In the world of African music, there are few names as iconic as Fela Kuti. The Nigerian musician, composer, and political activist made waves with his unique brand of Afrobeat and was a symbol of resistance against the corrupt Nigerian government in the 1970s and 80s. Now, nearly two decades after his death, his legacy continues to inspire and influence musicians all over the world, including one of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists: Burna Boy.
Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ogulu, was born into a family of musicians and artists.
His mother, Bosed Ogulu, was a member of Fela’s legendary band, Egypt 80, and played a key role in promoting and preserving Fela’s music and message. Growing up, Burna Boy was surrounded by music and exposed to the sounds of Afrobeat, which would later become a major influence on his own music.
Today, Burna Boy is one of Nigeria’s biggest musical exports, known for his unique blend of Afrobeat, reggae, and hip-hop. He has won numerous awards, including the Grammy for Best Global Music Album for his 2020 album “Twice as Tall.” But despite his success, Burna Boy remains humble and grounded, and continues to pay homage to his musical heritage and the legacy of Fela Kuti.
In many ways, Burna Boy is carrying on the torch that Fela lit, using his music and platform to address social and political issues in Nigeria and beyond. He speaks out against corruption and oppression, and advocates for change through his lyrics and activism. Just like Fela, Burna Boy is unapologetic and unafraid, using his voice to challenge the status quo and fight for a better future for his people.
In conclusion, Burna Boy is a shining example of how the legacy of Fela Kuti continues to live on, inspiring and shaping the next generation of musicians and activists. Whether he’s on stage performing, or using his platform to raise awareness about important issues, Burna Boy is making a lasting impact and ensuring that Fela’s legacy will continue for generations to come. His music and message are a testament to the power of art and activism to drive change and inspire people around the world.