Sunday evening may have seen one of Africa’s contemporary champions, Burna Boy outstripped by one of its vanguards, the Beninese singer, songwriter and activist, Angelique Kidjo in the Best World Music Album category at the Grammys; but the African Giant album strides on.
A new psychedelic music video, filled with flashes ‘Secret’ featuring US singer Jeremih and Jamaican dancehall star Serani, is available on youtube and has racked up over one million views since its upload. The Nigerian afro-fusion superstar is bringing the African diaspora together, mixing different art forms – a positive move in today’s digital music streaming world, spreading the afrobeats unique style into playlists of music fans across all cultures.
The near-miss no doubt is a chance for the budding superstar to grow and work harder. The validation came in his being acknowledged by the award winner herself in her acceptance speech. Magnanimous in victory, the veteran performer, Angélique Kidjo said “Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generation of artists coming from Africa is going to take you by storm and the time has come,” she said. “This is for Burna Boy.” She continued, “Burna Boy is among these young artists that come from Africa that are changing the way our continent is perceived and the way African music has been the bedrock for every music.” in recognition of the ascendancy of this one of continent’s new generation of artists and creators.
Some whimsical commentary on Burna Boy not clinching the award express satisfaction with the outcome, however, claiming that the young star who some already see as overconfident would become insufferable upon winning what some consider the apex accolade in the global contemporary music industry. In any case, the young creator’s moves on the global scene continue to cause waves, especially throughout the Diaspora.
In featuring American Jeremih and Serani, this new visual for ‘Secret’ continues to demonstrate the maxim by legendary afrobeat, maestro and revolutionary, Fela Kuti who is one of Burna boy’s key influences; that “music is the weapon.” In this case a weapon for unification and the construction of cultural bridges with soft power.
The visual offering from Burna Boy strategically unites young creators from different branches of the African diaspora and facilitates an exchange that makes it easier for the communities they represent and their combined fan bases to build common ground.
Artist: Burna Boyft Jeremih and Serani
Label: EMPIRE, WMG (on behalf of Atlantic Records)