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Burna Boy: Biography

Burna-Boy

Ebunoluwa Damini Ogulu Born in Nigeria on July 2, 1991, Burna Boy is a well-known Afrobeat and reggae-dancehall singer, composer, live performer, and recording artist. After “Like to Party” was released in 2012, he became well-known. 2017 saw the signing of Burna Boy to Warner Music Group internationally and Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States. Outside (2018), his third studio album, marks his major-label debut. Burna Boy’s fifth studio album “Twice as Tall” won Best World Music Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. At the BET Awards in 2021, he was named Best International Act.

Early Life & Education

The first child of Mr. and Mrs. Ogulu, Damini Ogulu was born on July 2, 1991 in Ahaoda, Rivers State, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His mother was a translator, while his father had a welding business. Benson Idonije, his grandfather, formerly oversaw Fela Kuti. He is the oldest of three siblings, all of whom are females, and the only son of his parents. He came from a family that valued music but placed an emphasis on education.
Ogulu was up in southern Nigeria, where he started using FruityLoops at the age of 10 when a classmate recommended it.

He studied at Agbara’s Corona Secondary School. In his second year of high school, Burna Boy started a band that played live shows. then moved to London to continue his education. From 2008 to 2009, Burna Boy studied media technology at the University of Sussex in the UK. Burna Boy studied media communications and culture from 2009 to 2010 at Oxford Brooke’s University in the UK. however he left school and returned to Nigeria.
Before obtaining a record deal contract with Aristocrat Records and beginning his actual professional music career, he completed a one-year internship with Rhythm 93.7 FM in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in the south of Nigeria.

Career

In 2010, Ogulu, then 19 years old, flew to southern Nigeria, where producer LeriQ, a mutual friend, maintained a studio. After spending the most of his adolescence listening to American stars like DMX, this was the time when he started to connect with the music of his home nation. He studied the dancehall and reggae music his father liked as well as his grandfather’s preference for Afro-beat music (who had previously served as Fela Kuti’s initial manager). Burna Boy developed a fusion of genres as a result of his new discoveries, which would later become known as his signature sound.

On August 12, 2013, Burna Boy’s first studio album, L.I.F.E, was made available. It was the follow-up to his second mixtape, Burn Identity (2011). 40,000 copies of the record were sold on the first day it was available. Later, Aristokrat Records paid Uba Pacific 10,000,000 for the marketing rights. Five singles—”Like to Party,” “Tonight,” “Always Love You,” “Run My Race,” and “Yawa Dey”—were released before the album’s official release.
Leriq is the sole producer of L.I.F.E, which also includes contributions from 2face Idibia, M.I., Timaya, Olamide, Reminisce, and Wizkid. The album came in at number 10 on Nigeria Entertainment Today’s choice of the top 12 albums of 2013.

He collaborated with producer Juls in 2017 to create the song “Rock Your Body.” The remainder of the year saw the release of other singles, including “Sekkle Down,” which featured J Hus, “GBA,” “Streets of Africa,” “Koni Baje,” and “GBA.” After releasing the Lily Allen-supported single “Heaven’s Gate” in early January 2018, Burna followed up that month with the release of his third album, Outside. A year later, he made a comeback with the tune “Killin Dem,” which he co-wrote with Zlatan. It was eventually included in his fourth album, African Giant, which was released in July 2019. It also features other singles like “Dangote” and “On the Low.” The 62nd Grammy Awards’ Best World Music record category included the record in its list of nominees.

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Burna Boy appeared on the song “Sunshine Riptide” from Fall Out Boy’s seventh studio album MANIA (2018) in January 2018.
The multi-talented vocalist continued to work hard to create quality music, and on January 26, 2018, we saw the fruit of his labor as he released his third studio album, named Outside.

Brown Boy Afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, and road rap make up the majority of Outside, which is referred to be a mixtape. J Hus, Lily Allen, and Mabel, three English singers, contribute guest vocals to the song. Six singles—”Rock Your Body,” “Streets of Africa,” “Koni Baje,” “Sekkle Down,” “Heaven’s Gate,” and “Ye”—were released in support of Outside. Leriq, Baba Stiltz, Jae 5, Juls, Chopstix, Steel Banglez, Fred Gibson, Phantom, and FTSE were in charge of its production. The album received favorable reviews and was named the top Nigerian album of 2018 by Pulse Nigeria and Nigerian Entertainment Today. During the 2018 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, it took home Album of the Year. Outside made its debut in February 2018 at position 3 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. The album’s lead hit “Ye” finished the year as the most popular song in most Nigerian media’ year-end lists.

