African Giant: Burna Boy Listened To Me And The World Followed

Afro-fusion star, Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy

When I first wrote about ‘African Giant’ in January, it was a term that set the internet on ‘fire’ — causing diverse opinions and outburst. From rage to fanatical support, Burna Boy was trending for choosing to describe himself as an ‘African Giant’. His grievance was that the Coachella promotion department used tiny fonts for his name. Didn’t they know that he was Africa’s biggest? He insisted that it was changed else he wouldn’t perform at the festival.

Well, it wasn’t changed and of course, he pulled amazing performances with the right costumes, set, everything. It was brilliant. His costume was so good that I had to spotlight the designer in one of my articles. I digress.

While Burna Boy whined and fussed over the font size, I took time to write, pulling examples of artists who worked their way from being at the bottom of the Coachella lineup to headlining the show. I told Burna Boy that he could be that if he sat still, worked hard, milked the opportunity and keep churning out quality. I don't mean to be proud but my shoulders are high because he listened!

“Your man has done it,” I tweeted at OAP, music analyst and Burna Boy-stan, Osato Edokpayi aka EDK. It was important to tweet that at him because he is one of the most objective music fans I know and he also shared my earlier thoughts. More importantly, I tweeted after I had previewed the ‘African Giant’ album. I felt like a part of the project and I was ecstatic for Burna Boy’s growth as a person and an artist.

As a person, Burna Boy has become much softer to the public eye. Laughing now and then, mingling and doing press. If you didn’t know, he is in a relationship with British rapper, Steflon Don and had handed over his social media to his managers. Personally, I believe these two steps contributed to bringing a well-needed balance to the talented artist. Love does something to you and it is unexplainable plus leaving social media sometimes can feel like breathing clean, filtered air devoid of toxins.

As an artist, it was as though something snapped in Burna Boy. He went in and recorded monster hits for the album. Not one weak song. Following Coachella, he went on a winning streak. From winning a BET award to having an amazing solo song on Beyonce-curated ‘Lion King’ album and releasing the international hit album, ‘African Giant’. I know I asked him to put in the work but boy, can we breathe a little?

I squealed with excitement when I watched his performance of ‘Any Body’ on Jimmy Kimmel Live not just because of the platform but the confidence and stage presence he exuded. It was a smooth, memorable performance and I might had cried a little. Most of all, I am elated that he is starting to get the international accolades that he deserves. I could go on and on speaking about Burna Boy and his successes but I will stop here because I know I will write again. Maybe I will write about Mama Burna Boy. I love her.