On the cover of the latest edition of TheWill Downtown Magazine is Afro-fusion singer, songwriter and record producer BNXN (formerly known as Buju).
Read Onah Nwachukwu, the editor’s note, “The NFT community is rapidly growing and has gotten to a point where we can no longer ignore it. Young creatives have tapped into this new financial freedom, and are making a killing selling their work as NFT. About a month ago, a video of a young National Youth Corper who photographed an old male drummer and sold it as NFT, surfaced, with the old drummer holding hundreds of thousands of naira- half the proceeds from the sale of his image.
“Our cover personality this week knows how important NFT is. BNXN @toyourears, formerly known as Buju, has his image as NFT, and let’s just say that it’s worth more than you can imagine. For the Gen Z artist dubbed ‘the king of features,’ it took a while before he could find his footing in the world of music. Although he was always talented, he didn’t have confidence in himself until much later.”
In this interview, he talks about his journey, from working in the IT industry to being the most sought-after feature artist. Read excerpts from the interview below:
On how he discovered his love for music:
The choir was always there for me. I was this young boy who fell in love with music mainly because I enjoyed the feeling of it and my dad used to keep CDs ranging from D’banj, Olu Maintain, 9ice, Tuface, Lucky Dube, Buju Banton, etc, everybody. So it was a no-brainer because I was also always glued to the TV 24/7 not just watching cartoons, but I loved music videos. I just used to love watching them, especially D’banj’s Why Me and Tongolo. So I went from that to writing rhymes in JS1; putting words together, miming, and all of that stuff. Then, I joined the choir at the age of 11 as soon as I got into high school. I remember this time when they told us to come to the cultural group. They asked if I had a talent and I started rapping. But I was always mumble rap. It wasn’t the best lyrics, but it was doing it for a lot of people. I was the best rapper at the school.
On how Burna Boy ever came into the picture:
L’enu was crazy! If you had an ear for good music, you’d understand why Burna loved L’enu. It was a great song. Apparently, at the time, Burna had been looking for me but I didn’t know because my phone was bad at the time so reaching out to me was crazy. After I repaired my phone, a number called and was like ‘Burna Boy wants to see you…’ but I hung up on the number because what kind of play is that? Later my friend called me up and told me Burna’s team was looking for me but after that time I didn’t hear back from them. A few days later the same unknown number called me again and said, ‘this is the last time I’m going to call you. Burna wants to see you.’ I ask where; they gimme the location and I go there. I’m just there chilling in the parlour when he just casually walks in with a towel around his waist and asks who be the Buju guy?
E first turn my head because I was dying. I was in-between screaming and keeping my composure and my guy was like, that’s him and he said ‘oh, I like your music.’ and it was as if I was floating. Burna had liked the song so much that he made them play it in the club four times. So he asked if he wanted us to work on more stuff or if he should jump on L’enu remix. I chose the remix but he still wanted us to work on more stuff.
Read the full interview here.