At London’s O2 Academy Brixton on October 7, 2018, Burna Boy played for a sold-out audience. He staged a pop-up event the day before the performance at Red by Little Farm where he sold a limited number of boxes of his Space Puffs cereal along with personalized notepads, lighters, and graphic t-shirts. Burna Boy was named one of Spotify’s New Afro Hub Takeover Artists on October 9, 2018. He was designated YouTube’s Artist on the Rise for three months at the same time as the announcement.
Burna Boy and the Los Angeles-based electronic duo DJDS collaborated on the four-track joint EP Steel & Copper, which was released on March 21.

Six singles from Burna Boy’s fourth studio album, “African Giant,” including “Gbona,” “On the Low,” “Killin Dem,” “Dangote,” “Anybody,” and “Pull Up,” were released on July 26, 2019. 2018 saw the start of the album’s recording.
The record, he claimed to Billboard magazine, is his most intimate to date. He initially hosted a private listening session in Los Angeles and announced intentions to release the album in April 2019. On social media, pictures and videos from the listening session were posted.

The original track listing for African Giant was 16 tracks. Burna Boy headlined the second part of his African Giant tour, African Giant Returns, to support the record. The song “My Money, My Baby” by Burna Boy was featured on the Queen & Slim soundtrack. Fela Kuti’s 1972 song “Shakara” is sampled in “My Money, My Baby,” which is referred to be a “Afrobeat-tinged track.”

Burna Boy Singles

  • Shobeedo (Freestyle) a non-album single – 2011.
  • Like to Party produced by Leriq in the album L.I.F.E – 2012.
  • Tonight produced by Leriq in the album L.I.F.E – 2012.
  • Run My Race produced by Leriq in the album L.I.F.E – 2013.
  • Yawa Dey produced by Leriq in the album L.I.F.E – 2013.
  • Celebrate produced byGospelOnDeBeatz as a non-album single – 2013.
  • Won Da Mo (featuring D’banj) produced by DeeVee as a non-album single – 2013.
  • Rockstar produced by Leriq as a non-album single – 2014.
  • Don Gorgon produced by Spellz as a non-album single – 2014.
  • Check and Balance produced by Spellz as a non-album single – 2014.
  • The Realest produced by Simba Tagz in the album On a Spaceship – 2015.
  • Rizzla produced by J Fem in the album On a Spaceship – 2015.
  • Pree Me produced by Leriq in the Redemption EP – 2016.
  • Mandem Anthem produced by Fresh as a non-album single – 2016.
  • Gba produced by Chopstix as a non-album single – 2017.
  • Koni Baje produced by P2J in the album Outside – 2017.
  • Rock Your Body produced by Juls in the album Outside – 2018.
  • Heaven’s Gate (featuring Lily Allen) produced by Fred Gibson in the album Outside – 2018.
  • Sekkle Down (featuring J Hus) produced by Jae5 in the album Outside – 2018.
  • Devil in California produced by P2J in the album Outside – 2018.
  • Ye produced by Phantom in the album Outside – 2018.
  • On the low produced by Kelp in the African Giant album – 2018
  • Gbona produced by Kelp in the African Giant album – 2018
  • Killin Dem  (featuring Zlatan) produced by Kelp in the African Giant album – 2018
  • Dangote produced by Kelp in the African Giant album– 2019
  • Anybody produced by P2j in the African Giant album – 2019
  • Pull Up produced by Kelp in the African Giant album – 2019
  • Money Play produced by Mr.kleb non-album single  – 2020
  • Odogwu Produced by Kelp non-album single – 2020
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Burna Boy’s Music Videos.

  • P.A.I.D directed by Sesan in 2015.
  • Pree Me directed by Meji Alabi in 2016.
  • Déjà vu directed by Clarence Peters in 2017.
  • Hallelujah directed by Mat Max in 2017.
  • Heaven’s Gate/Sekkle Down directed by Clarence Peters in 2018.
  • Ye directed by Clarence Peters in 2018.
  • Gbona directed by Clarence Peters in 2018.
  • On the Low directed by  Meji Alabi in 2018.
  • Killin Dem produced by  Prodigeezy in 2019.
  • Dangote directed by Clarence Peters in 2019.
  • Anybody directed by Clarence Peters in 2019.
  • Odogwu directed by TG Omori. In 2020.

