Born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu on 2 July 1991 in Port Harcourt Nigeria, Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E (2013).
His father was a manager of a welding company and his mother worked as a translator. His grandfather Benson Idonije was once the manager of the late internationally recognized music icon, Fela Kuti.
Ogulu grew up in southern Nigeria and began making his own beats using FruityLoops. He completed high school near Lagos and relocated to London to further his studies.
His music career kickstarted when Aristokrat Records released his debut studio album L.I.F.E on August 12, 2013. It served as the follow-up to his second mixtape, Burn Identity (2011). L.I.F.E sold 40,000 copies on the first day of its release.
Aristokrat Records later sold the album’s marketing rights to Uba Pacific for 10 million Naira. The album’s release was preceded by five singles: “Like to Party”, “Tonight”, “Always Love You”, “Run My Race” and “Yawa Dey”.
L.I.F.E featured guest appearances from 2face Idibia, M.I, Timaya, Olamide, Reminisce and Wizkid. Nigeria Entertainment Today ranked the album 10th on their list of the 12th best albums of 2013. The music of L.I.F.E draws heavily from the music of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley.
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who applauded its production. It was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In August 2013, L.I.F.E peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
In 2014, Burna Boy split from Aristokrat records and created his own record label called Spaceship Entertainment. He released his second album On a Spaceship on 25 November 2015. In September 2016, he released the 7-track EP Redemption. Its lead single “Pree Me” debuted on Noisey.
Burna Boy’s fourth studio album African Giant was released on July 26, 2019. It has been supported by six singles: “Gbona”, “On the Low”, Killin Dem”, “Dangote”, “Anybody” and “Pull Up”. He began recording the album in 2018. He told Billboard magazine that the album is his most personal yet.
Burna Boy recently courted controversy when he made a very unnecessary post after Davido had declared himself and Wizkid as Africa’s greatest superstars. In a Snapchat post that has now been deleted, he wrote, “You cannot play football, everybody knows you cannot play football and you are an embarrassment to the team but your daddy bought the football team”.