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Monday, December 11, 2023

BNXN, aka Buju, on his debut album and name change

BNXN, formerly known as Buju, is one of Nigeria’s most successful emerging artists.

His unique honey voice has graced numerous hits in the last couple of years and he’s been rewarded by awards including Next Rated Artist 2022 at the Headies.

He even made it on to the summer playlist of former US President Barack Obama last year.

His talent was spotted early on by Burna Boy, who signed him, and the African giant feature on a remix of BNXN’s song Lenu.

The 26-year-old has done a string of collaborations, with WizkidTimayaStefflon DonDavePheelz – the list goes on. In fact, I can’t bring to mind any artist who has done more.

“I mean God is amazing because a lot of people call me. Somehow they always see me on the record,” he tells me.

The Afrobeats singer’s debut album comes out on Thursday, so can we expect lots of features or will we hear more solo BNXN?

“There are a couple of collaborations on the album, I wanted them to be really specific to the message I was passing across. Like I have Headie One on the project, that is Headie One’s best verse internationally. When it drops you can take it to the bank – they will give you 100k,” he says.

“Everybody that’s on this project came in with their A game, not even their A game, their A star game, I’m super excited about it.”

The single Sweet Tea dropped earlier this month as a foretaste of what is to come – and is a sweet love song: “It’s all about expressing the highest form of love and desire for somebody. It gives people a super nostalgic feeling and I love the song so much.”

He says the whole album is “an envelope of emotions”: “I’m ready to just give out. It’s been super challenging because of how I really wanted people to see me on this project.”

This is reflected in album’s title – Sincerely, Benson – which is also a reference to his change of names.

The Afrobeats singer’s first album – Sincerely, Benson – drops on Thursday 5 October 2023

It was Burna who advised BNXN to emphasise his new name on his next project in order to make it stick. But things are going so well for BNXN right now, he’s pretty cool with whatever people choose to call him.

“BNXN, Buju, Buju-Benson, trust me we already know who you are talking about.”

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