Burna Boy Blazes Onto TIME’s 100 Most Influential People List

Times Magazine has listed Grammy-winning Nigerian artist Burna Boy, real name Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, among the top 100 most influential persons of 2024.

In a statement to Times Magazine, Burna Boy asserted that he always advises aspiring musicians not to imitate American musicians because the world needs the depth and beauty of traditional African music.

His words:

“Ten years ago or so, when young African musicians would come to me for advice, I?would tell them, “You don’t need to mimic American artists! The world needs the amazing richness and beauty of our traditional African music and our culture. This land is where most of modern music comes from. This source of inspiration is inexhaustible. Its freshness and its elegance will get the world’s attention for sure.”

Times Magazine went on to detail his other musical accomplishments, noting that the singer’s incredibly unique style and distinctive rhythm have taken the world by storm.

It read:

“Burna Boy has made that vision a global reality. Inspired by the fantastic drums of Nigerian folk music, and studied in the craft of the great African singer-songwriters, he follows in the footsteps of Fela Kuti—the internationally celebrated Afrobeats artist and activist. Burna Boy’s deeply original flow and his signature groove have conquered the world with an impressive series of firsts: in 2023, he became the first African artist to sell out a U.S. stadium, and in 2024, he became the first Afrobeats artist to sing at the Grammys. He is history in the making. Now a whole generation of young people from the continent is looking up to him.”

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