Burna Boy: ‘Brothers in the US have been stripped of their knowledge of self’

The Nigerian pop superstar on Black Lives Subject, how British fanatics to find it more uncomplicated to music into his wavelength – and why everybody’s were given it incorrect about Muammar Gaddafi

Burna Boy may well be Africa’s greatest tune superstar, but if he speaks, it’s onerous to put precisely the place he’s from. Ask him about the USA, and a mid-Atlantic lilt comes into play; quiz him on his time in the United Kingdom, and he sounds extra like Skepta than King Sunny Ade. But if he talks about his cherished Nigeria, the wealthy tones of the west African nation are uncovered, and it’s this that has made him arguably the continent’s maximum sought-after musical export. “I don’t in point of fact discuss one language and I don’t handiest communicate a method. That presentations within the tune,” he says, relating to the truth that he sings in a mixture of Yoruba, Igbo and pidgin English. Is that to make a political level? “It’s now not a observation – it’s simply me being who I’m.” And who’s that precisely? The tune web site Pitchfork described him as an “everyman, native griot, world ambassador, party-starter”, however earlier than we will be able to to find out, we need to pay money for him.

Going in contact with Burna Boy isn’t simple. After a few false begins, his sister, who has been tasked with making sure the interview takes position, solutions the telephone. Because the handset is handed round, I am getting a excursion of the lounge in his Lagos house. It appears a bit of just like the Korova Milkbar from A Clockwork Orange, all geometric shapes and bursts of dazzling white. Then, after a couple of moments, the telephone is installed entrance of Burna Boy, who says hi earlier than choosing up a PS4 joypad and wearing on a recreation of Grand Robbery Auto. “I really like the helicopter, you already know,” he says, as I fight to strive against his consideration from the on-screen destruction. It’s rarely an encouraging get started. I’m instructed he hates it when reporters be expecting lengthy, detailed solutions if he feels a brief, curt reaction is all that’s wanted. “When you ask a query, he’s gonna resolution it truthfully, nevertheless it’s now not gonna be an overly lengthy resolution,” says a member of his workforce earlier than we get began. In spite of everything, on the other hand, it seems he has somewhat so much to mention.

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