Damini Ogulu is a Nigerian singer, rapper and reggae dance-hall artist known by his moniker Burna Boy. He stands out as a talented, unique, versatile and original artiste whose lines and mode of delivery sets him apart from the common sounds of commercial music in Nigeria.
He hails from Mabiama in Ahoada West local government area of Rivers State, southern Nigeria where he was born on the 2nd of July 1991, to Mr and Mrs Ogulu.
He relocated with his family to Lagos state where he had his primary education at Montessori international school and secondary education at Corona Agbara secondary school before leaving for the United Kingdom.
While schooling in the united kingdom, he reportedly went to jail for allegedly belonging to part of a violent group that committed murder.
He was tried and jailed as a minor but was released after eleven months with two months parole and community service.
Burna Boy disobeyed the authorities and returned back to Nigeria where he focused completely on music. He tried several years later to travel to the United Kingdom but he was apprehended, deported and barred for fifteen years. Back here in Nigeria, he gave his musical career everything to make it sail.
In 2011, he released two mix tapes ‘Burn Notice” in April and “Burn Identity” in November. The hit singles “Abeg, Abeg, Abeg”, “Sweetest girl”, Wombo Lombo Something”, were from the mix tapes.
Later on he released “My Journey” and “Like to Party”. In 2012, he successfully headlined his own industry night, performed at big events and concerts. His singles also gained massive airplay on radio stations across Nigeria and his name became known in the industry.
Burna Boy who was signed to Aristocrat Records oozes of talent, his genre of music is a rich blend of reggae dancehall, afro pop and afro beats.
His songs,are filled with depth and communicate vibrant messages in a way that captures the heart and attention of the listener.
His style of music is partly influenced by Flea Anikulapo Kuti who was once managed by Burna boy’s grand father Benson Idons.
He sometimes sounds like American dancehall and R&B artist Shabba Ranks even though Burna Boy has mentioned that Shabba Ranks is not his mentor and has no intentions of sounding like him.
In 2013, he released singles that included “Yawa dey” and “Run My Race” and his debut album “L.I.F.E” which means leaving an impact for eternity.
It earned several awards, recognitions, nominations and accolades from fans, art critics and music lovers. The singer who is very fluent in Yoruba was managed by his beautiful mother Bose Ogulu until 2014, when he decided to separate family from business.
The dancehall star took to twitter to politely announce that his mother will no longer be managing his career, this happened shortly after he left aristocrat records.
In 2015, he released a second album titled “On a Spaceship” under his own music label. His next body of work was released in 201, an EP titled “Redemption”.
In 2017, he released an inspirational single ” Hallelujah” a song that communicates the fact that everyone sometime realises the need to be thankful.
He embarked on a club tour titled ” Underated” in the united kingdom. This means that the ban placed on him by the authorities has been lifted.
The singer is currently working on album titled “Outside”.
Burna Boy is still single, even though he has been involved in a baby mama controversy, where a young woman claimed he impregnated her.
The singer refuted the claims on line and was scorned and also supported by different people with different views on the issue on social media.
Another time, he went viral on the internet for preforming on stage with his pants only, mimicking his mentor and musical influence Fela Kuti.
Burna boy trended for days on the internet for that singular act, many claimed Fela never sang with his pants on stage but during rehearsals in his shrine.
One notable thing is that the singer is unfazed by allegations, hearsay and unsolicited opinions, he has remained focused in forging ahead in his career.
Songs And Collaborations
As a unique and extremely talented message artiste, Burna Boy has had quite a number of collaborations in the music industry. He has featured his colleagues and vice versa.
He featured in Waje’s single ” Grind”. Other collaborations include Davido, Shank, D’Banj, DJ Jimmy jatt, Phyno, M.I Abaga, Shatta Wale, P.R.E, Vybz Kartel amongst many others.
He has worked on two mix tapes “Burn Identity and Burn Notice”, released in 2011, two albums “L.I.F.E and “Spaceship” released in 2013 and 2015 respectively, a sixteen tracked EP “Redemption” which was released in 2016 and a third album “Outside” is set to be released.
The list of his popular songs include: Like to Party (2013), Yawa Dey (2015), Pree Me (2016), Don Gordon (2014), Run My Race (2013), On a very good day (2015), Rizzla (2015), We on (2016), Na so e suppose be (2013), Oluwa Burna (2015), Man dem (2015), Dem no know( 2013), Check and balance (2014), Tonight (2012), Shobeedo (2011).
Deals And Endorsements
Burna Boy is a brand ambassador of Martell Cognac, he also had an endorsement with Globacom, Nigeria’s indigenous telecommunications giant.
He also headlined Henessy Artistry in 2015 and in that same year, he was an ambassador for G Wagon alongside M.I Abaga. He was made a brand ambassador of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with singer seyi shay.
Based on his music, businesses and properties, non chalant attitude and flamboyant life style, he is worth about $10 million.
Awards And Nominations
Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2013 – Best new act of the year
The Headies 2013 – Next Rated Artist of the year
South South Music Awards 2013 – Best Pop single of the year ( Like to party)
MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 – Best new artist of the year
MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 – Best R&B single of the year ( Don Gordon)
MTV Africa Music Awards 2014 – Beat R&B Pop Album of the year
The Headies 2014 – Hip hop world revelation of the year
The Headies 2014 – Album of the year (LIFE)
Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2015 – Best Album of the year (LIFE)
Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2015 – Best Pop artist of the year .
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