One year after releasing his critically acclaimed fourth studio album, ‘African Giant’, Burna Boy is ready to thrill fans with his forthcoming album, “Twice As Tall” which has already scored a notable mention of American hip-hop icon Sean “Diddy” Combs as the executive producer.
While the world awaits the arrival on August 14, the Afrobeats superstar letting us in on all the details of the upcoming album, the featured artists, producers, and the representation of the African continent in a recent interview with New York Times.
From the recently shared tracklist, we can see that the album houses 15 tracks featuring international acts such as Sauti Sol, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Naughty by Nature, and Youssou N’Dour. While Anderson Paak and Timbaland joined Diddy for production credits.
In a trailer shared on his social media pages, Burna spoke with Diddy via Facetime. “I know you can’t wait till they open the world back up,” Diddy said to which Burna replied, “On God” while one of the songs played in the background.
“I’ve never picked up a pen and paper and written down a song in my life,” Burna Boy told The New York Times. “It all just comes, like someone is standing there and telling me what to say. It’s all according to the spirits. Some of us are put on this earth to do what we do.”
Further Speaking on the new album, he said that he is “basically continuing the mission I started, which is building a bridge that leads every Black person in the world to come together, and to make you understand that without you having a home base, you can’t be as strong as you are.”
Three-time Grammy winner, Diddy was brought in to provide “fresh ears” when the album was 80 per cent complete. “I’m on record that I like hit records. If they’re not hit records, I don’t like them,” Diddy who has worked with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Usher and the late The Notorious B.I.G said to US publication.
“A lot of times when an artist wants to be coached or pushed to maybe a greater level, that’s where I’ve come in,” he said. “He, as every artist, he wants his music to be heard by the world. He doesn’t care about crossing over. You know, he’s not trying to get hot. He’s not, like, ‘I want to be a big pop star’ — he’s already a star. He wants his music to be heard, his message, his people.”
Admiring Burna Boy for his style of music and the representation of Africa, Diddy said: The thing that I learned about him is the importance of what he’s doing for his nation and representing the people that aren’t really heard globally. Through this album, I think it’s important for Africa to be heard. And so it’s bigger than just an album. He’s not just on a musical artist trip. He’s a revolutionary. His conviction is serious.
According to the New York Times, “The songs on “Twice as Tall” hold echoes of Nigeria, South Africa, Jamaica and the United States… The momentum is crisp and nonstop as the songs draw on — among many other things — Zulu choir singing, electronic dance music, alt-R&B and the patterns of West African marimbas and Zimbabwean thumb pianos.”
Talking about the countries and cultures of Africa to uniting as one continent, he said, “I want my children to have an African passport, not a Nigerian passport… I do not identify with any tribe. I do not identify with any country. I do not identify with anything, really. I identify with the world in the universe — I believe I am a citizen of the world, and I have a responsibility to the world. But at the same time in the world, it’s my people who are really getting the short end of the stick. It’s just doing what I have to do when I have to do it.”
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