Burna Boy Featured in

  • Amorawa with Wande Coal in a non-album single – 2013.
  • Gba Gbe E with DJ Spinall in a non-album single – 2014.
  • Temper with Skales in a non-album single – 2016.
  • Ayepo (Remix) with Airboyin a non-album single– 2017.
  • Gbefun One Time with Skales in the album The Never Say Never Guy – 2017.
  • Name On It with Four of Diamonds – 2018.
  • Sunshine Riptide with Fall Out Boy in the album Mania in 2018.
  • Your Choice with Lily Allen in the album No Shame – 2018.
  • Serious with DJ Spinall in the album Iyanu – 2018.  
  • Baba Nla with Larry Gaaga (also featuring 2Baba and D’banj) in a non-album single – 2018.
  • All My Life with Major Lazer in the album Africa Is the Future – 2018.
  • Legend with Show Dem Camp in the album Palm Wine Music 2 – 2018.
  • Champion Lover with Peruzzi in the album Heartwork – 2018.
  • Location with Dave in the album Psychodrama – 2019.
  • No Option with Dj snake in the album Carte Blanche – 2019
  • Be Honest with Jorja Smith in the album TBA – 2019
  • December with IDK in the album Is He Real – 2019
  • All in with wretch 32 in the album Upon Reflection – 2019
  • Own it with stormzy Ed Sheeran in the album Heavy Is the Head – 2019
  • Play Play with J hus on the album Big Conspiracy – 2020
  • We must Groove with 2baba in the album Warriors – 2020

Burna Boy Albums.

  • L.I.F.E – 2013
  • On a Spaceship – 2015
  • Outside – 2018
  • African Giant – 2019
  • Twice as tall – 2020
  • Love, Damini – 2022
  • I Told Them – 2023
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Mixtapes

  • Burn Notice – 2011
  • Burn Identity – 2011

Ep/Album

  • Redemption – 2016
  • Steel and Copper (with DJDS) – 2019

Endorsements Deals

Being a brand ambassador for businesses is one way to identify a successful musician, and Burna Boy is no exception as he has received his fair share of endorsements. He currently represents Globacom, Nigerian Breweries Plc, and Mortell Cognac as a brand ambassador.

Awards & Nominations

  • Nominated at The Headies for Next Rated in 2013.
  • Best New Act of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2013.
  • South South Music Awards named Like to Party as Best Pop in 2013.
  • MTV Africa Music Awards honored him as the Best New Act in 2014.
  • Best R&B Single Nominee at the Headies 2014.
  • Nominated L.I.F.E at the Headies as the Best R&B/Pop Album in 2014.
  • Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year nominee at the Headies 2014.
  • L.I.F.E was nominated for the Album of the Year at the Headies 2014.
  • Nigeria Entertainment Awards nominated him for the Best Pop Artist of the Year in 2015.
  • L.I.F.E was named Best Album of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2015.
  • YouTube artist on the rise in 2018.
  • ‘Ye’ was named as Listener’s Choice at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival in 2019.
  • At the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival Ye was named as the Song of the Year in 2019.
  • He was named Best Male MVP at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival in 2019.
  • African Artiste of the Year at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival in 2019.
  • Best International Act at the BET Awards 2019.
  • Apple Music Up Next Artist in July 2019.
  • Killin Dem with Zlatan won Best Collaboration  in 2019
  • Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Award
  • Burna Boy won Song of the Year and Artist of the year also nominated for video of the year, Best Live Act, Best male  west Africa, and Crossing Boundaries with music at the African Muzik Magazine Awards in 2019
  • He won West African male artist of the Year, Album of the year (African Giant), Song of the year (Killin Dem), and was Nominated for Best Collaboration at All Africa music awards 2019
  • Burna boy won African Artist of the Year, Best Male MVP and was Nominated for Listener’s choice and Viewer’s choice at Soundcity MVP Awards Festival In 2020
  • In 2020 Burna boy was nominated for Best World Music Album (African Giant) and International Male Solo Artist at the Grammy Awards
  • Burna wins Best International Act at the MOBO Awards 2020.

Net worth

In addition to being a well-known musician internationally, Burna Boy has endorsement deals with brands like Globacom and Star Lager beer. Additionally, both domestically and internationally, his concerts routinely sell out. Therefore, a big net worth is anticipated for him.
Burna Boy is reportedly worth $10 million, although it is logical to assume that he is worth much more than that. Burna Boy packed out the O2 Arena in London, and that achievement brought in millions of dollars, not considering his continued sponsorship deals. A globe tour is part of Burna Boy’s marketing agreement for his 2019 album “African Giant,” the second leg of which he is about to start.

Remember that he has lucrative marketing agreements with American labels Atlantic Records and Warner Music. One of the most popular performers in Africa, Burna Boy has become a household name in the music industry.
According to estimates, Burna Boy is worth $10 million or more.

Burna Boy Social Media Handles

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