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For most people, the prospect of working with someone at the top of their game, like P Diddy, would be daunting to say the least.
Not for Burna Boy, however, who remains the epitome of cool even when he might be a little star struck inside.
Diddy famously managed to executively produce Burna’s latest album Twice As Tall through file transfers and Zoom calls with an eight hour time difference, and there’s no getting away from the fact the results are incredible.
In the end, it wasn’t just great music the two artists managed to cook up, but a great relationship too.
‘Working with Diddy didn’t feel like what I thought it would feel like,’ Burna Boy told UNILAD. ‘I didn’t think it would feel like I was working with my brother when working with him.’
The Rock Your Body singer added:
That was kind of a shock to me because, during the whole time, he never ever tried to come across like ‘I’m P Diddy,’ you know. It was like someone I had been talking to for years, someone I’ve had a relationship with for years. That’s the most amazing part of this process, working with him.
The majority of the album was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, in the middle of the pandemic, and if you look closely at the album credits, you’ll also see Mama Burna (Bose Ogulu) credited as an executive producer – a move Burna cites as keeping him grounded, particularly while working with stars like Diddy.
‘Diddy is like worldwide, so obviously I still need my roots,’ he explained. ‘I didn’t want to get lost and I didn’t want the message to get lost in translation, so [Mama Burna] kind of brought that balance, you know.’
In addition to Diddy, Twice As Tall features contributions from Timbaland, Stormzy and, perhaps most unlikely, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who Burna says is the only artist who could’ve helped him deliver Monsters You Made – a passionate rebuke to European colonialism.
‘For me, I feel like he’s the only person who could have brought the balance of the message I was passing across. That’s why when I made the song, I left it open, I left the hook bit open because if it wasn’t Chris Martin it would have been an open hook with instrumentals on,’ Burna explained.
‘He’s the only one that could bring that balance and he’s possibly the nicest guy I’ve ever met, man. He doesn’t have one not nice bone in his body.’
Since it’s release in August, Twice As Tall has been making waves on the music scene, but the album’s not the only big collaboration Burna has dropped recently. The Afrobeats legend recently released his very own fashion range with boohooMAN, comprising 120 statement pieces co-designed over Zoom.
Proudly sticking to his roots, the collections features a lot of green hues, as well as tie dye and custom prints.
‘There are no scientific details behind it,’ Burna told Forbes when asked how the collaboration came about.
‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I worked closely with Shane, their Head of Design and it all just came so naturally and easy to us. It has been a great collaboration from the start, it’s come out beautiful. I’m excited for my friends and fans to have something that’s accessible to them, and comes from me.’
Shop the Burna Boy x boohooMan collection here.
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