Afrobeats The Beginning Of A Larger Movement For Nigeria; Jidenna Speaks

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The Classic Man is currently in Nigeria and has continued to breed excitement from fans and Jidenna himself. The Nigerian-American born singer seeks to drop his Long Live The Chief album in grand style as he documents his journey back home and his birth place, Enugu State.

In a recent interview he held in Lagos, the Wondaland act expressed his love for Nigeria and also the love he gets from the fans. He also mentioned how he enjoyed working with the likes of Wizkid and others and how anxious he has been for the AfroBeats genre to explode.

In his words; “I have been waiting for it my whole life. Afrobeats didn’t exist in this form when I was younger. But just to have a sound that comes from the African continent, especially Nigeria, and now the whole world says that’s cool now. I’ve said this before, being teased for being African when you are little. I came with a very thick accent. Even my sisters were saying ‘you are bush. The way you talk is so bush. The way I pronounced all my words. So I will change how I spoke. Now, the people that get teased, have become the cool people that everybody want to be.

That’s what this Afrobeats movement is showing. It’s the beginning of a larger movement for Nigeria, for Africa to move into the world’s spotlight, be respected, be more understood, be appreciated for what we bring. It’s starting with music and dance, but it’s gonna expand to everything. To me, that’s what this signifies; it’s the beginning of a turning point.”

Speaking on his Long Live The Chief Album, he extensively gave an insight on what he envisaged the album to be like while expressing the joy he had after adding a bit of Pidgin to a couple of songs. Take for example “Little Bit More” where the singer said “Wahala She No Dey Give Me“.

“It’s a natural evolution, you know. The whole album is a variety of sounds, because I have lived in a lot of different places; in the US, in Enugu, and of course in Lagos. So I wanna make sure that each record feels like a new world. ‘Chief don’t run’ is a prequel to ‘Classic man’, and a prequel to ‘Long live the chief’. What happened? Who was Classic Man before he was a man, who was he when he was a boy? When his mom came to the US with him. So that’s what the video shows a little bit.

“The sound of a little beat more – the Afrobeat flavor fused with some of the sounds that I’ve already been doing – it was natural, that’s what came to me that day. When I was making the records, with people from Wondaland Records like Roman GianAurthur and Nana, who I make all the music with. For the pidgin: I am a trickster, so I like when you are on the radio in the US, and you don’t expect to hear pidgin anywhere in the US. I thought that I could sneak it in there, and I did. So now it’s funny hearing it, because I can’t believe that I have people from Utah singing it and saying ‘What is a ‘wahala’? I like that. It’s the same thing with ‘Classic Man’, it’s all tricks you know.

Jidenna has also stated that he would love that the documentary he films on his trip back home will highlight the positives there is to show the world about Nigeria and also change the worlds perspective about Africa at large.

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