Notable African Music Superstars React to Burna Boy’s Interview on Afrobeats

Notable African Music Superstars React to Burna Boy’s Interview on Afrobeats


Prominent Nigerian musician Burna Boy’s recent interview with Apple Music has sparked a significant response from fellow artists and industry figures.

In the interview, conducted ahead of the release of his album “I Told Them,” Burna Boy discussed his perspective on Afrobeats, a genre he believes lacks substance.

This viewpoint has ignited discussions and reactions not only within Nigeria but also among notable African music superstars.

Pheelz Expresses Displeasure

One of the first to respond was music artist and producer Pheelz.

Taking to social media, Pheelz shared his thoughts on Burna Boy’s comments.


He expressed his disappointment and skepticism regarding Burna Boy’s assertion that Afrobeats lacked substance.

Pheelz’s tweet suggested that he found the statement puzzling and disheartening.

> No substance? Hmmm ????????
> — Pheelz???????????? (@Pheelz) August 22, 2023

Bizzle Osikoya Calls for Media Training

Music executive Bizzle Osikoya also entered the conversation, highlighting the importance of proper communication with overseas media.

He suggested that Nigerian artists should undergo training to effectively convey their thoughts and ideas, avoiding statements that could be misinterpreted or cause concern.


Osikoya’s perspective underlined the significance of maintaining a positive and accurate image when engaging with international audiences.

Bankuli’s Dissatisfaction

Grammy-nominated performer Bankuli expressed his dissatisfaction with Burna Boy’s statement in a series of posts on social media.

Through his tweets, Bankuli clarified the terms “HOUSE NIa” and “SUBSTANCE,” providing definitions that shed light on the context of the ongoing discussion.

His posts suggested that he disagreed with Burna Boy’s characterization of Afrobeats and its artists as lacking depth or identity.

> HOUSE NIa – A black person that does their best to please white people even if it means disowning their own racial identity.
> SUBSTANCE – to lacks depth or solidity in their character, ideas, or actions
> — Bankulli (Grammy Nominated) (@bankulli) August 23, 2023


Joey Akan’s Perspective on ‘Substance’

Music critic Joey Akan offered a nuanced perspective on the concept of “substance” in the context of Afrobeats.

He highlighted that the notion of substance is subjective and can vary based on evolving artistic expressions.

Akan emphasized that Afrobeats has evolved from its past, with contemporary artists addressing important themes such as mental health and societal issues in their work.

Akan also alluded to Burna Boy’s strategic narrative when promoting his music to a global audience.

RE: Burna Boy and Nigerian music lack of substance.


Whenever Burna Boy has to sell a new album to a foreign, Westernised market, he finds a divisive narrative to bestow him exceptionalism in a market that does not know his backstory or lack proper context to process his…
> — Joey Akan (@JoeyAkan) August 23, 2023

The responses from these notable African music figures showcase the diversity of opinions within the industry regarding Burna Boy’s statement on Afrobeats.

The discussions that have emerged highlight the evolving nature of the genre and the different perspectives held by those deeply engaged in the music scene.

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