Burna Boy, an award-winning Afro-fusion singer, says he didn’t want to be identified as African when he was young because of the racial discrimination against people from the continent at the time.
He spoke in a chat with Reuters while reflecting on his recent Grammy win and the evolution of African music.
The ‘African Giant’ crooner also recounted how he was bullied at school in London when he was young because of his African origin.
“I didn’t even want to be African when I was little. I wanted to be an American… anything but who I was, because who we are wasn’t really the cool thing to be. Back in the days when l was schooling in London, you see people trying to bully Africans,” he said.
The singer said his recent feat at the 2021 Grammy Awards was indicative of the fact that Africans have become a powerful force in the world including in the music landscape.
“It’s a big moment and a big time for African music and Africans in general. You can’t mention the top five musicians in the world without throwing me or an African in there. Now we’re eye to eye with the people we used to look up to,” he added.
The music star also noted that the award was part of a “domino effect” that gives Africans more control over the way they have hitherto been perceived through technology.
“At the end of the day, the truth never needs validation. And the truth is that we, Africans are the root, beginning and the seed,” he said.
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