Burna Boy’s grandfather Benson Idonije, a former music critic and broadcaster has revealed that he is shocked by his grandson’s meteoric rise to fame since he begun his music career.
Benson, who was the first band manager of music legend Fela Kuti made this statement while speaking to Punch on Saturday Beats.
He claimed that when Burna Boy begun his music career, he never envisage him becoming this big, but after seeing the eclectic nature of his grandson’s music and performances, he knew that he was destined for greatness.
He said, “I did not envisage it initially but at some point, I knew that he was going to go very far because of the eclectic and elevated nature of his music. I didn’t know this from the beginning but at some point, I knew.”
Benson Idonije is very optimistic that Burna Boy would win the Grammy award for his category.
“I think Burna will win his category because his music is stronger (than the music of others) and his image is bigger.
“I think that the whole trajectory is leading to him winning the Grammy. I am very optimistic” he said.
Burna Boy was nominated in the Best World Music category alongside other A-list acts like Angelique Kidjo, Altin Gün, Bokanté & Metropole Orkest, and Nathalie Joachim and Spektral Quartet’s.
When quized about the relationship between Burna Boy and Fela Kuti, the former broadcaster said that the “African Giant” never met Fela because he was a child.
However, the inspiration came in high school when Burna Boy came to live with him in Lagos.
He said, “No, there was nothing like that, he’s just 28 years now and Fela died in 1997. At the time that Fela died, he was still very young.
“But what brought him closer to Fela was that when he was in secondary school, he spent most of his time with me in Lagos State. Fela’s music was all over the house and that was what he listened to a lot.
“He also listened to jazz, Miles Davies, Manu Dibango, Jimmy Hendrix and so on. My house was littered with Fela’s CDs and other types of music.
“He also has music in his blood; he was a member of his school band, but Fela’s influence started from my house. He didn’t grow up to meet Fela or interact with him.