Burna Boy has done exceedingly well from winning both a BET Award and a AFRIMA Award. The Nigerian Artist is definitely living the African Dream.
But, do number one hits, and winning multiple awards define success or create longevity for an artist?
From his humble beginnings then creating club bangers with South Africa’s finest, for example, AKA, Da Les and Khuli Chana to name a few. Burna has also scaled the international fence and managed to work with Jorja Smith and Y.G. for his album African Giant.
At this point, one can’t help but wonder.
Has Burna Boy reached his peak?
Or is he still on his way to the way to the top? To explain my point I shall use a Business Model.
Looking at his career like a product cycle. Burna Boy is currently in between the maturity and decline level of his career meaning that currently his demand or relevancy is in decline.
Here’s why I think Burna might not make it to legend status.
Mans’ is international now
Thanks to his globally recognised wins; Burna Boy is up against Pop relevant artists like Doja Cat, DaBaby and Megan Thee Stallion who are dominating the charts with more urban, catchy and conventional sounds.
The last we heard from Burna Boy after the African Giant album in 2019 was a World Music sounding single titled ‘Wonderful’ which didn’t give off Pop energy although, it did shout out the ‘motherland’.
After gaining international notoriety, Burna Boy got radio interviews with American stables like Power 105.6 and HOT 97.
Oluwa kept the conversations on the surface and whenever serious issues were brought up, he seemed to find a way out of it neutrally. Some would think the diplomatic attitude makes for great PR. They would be right.
But most icons are infamously remembered for their strong personalities and opinions; however unpopular.
Fans yearn for faves who have opinions.
Celebrities with a point of view; someone who can make a change, make a difference. Not just to look cool and promote a lifestyle. Based on fan-culture, an artist needs to have the depth that inspires or influence.
Burna Boy is found wanting on this one.
Awards aren’t the finish line
To be very frank winning awards is becoming a norm at this point, good singers and terrible singers have won awards but only a true artist has managed to stand the test of time. Taking a look at the Billboard Charts, he has been there for one week and was placed number 47. On the continent, he was number one in 6 countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana. It is great to see Oluwa rise but if we really want to grow our industry we need to work on how we strategize and stop allowing external recognition such as airplay and award ceremonies to dictate how we work.
Oksalayo, the music needs to be in front always and that’s what makes star-power that lasts.
No matter what!
Unless you’re into that other stuff.