For every human-made manifestations, it’s invariably presumed to have a squadron behind it. It’s both a case of beliefs and logical reasoning and perception of natural occurrence. If you know how Burna Boy launched his career and where he presently straddles, you won’t be surprised, but if you gawk at how many years it took him to ultimately achieve the enviable level of stardom and build up his desired fandom, you will want to query his past strategies, his personality, and his beliefs.
For many people like myself that loves good music, it’s always a great delight to have exceptional artists grow from the unknown to a household name, it gives greater joy and unparalleled satisfaction when they get the props early in their careers as life can happen at any given time, people get rusty and can be withered away in the blink of an eyes. The likes of Wizkid, Ice Prince, Davido, Kizz Daniel, all have their moment almost immediately after their debut singles, but Burna boy came through the ranks.
Damini Ogulu’s (Burna Boy) career had a sloppy makeup of good, bad, ugly, good, better and conceivably the best one yet. His first taste of nationwide stardom came to be in late 2010/2011 with a couple of his track making it to radio airplay, but before then, he was prominent among his Port Harcourt bloodlines. I was with one of the top PH music head and he narrated how Burna Boy was audaciously good and resilient at the same time.
Fast forward to Like to Party, Tonight and the Headies Next Rated category, Burna Boy was unhurriedly climbing the ladder of fame, but before that, he was on the rookie of the year category with former Hypertek’s main man – Dammy Krane a year earlier. He lost the next Rated category to Sean Tizzle, another outstanding artist, but didn’t stop doing the music he loves. But the buzz around his music was within the circle and not the larger audience that now follows his music like Sunday sermon.
A whole lot can be said to have amplified to the weight of stardom from coming early for Burna Boy before he shredded them, and allowed the hands that have the Manuel to take over his craft. He is still the stubborn Burna Boy that will still do what he wants to do. But what changed about him in just two years that made him the poster boy for Afro Beats? Well, the spiritual Undertone of his career boom created itself as the opportunity to explore, and the need to be explored.
To explore, Burna Boy had just two things to do, and that is tweaking the ability of himself as a creative person and his adaptability to seeing the world beyond his musical box. Did it work? Yes, that gave birth to his remarkable Outside Album. To be explored, it means a greater part of Burna Boy’s musical decisions, artist branding, and strategic marketing will be handled by professionals on his team. Did it work? Yes, that resulted to his impressive run in 2019 that landed him his first Grammy Nomination, to also become the first mainstream Popstar to get nominated.
The deal he signed with Atlantic Record was the Spiritual Undertone to his career bloom. Cardi B in an interview on Cool FM Lagos revealed her favorite track by a Nigerian was Ye by Burna Boy, it’s strategic planning by the Atlantic Record team as part of their plan of acquainting the bigger artist to other big artists as music transcend nationality, race or genre. As 2019 gradually set the pace for 2020, Burna Boy might just be on his way to even bigger things.