Nigeria’s Burna Boy revels in an overwhelming response to a sold-out performance in London

Damini Ogulu, afro fusion singer and songwriter, is better known by his stage name Burna Boy. Known for his smooth patois influenced delivery in a style reminiscent of notable music legends, Burna Boy has garnered fans with his original style and energetic performances.

With works that include hits like Like To Party, TonightYawa Dey, Run My RaceDon Gorgon, Soke, Pree Me and Heaven’s Gate, Burna Boy has shown his versatility with Dance-Hall, Afrobeat, R&B and Hip-Hop. However, his latest body of work, the L.P. Outside, released in January, is proving to be a crowd pleaser.

On 7 October, the artist experienced a massive turnout of fans at the O2 Academy Brixton as videos trending on Twitter from the concert showed a sea of phone lights from an audience singing along—acapella style—to his hit ‘Ye’ with little to no interference from the overwhelmed singer.

The headline concert saw Burna Boy make a grand entrance standing on a convertible car that he had drive him to the front of the stage. Thereafter, he proceeded to perform both old and new songs from his different projects, like Giddem, Halleluyah and Devil in California.

The energy in the audience was reminiscent of that experienced by fellow artistes Davido and Wizkid, who have both been selling out concerts and collaborating with acts across the world. But while comparisons have not escaped artist and fans, the buildup on the success of his latest album could be felt in the passion, energy and enthusiasm from the crowd.

Burna Boy had earlier embarked on his tour, Life On The Outside, which kicked off in Washington on the 30 May and rounded off in San Diego on the 17th of June. He also sold out the Gramercy Theatre, New York on 2 June and an over 5,000 capacity in Eventim Apollo. In addition, Burna Boy and his crew have been on a tour bus, travelling to each venue by road and throwing pop up performances for fans along the way.

The artist is clearly looking to stay off bad publicity. This year has seen him take more progressive steps from being constantly in the news for the wrong reasons, and instead focusing on his music and brand.

In June, the release of Kanye West’s latest studio album, Ye, led to a spike in streaming and a new found audience for Ye, the standout song off the Outside album. Nigerians have often called for this hit single to be adopted as the new national anthem of the country for its reflection of the state of mind of its citizens.

While there are no possibilities of that ever happening, the love and support that he enjoys among music lovers is undeniable, and after signing a deal in June, with Universal Music Publishing Group which also has agreements with artists like Eminem, Justin Timberlake, and Elton John, we can only assume the artist has his eyes on more.