Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy, has spoken of the palpable relief that swept through him when he won the Grammy in the Best Global Music Album category on March 14, 2021.
“I felt very relieved, a lot of relief because I deserved it,” Burna Boy says straight-faced in an interview with the BBC. “So if I didn’t get it when I was hoping, a situation wouldn’t happen where it’s like I wouldn’t get what I deserve again, you know?” he adds, referencing the previous year when he missed out on winning the award.
Burna Boy hit the music scene in 2012, after releasing his debut album L.I.F.E. He realised afterwards that his music touched a number of people and transcended several cultures.
“It’s bigger than me and that’s when it kind of hit me that this is not a hobby anymore, you used to do this on the streets and everyone would be going crazy, but now I don’t see anyone better than you so it’s like this is serious now,”he says. MBurna Boy, Tiwa Savage to perform at BBC 1Xtra Live. (Within Nigeria)
On the impact of winning a Grammy for him and other African artists, he says “it just shows….like you know, anything is possible and whatever situation you may be in, and whatever environment you find yourself does not really determine your future and what you are going to do.
“It doesn’t stop you from not just considering your dreams, you know. ‘Cause at the end of the day, we are in an environment that is very discouraging; you understand, an environment that doesn’t even believe in itself before they even think of believing in you.”
Burna Boy also spoke of why the album that won him the Grammy was so important for him and why African artists should continue telling their own stories.
“It’s always important for me to make music and bodies of work as much as possible because for me that is what will be left behind when I’m not here. Burna Boy takes a swipe at those who prayed for him not to win Grammy (CNN)
“That’s going to be my footprints on the world. I believe at every step of my life to create a body of work that narrates and explains that time of my life.
“Because our stories have always been twisted and told and most of the time our stories have been twisted into the western world and then white faces have been put on the real characters; do you understand?
“Now is the time to overturn all that because finally we have a generation of Africans who is not going to stand for that. You understand?
“So what better time to start to do, to change the narrative back into the truth,” he adds.