Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu Rex born 2 July 1991 known professionally as Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
Burna Boy came to prominence with the release of his “Like to Party” in 2012, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E (2013).
Burna Boy was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria where his father managed a welding company and his mother worked as a translator.
His grandfather Benson Idonije once managed Fela Kuti. His mother Bose Ogulu would later become his manager.
Ogulu grew up in southern Nigeria and began making his own beats using FruityLoops. When Burna Boy was in secondary school, he formed a music band which performed at concerts.
He attended Corona Secondary School in Agbara and relocated to London to further his studies but dropped out because of his passion for music.
His love for music made his mother get him a job as an intern at a radio station. After work each day, Burna Boy would go to the studio to record songs. He always had his generator in his car’s trunk as a back up should power supply go off at the studio.
Burna Boy is the first child of his family. Not much is known of his family apart from the fact that he has a sister, Nissi Ogulu who also is into music.
Burna Boy rose to prominence in the music industry in 2012, after he released his hit single ‘Like to Party’ from his debut album L.I.F.E. Although the album was debuted on the 13th of August 2013 by Aristokrat Records, five singles from the album were released in 2012.
They sold 40,000 copies of L.I.F.E. on the first day of its release and sold its marketing rights to Uba Pacific for 10 million Naira. In August 2013, L.I.F.E peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
In 2014, Burna Boy split from Aristokrat records. In February 2015, he founded his own record label Spaceship Entertainment eight months after parting ways with Aristocrat Records.
He debuted his second album ‘On a Spaceship’ under his new record label on the 25th of November 2015.
His 7-track debut EP “Redemption” was released in September 2016; its lead single “Pree Me” debuted on Noisey
In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally.
He released his third studio album, “Outside” in 2018 which marked his major-label debut. Burna boy described Outside as a mixtape because it is a mix of Afro-beats, dancehall, reggae, and road rap. He featured J Hus, Lily Allen, and Mabel (all foreign singers) in the album.
“Outside” was produced by Leriq, Baba Stiltz, Jae 5, Juls, Chopstix, Steel Banglez, Fred Gibson, Phantom, and FTSE. The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart in February 2018.
On 21 March 2019, Burna Boy released a 4-track collaborative EP with Los Angeles-based electronic duo DJDS, titled Steel & Copper. It blends Burna Boy’s upbeat melodies with DJDS’ slinky trap beats. “Steel & Copper” combines elements of dancehall and reggae music with Afropop and trap.
On 24 June 2019, Burna Boy won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards. In July 2019, Burna Boy was announced as an Apple Music Up Next artist.
He recorded “Ja Ara E” (Yoruba: “wise up” or “use your head”) for Beyoncé‘s The Lion King: The Gift and was the only guest artist with their own track on the soundtrack album.
Burna Boy released his fourth studio album “African Giant” on 26 July 2019. Teh album housed songs like “Gbona”, “On the Low”, Killin Dem”, “Dangote”, “Anybody” and “Pull Up” amongst others.
“African Giant” won Album of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Music Awards and was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards though Burna Boy lost to Angelique Kidjo.
In the month of April 2020, Burna Boy announced he would be releasing his fifth studio album, “Twice as Tall” in the second half of 2020.
He released “Wonderful” in the month of 26th of June 2020, the first single off the forthcoming album.
He won the BET Award for the Best International Act making him the first African artist to win a BET in that category twice in a roll.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Language does Burna Boy speak?
Burna Boy often sings mainly in Yoruba and English. Though the singer also sang in other languages like Igbo and Zulu.
- Who is Burna Boy’s wife?
Burna Boy isn’t legally married but is publicly dating British rapper, Stefflon Don, and has on several occasions revealed that Stefflon Don is his wife. The music star made this known during an interview with Ebro on his show ‘Beats1’ on Hot 97 FM in the United States of America
- What is Burna Boy’s Net Worth?
According to Forbes, Burna Boy’s net worth is $3.5 million. Though the singer on Snap Chat claimed that he worth more and that the estimated net worth is just for his cars alone.
- Is Burna Boy Yoruba or Igbo?
Burna Boy is neither Yoruba nor Igbo but uses both languages in his songs. He is from Rivers state, a place with several different languages.
- Is Burna Boy dating?
Burna Boy is dating Stefflon Don, the couple has been together for more than a year.
- Who is Burna Boy’s Biological father?
Samuel Ogulu. His mother is Bose Ogulu who is also his manager.