Afrobeats: Burna Boy And Fireboy DML Win At 2023 BMI London Awards

BY JO Mensah October 3, 2023 7:16 PM EDT
Afrobeats stars Fireboy DML and Burna Boy
Fireboy DML (L) and Burna Boy won at the 2023 BMI London Awards Photo source: Twitter/@burnaboy, @fireboydml

Afrobeats, the eclectic music genre from Africa making waves across the globe, is continuing its upward trajectory following a number of the new wave’s trailblazers receiving accolades for their hardwork.

Artistes in this genre have attained global recognition and won reputable awards with Nigerian singer Rema recently winning an MTV VMAs for his Calm Down remix with Selena Gomez. This seeming recognition has opened the doors for African acts to rub shoulders with top artistes in other genres.

The latest feat of recognition comes from two of Afrobeats’ most acclaimed stars, Burna Boy and Fireboy DML, who were named among the winners at the 2023 BMI London Awards.

Burna Boy and Fireboy DML’s songs among the Most Performed Works

At the awards held on October 3, Nigerian stars Burna Boy and Fireboy DML were recipients of the ‘Most Performed Work of the Year’ awards presented to over 20 songs.

Burna Boy’s Last Last, the first single from his sixth studio album, Love, Damini, won him the award. Released in May 2022, the song samples American singer Toni Braxton’s 2000 single He Wasn’t Man Enough, for which its writers LaShawn Daniels, Harvey Mason Jnr, and brothers Fred Jerkins III and Darkchild are credited by Burna Boy.

For Fireboy, it was the remixed version of his Peru song with English singer Ed Sheeran that did the trick for him. Released on December 21, 2021, the song blew up to become a monstrous hit.

What is the BMI London Awards?

The BMI Awards are presented annually by Broadcast Music, Inc. honoring songwriters, composers, and music publishers in various genres.

The London edition rewards music creators in the United Kingdom and Europe responsible for the most performed songs of the past year.

Besides Burna Boy and Fireboy, another Nigerian record producer, Richard Isong, aka P2J, scooped the Impact Award.

British legend, Gary Kemp bagged the ‘Icon Award’ while American singer Doja Cat’s Afrobeat-themed song, Woman, won the Song of the Year award.

Burna Boy headlines AfroNation 2023

Meanwhile, Burna Boy will be playing at one of the biggest music festivals that celebrates Afrobeats despite his seeming disdain for the genre.

The Last Last hitmaker is billed to headline the 2023 AfroNation festival scheduled for December in his home country of Nigeria.

Organizers of the music festival have announced the “African Giant”, as some fans call him, as the main star for the December 19-20 event to be held in Lagos.

He is joined by Nigerian compatriots Seyi Vibez, Flavour, British rapper JHus, and Ghana’s Black Sherif as the first set of artistes billed to thrill Afrobeats lovers at the festival.