Burna Boy has got everyone talking about his upcoming album “Twice as Tall.” He was recently featured on the cover of NME magazine where he spoke extensively about the album and his plans to fully represent Africans with it.
For the cover shot, Burna boy is pictured wearing a sculptured diamond neckpiece in the likeness of Fela‘s iconic victory pose. He also wears another custom made neckpiece with the inscription of “African Giant.”For, “Twice as Tall”, Burna sourced the help of Sean “Diddy” Combs, a seasoned hitmaker to executive produce the album. He also had Timbaland and Anderson.Paak as producers and featured Cold Play’s Chris Martin.
Read some excerpts from his cover feature below.
On the track “Monsters You Made” featuring Chris Martin of Coldplay
…There are so many situations where a fight needs to be had. A revolution is needed, and I want to inspire it. I’m painting a picture of what we already see every day, but maybe no one has painted the picture in an honest form before. I tried to do that with ‘Monsters’.
I had the two verses and an empty space for the hook, but in my mind, I was like: ‘Bro, if I don’t get Coldplay on this one then I’m just gonna release it with no hook’…
Don’t know the English words to put this in or the politically correct words to use for this. But he’s one of the only people that could bring that balance and still relate. Is it, I suggest, something to do with contrasting the verses.’ Stinging critique of white Western imperialism with a hook sung by one of the biggest stars in mainstream white Western pop? That’s the balance…He’s the only one that could have pulled that off.
On his music gaining dominance in the UK
Unlike many Western countries, the UK has Africans. If you go to America and see a Black man and ask him where he’s from, he’ll tell you he’s from Michigan or whatever. When you land in Heathrow, and you ask any Black man you see where you’re from, you’re gonna get an answer like Nigeria or Senegal or Ghana. The UK has very strong roots here in Africa. It’s almost like the tree that you see in the UK now was planted in Africa. That’s why it’s so strong. It’s so solid it’s unbreakable.
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On the new Afrobeats UK charts
On the positive side, yes, it’s a good step. There’s a genre from Africa that is now accepted worldwide to the point where it can have its own chart in the mainstream United Kingdom. At the same time, it’s something that has to be done carefully. You can’t start an Afrobeats chart and not come to Nigeria!
Afrobeat was done by one person and one person only: Fela Kuti. My only thing is, whoever is doing the Afrobeats chart in the UK should not even be in the UK. If you’re doing a grime chart, then you can be in the UK. But it’s not fair for the people who have really based their lives on this, who have really grown up on this. This is their culture. It’s a lot bigger than what the charts are presenting it as, but at the same time I’m still happy about it, I’m still thankful because it’s a step in the right direction.
On Fela Kuti being the Afrobeat originator
I keep on letting everybody know that Afrobeat was done by one person and one person only, which is Fela Kuti. The rest of what we hear today is Afropop, Afro-hip-hop, Afro-whatever – you know, Afro-fusion. They decided to use the word ‘Afrobeats’ to put it all under one umbrella, which is cool, but you have to make sure it gets to the people who really do this.
Right now it’s coming across as some watered down thing that feels like a consolation prize. I don’t really believe in consolations. I believe in wins and losses.
Read full issue here.
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