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Burna Boy praised for achievements rightfully mine – Seun Kuti



Grammy-nominated Afrobeat star Seun Kuti has voiced his frustration over what he sees as the media’s tendency to overshadow his and his family’s contributions to the Nigerian music scene, often giving undue credit to Burna Boy.

In a candid interview with The Public Republic, Kuti recalled that despite Burna Boy being hailed as the first Nigerian artist to perform at Coachella in 2020, he had already made his mark at the festival back in 2012. He also pointed out that before Burna Boy’s acclaimed album ‘African Giant’ earned a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album, his elder brother, Femi Kuti, had been nominated multiple times in the same category.

Kuti highlighted the snub of his own 2018 album ‘Black Times,’ which garnered a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album but was ignored by African award organizers. Adding to his grievances, he noted that despite contributing to Janelle Monáe’s ‘Age of Pleasure,’ which was up for Album of the Year at the 2024 Grammys, his name was conspicuously absent from Nigerian media reports on the country’s Grammy nominees.

“My brother [Femi Kuti] has been nominated at the Grammys multiple times. They’ve nominated me, I was also nominated in the last edition. It was only my name that they [Nigerian media] didn’t mention among the Nigerian artists who were nominated for the 66th Grammys. That’s what they do every time as if I’m from Togo,” Kuti remarked. “That’s how they said Burna Boy was the first Nigerian artist to play in Coachella in 2020 where I played in 2012 as if I’m from Togo.”

Kuti’s outburst underscores a growing tension within the Nigerian music industry, where the achievements of pioneering artists like himself and his family are sometimes overshadowed by the meteoric rise of newer stars.