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B Side, Music

Twice As Tall: A Prolific Grammy Streak For Burna Boy

  • eniola
  • 7th December 2020
Everything about Burna Boy exudes confidence. From his assertive mannerisms to his music — oozing with self-assured notoriety — his confident approach to life is hard to miss, and this ultimately boils down to experience. 


On “Level up”, the intro to his newest album Twice as Tall, Burna expressed his disappointment about failing to win the Grammy for the Best World Music Album category at the 62nd iteration of the award show. He further iterates his resilience, singing, “Cause the love make me stand up every time when me fall, Come back standing twice as tall.” The way he sees it, such experiences provide an opportunity to show determination and soar above disappointment.


Although Burna has been steadily progressing in the Nigerian music scenery since 2012, his meteoric rise to global recognition began with his third studio album Outside in January 2018. The album scored him an international hit with “Ye” and helped propel him to a much-coveted set at Coachella. A misconstrued ‘error’ on the Coachella line-up flier about Burna’s name font size made way for his outspoken assertion as an “African Giant” — a name he would later go on to use for his fourth studio album, African Giant.


While African Giant was seemingly the fan-favourite for the best world music Grammy, he lost to Angélique Kidjo, who graciously dedicated her win to Burna. “This is for Burna Boy,” she said in her acceptance speech, “[who is] among those young artists [who] came from Africa [who] are changing the way our continent is perceived.”


Perhaps not surprisingly, Twice As Tall, which Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs executively produced, received a Grammy nomination in the newly renamed Best Global Music Album category, making it Burna’s second nomination in a row.


In a preview of the Grammy Awards, Vibe magazine music editor Jon Caramanica gave some insight on the significance the award poses to many artists, highlighting the Grammy as “the end goal to win a kind of critical acclaim, as well as claim from fellow industry people.” Twice in a row as a Grammy nominee is an irrevocable agreement to Burna’s claim as “One of the best in Africa”; a testament that his music has had his intended impact on people and traversed. And while he faces strong contention in the race to the gramophone, should he win, he will become Nigeria’s second-ever Grammy winner after Sikiru Adepoju’s win a decade ago — an accomplishment of no little value.


While Burna may be every Nigerian’s favorite to win the award, the Grammys seemingly require strange alchemy going one’s way to win. Following African Giant’s grammy loss to Angelique Kidjo, Nigerian journalist Oris Aigbokhaevbolo gave some speculations about why Burna lost out. Reasons like; an unfamiliarity of his genre’s entirety with the Grammy voters and the existing advantage Angelique Kidjo had as a 9-time Grammy nominee. We’re hoping this time should be different for Burna as he has gained supposed popularity with the Grammy Academy coming a 2nd time. With unabashed optimism, he should emerge the winner in this category.

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