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Burna Boy - Like To Party

On July 17, 2013, Aristokrat Records unveiled the album's cover art to the general public. Peedi Picasso designed the cover art for both the standard and deluxe editions of the album. Burna Boy shares the cover art with Fela Kuti, King, Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. In a press release, the record label said the album would be released in three installments: street, original and deluxe. The record label also said the album's release would be accompanied by a release party, CD signatures and a tour.[9] In August 2013, Burna Boy held an album listening party at Cafe Vanessa in Victoria Island.[10] In September 2013, he launched a concert titled "The Burna Boy Experience" to promote the album in the cities of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.[11]

Burna Boy - Like To Party

L.I.F.E received positive reviews from music critics. Reviewing for Nigerian Entertainment Today, Ayomide Tayo praised the album's production and commended Leriq for not making it sound repetitive. However, Tayo also said it "lacks a knock out hit to seal the stateliness."[12] Wilfred Okiche of YNaija reviewed the album and said it "avoids the pitfalls of monotony and boredom that could easily have befallen the disc but the overall sound is still a tad unsatisfying, like there is stuff Burna Boy is holding back."[13] Ayo Alloh of gave the album 8.5 stars out of 10, concluding it was never monotonous despite being solely produced.[23] Enemigin Neye of Hip Hop World Magazine awarded the album 4 stars out of 5, saying "it goes to show the everyday improvement in the sound called Nigerian music".[22] Neye "believes Burna Boy is here to stay, and believes the album is definitely one to remember."[22]

Burna Boy was born Damini Ogulu in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, in 1991. He began making music at just ten years old when a fellow classmate at school gave him a copy of the production software FruityLoops. Armed with these means, he began to create his own beats on an old computer. After he graduated, he moved to London to attend university, but he dropped out after two years and moved back to Nigeria. In 2010, the 19-year-old Ogulu traveled to Nigeria's southern coast, where a mutual acquaintance, producer LeriQ, had some studio space. This marked a period when he began to connect to the music of his native country, having spent most of his youth immersed in American acts like DMX. He delved into the dancehall and reggae music his father listened to and explored the Afro-beat music preferred by his grandfather (who had also been Fela Kuti's first manager). As a result of his new discoveries, Ogulu created a confluence of genres that would become his signature sound.

He returned a year later with the single "Killin Dem," a collaboration with Zlatan. Along with additional singles like "Dangote" and "On the Low," it was later included on his fourth album, African Giant, which saw release in July 2019. The LP was nominated in the Best World Music Album category of the 62nd Grammy Awards. In August 2020, Burna issued the full-length Twice as Tall, which became his highest charting album to date, reaching number 54 on the Billboard 200 and faring even better in Europe and Canada. It went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album. Featured on the album were guest appearances by Youssou N'Dour, Naughty by Nature, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and others. "Rotate," a collaboration with Becky G, arrived in 2021, as did the solo single "Kilometre." Burna performed a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden in April 2022, becoming the first Nigerian artist to headline a show at the famed New York venue. Led by the Toni Braxton-sampling hit "Last Last," his sixth album, Love, Damini, was released on July 2, his 31st birthday.

BURNA BOY: For me, it's very - how do you say? You know when you get weight off yourself, like the weight's taken off your shoulder? I don't know the word to describe it, but that's how I feel. It feels like I feel lighter every time I, you know, perform that to people.

SHAPIRO: At the show that you did in Washington, D.C., recently, the people in the audience were not just fans of yours. They talked like they wanted to carry you on their shoulders, like you were holding a torch representing their identity, their sense of pride.

BURNA BOY: I mean, yes, sometimes it can feel like that. But when I think about it deeply, it's something I thank God for, you know, something I'm happy about and I thank God for because that's really the essence of who I am. That's who I started doing this for in the first place. So I feel a sense of, you know, the mission being accomplished. And, you know, I always wanted to be, like - everyone that heard my music or came to my shows or anything to resonate with what they see and hear, you know?

SHAPIRO: You know, before this interview, I watched a bunch of interviews that you've done, and you always seem so kind of solid and low-key and chill. And then I see you on stage performing live, and you are just explosive. It is like yin-yang, black and white.

BURNA BOY: It kind of goes back to what I'm saying. Like, Burna Boy and Damini are one person. And it's the same concept with everyone else. Every human being is made up of characteristics. And for me, it's like, you get to see all those characteristics. You get to see Damini being his chill self. You get to see Burna Boy going crazy. You get to see Damini with his mother and his family trying to make sense of life (laughter), you know? I mean...

BURNA BOY: I don't have it all figured out, man. I feel like the fact that they see that I try and do my best and everything - it kind of - they resonate with that. And it's something that they can identify with because everyone's going through the same [expletive], and everyone's doing the same [expletive].

By the time he dropped "Soke," in 2015, I was convinced he was "the one." Sure, I'd heard afrobeats songs I liked before then, but none had truly grabbed me like that song, or the man behind it. It was how I thought contemporary Nigerian music ought to sound; inspired by the past but not derivative, and not simply tailor-made for the club either. Burna's unique appeal felt obvious to me then, but in 2018 it became undeniable.

If you haven't delved into Burna Boy's discography, Boom Boom Boom is a great example of why you should. Released in 2013, the song is an effervescent party track that samples Lady by Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti.

The crisp and powdery thump of Fa So LaTi Do feels like another triumphant Afrobeat song from Burna Boy until you hear the gentle jingle reminiscent of a mammoth '90s hit. Finding out that Poison by Bell Biv DeVoe is sampled here is surprising yet perfect. The genius production never ceases to amaze.

Damini Ogulu a.k.a Burna Boy is one of the few figures in the Nigerian music industry with a distinct voice that evokes memories of many music greats, dead and living, from all over the world; something that has aided him in his rise to global prominence. An indigene of Rivers State in Southern Nigeria, Burna Boy has worked with several A-list Nigerian and international artists like 2face Idibia, WizKid, Sarkodie, Phyno, Flavor, Dbanj,Wiz Kid to mention a few. He is also known and respected for having some of the most creative and top grade music videos on the African continent.

Reggae, due to its wildfire-like spread in the sixties and seventies, attracted interest from many countries and its musicians. Nigeria, too, had its own stars who took the music of Jamaica and made it recognizably local. Beyond the Majek Fasheks and Ras Kimonos, down the strata, the music was further broken down and implemented with features of provincial artistry. 041b061a72


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