In a recent interview with Hip TV, the acclaimed Nigerian artist Rema, also known as Divine Ikubor, opened up about the profound influences that have shaped his musical journey.
Rema paid tribute to four distinguished artists who have left an indelible mark on him.
These musical luminaries encompass a diverse range of genres and backgrounds, each contributing unique elements to Rema’s artistic vision.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: The Afrobeat Trailblazer
One of the names Rema reverently mentioned was the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a legendary pioneer in the afrobeat genre.
Fela’s influence on Rema is a testament to the enduring legacy of this iconic musician, whose socially conscious and rhythmically infectious music continues to resonate with artists across generations.
Fela’s commitment to musical innovation and his unapologetic approach to addressing societal issues have clearly struck a chord with Rema.
Kanye West: Pushing Creative Boundaries
The American rapper Kanye West emerged as another significant source of inspiration for Rema.
Kanye West’s boundary-pushing creativity and production prowess have consistently set him apart in the music industry.
For Rema, the ability to stretch the limits of artistic expression and embrace innovation is a quality that resonates deeply and motivates his own creative journey.
Burna Boy: The Inspirational Story
Rema also expressed his admiration for the Nigerian Afrobeats Grammy award-winning artist Burna Boy.
It is Burna Boy’s remarkable life story and ascent to international acclaim that deeply inspire Rema.
Burna Boy’s journey serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and determination, qualities that Rema undoubtedly sees as integral to his own path in the music industry.
Wizkid: The Self-Confident Icon
Last but not least, Rema cited Wizkid as a source of inspiration. Beyond his musical talents, Rema admires how Wizkid carries himself.
Wizkid’s self-confidence and presence within the music scene have left a lasting impression on Rema, offering a lesson in both artistry and personal presentation.
A Stand on Award Ceremonies
In a separate development, during his acceptance speech for the Best Male Artist of the Year award at the 2023 Headies Award ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia, Rema seized the opportunity to voice his views on award ceremonies within the Afrobeats genre.
His remarks followed in the wake of Burna Boy distancing himself from the “Afrobeats” label due to what he perceived as a lack of depth in the genre.
Rema emphasized the importance of supporting the institutions and organizations that contribute to artists’ success, including media houses and award organizers.
He made it clear that his presence at the awards was not solely about the accolades but rather about nurturing and sustaining the structures that underpin the industry.
In a rapidly evolving musical landscape, Rema recognized the significance of these institutions in providing artists with opportunities to shine.
Moreover, Rema underscored the need to embrace the diversity within the genre, referencing terms like “afrorave” and “afro this, afro that.”
He affirmed that regardless of the subgenre, Afrobeats artists will unite under the banner of Afrobeats awards, echoing the historical parallels with how reggae artists have navigated genre distinctions in the past.
Rema’s comments shed light on the evolving identity of Afrobeats and the critical role of artists and institutions in shaping its future trajectory.
His perspective offers a glimpse into the complexities and nuances of a genre constantly in flux, marked by a rich tapestry of influences and voices.