including the Nigerian music industry.
In the interview, the Soke singer described the Nigerian music industry as “political”, saying he didn’t feel like he was part of it.
“It’s political, man,” Burna said. “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.”
One event that comes to mind is the 2013 Hip Hop World Awards, when Burna Boy reportedly stormed out after losing the Next Rated category to Sean Tizzle.
He continued: “If you think about it, if I was a part of the industry then I wouldn’t have shit today. I would just be one of the songs you hear in the club and then that’s it. But right now, you see, I don’t have the most Twitter followers or the most Instagram numbers or whatever, but the things that I do, the people with one million followers can’t do it. Right now in Nigeria I’m doing shows with 5,000 to 7,000 people almost every weekend. Who does that in Nigeria? How many people can say that? And everyone is singing my songs word-for-word.”
“My music is a gift. It’s perceived as a gift to the people that love and understand it. I don’t really speak for myself alone, I speak for a bunch of people. How many people have dropped a song like “Soke,” stating the problems that’s actually going on in the country, and actually stepping up? And at the same time they’re dancing to it in the club but really and truly I’m actually telling you what the fuck is going on—money, no light, wata no dey flow. You get me? Real shit! Who’s doing that today?”
“Everything I know I pretty much learned from Fela. Obviously there will never be another person like that. He used music the way music should be used. 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.”
You can read the full interview on The Fader.