Burna Boy: How 29-Year-old Indian Rapper Inspired Afrobeats’ Star To Global Success

BY JO Mensah October 11, 2023 4:05 PM EDT
Burna Boy and Sidhu Moose Wala
Burna Boy took inspiration from Sidhu Moose Wala Photo source: Instagram/@sidhu_moosewala, @burnaboygram

Afrobeats star Burna Boy is known to be fond of legendary Nigerian musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who is credited as the founder of Afrobeat. Burna’s fondness stems from his grandfather Benson Idonije’s role as Fela’s manager.

The City Boys hitmaker loves Fela so much that he got the late musician’s face tattooed on his arm. He explained in an interview with GQ Magazine that he looks up to Fela when it comes to music, hence the tattoo to idolize him.

“…Then this is Fela Kuti, he is like my hero, he is like the best musician that ever lived,” he reportedly said of of the legend.”

While he may hold Fela in high esteem, the late Nigerian star is not the only inspiration that got Burna Boy to where he is at the moment.

Late Indian rapper Sidhu Moose Wala also inspired Burna

According to Burna, he also looked up to the late Indian rapper Sidhu Moose Wala, who was assassinated in 2022 at the age of 29,  as one of his creative inspirations whenever he felt exhausted, music-wise.

In an interview with BBC Radio’s 1XTRA, the 32-year-old revealed he got attracted to Moose Wala’s songs through the fans of the late rapper. After getting to know Wala, Burna was motivated to explore his own sound and push the boundaries of his craft.

“He made me want to be a better artist…”I felt like I’ve already spoken about everything. I already said everything [in songs]. But Sidhu brought another angle to my musicality. He is a legend. The legend of Punjab. There will never be another one.”

Watch the video of Burna Boy’s interview below:

Burna Boy announces I Told Them…Tour

In other news, Burna Boy  is seeking to consolidate the gains he has made with his new album, I Told Them…

The singer who became the first-ever international Afrobeats artiste to top the UK Albums Chart – a feat he achieved in September–, has announced a tour to promote the album.

Dubbed the I Told Them…Tour, the Live Nation-produced series of concerts will kickstart on November 3, 2023.

Burna Boy headlines 2023 AfroNation festival in Nigeria

The two-month break in the tour schedule was not explained but it is understood that Burna Boy will be attending to other engagements within that period.

Already, organizers of Afrobeats music festival, Afro Nation, 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.