Burna boy at his studio in Lagos, Nigeria. Reuters
Modern African music is altering perceptions of the continent as part of a global cultural shift that marks a "big moment", Nigerian music artist Burna Boy said after hailing his first Grammy award.
Burna Boy was awarded a Grammy for the Best Global Music Album this month for 'Twice As Tall' which was released last year.
He is part of a generation of Nigerian music artists, which include Wizkid and Davido, that has enjoyed global success in recent years as proponents of the Afrobeats sound.
The African genre is now almost as likely to be heard in London or Los Angeles as it is in Lagos.
"It's a big moment and a big time for African music and Africans in general," said Burna Boy, during an interview at his home in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos.
The artist, whose real name is Damini Ogulu, said his award was part of a "domino effect" that gives Africans more control over the way they are perceived through technology, as streaming services take the continent's arts to a global audience.
"I didn't even want to be African when I was little," he said. "I wanted to be anything but who I was, because who we are wasn't really the cool thing to be," said the artist, who grew up in southern Nigeria and moved to London as a child before returning to the west African country.
He said his win showed that African music was attracting worldwide respect.
The Grammys were originally supposed to take place on Jan. 31 but were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Beyoncé earned her 28th Grammy on Sunday, picking up honors like best R&B performance for "Black Parade," best music video for "Brown Skin Girl" as well as best rap performance and best rap song for "Savage," with Megan Thee Stallion.
The pandemic scenario in Africa is taking on grim proportions as each day passes. Africa makes up about 3.3 per cent of the global total of confirmed virus cases, but this is believed to be just a fraction of the actual cases on the continent of 1.3 billion people.
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Shreena Patel attended Brunel University and the University of Arts London to study fine art, graphics, and multimedia technology & design.