On Saturday June 3, Burna Boy played to a sold-out crowd at the London Stadium making him not only the first African artist to headline a UK stadium but also selling out in the process.
About 80,000 fans watched the Nigerian star’s sellout show with a setlist spanning his decade-long career, from early hit Like to Party to the anthemic Last Last.
“Words can’t explain my emotions right now… there’s nothing else I’d dreamed more of,” said the Grammy-winning star, who grew up partly in London.
Rave reviews came in for the Nigerian‘s star-studded show featuring Stormzy and Dave among others. The show was reported to be carnival-like. Burna Boy, whose real name Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, is a singer, songwriter and music producer known for his Afrobeat music.
Afrobeat has become more and more popular worldwide, combining African styles such as Highlife, with more Western styles such as jazz and soul.
But whereas in the music of Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti, these early influences are more prominent, there is more than just a splash of Hip-Hop and Jamaican Dancehall style in what Burna Boy does.
Warlo posted a clip of Saturday’s concert on Twitter with the award-winning artist appearing clearly overwhelmed by the crowd, saying: “Look at Burna Boy’s reaction as the crowd sing It’s Plenty. Super proud and amazing.”
From the video clip, one could also get some idea of the elaborate staging and celebratory style of the show. Burna Boy successfully unites musical styles as well as demographics as his show in London proves, with one onlooker reported by as saying:
“I loved seeing how multi-racial the crowd was, united by the power of Burna Boy’s music. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s something the greatest performers of all time like Beyoncé and Michael Jackson have been able to achieve. And now Burna Boy’s done it.”
Another said, “Expect to see a continued ascent for this style and artist as they step outside their native borders and sell their Afrobeat celebration to the world.”