Eighteen months ago, burgeoning Afro-fusion artist, Buju was about to release his second track of the year, Spiritual. Pressured by friends, they felt the record would do better with a Zlatan verse. Still a rising artist in need of access to the right channels, “How would I get a Zlatan verse,” Buju remembers, telling OAP Sheye Banks during a radio interview. He would eventually get it, albeit through a different means.
He proceeded to put out a snippet of the song with the caption: “I really need a verse from Zlatan.” Friends, fans and most twitter users who randomly came across that tweet helped heap pressure on Zlatan, mentioning his username in the comments box. A month later, Zlatan would cede, hopping on the song and also funding the costs for the video.
That song would do wonders for Buju. With his freestyles, he captured the attention of music listeners on Twitter. With L’enu, his last release of 2019, he would however capture the attention of Burna Boy. A remix sufficed, followed with an invitation to Spaceship Records.
Seven months after signing to the same platform as his role model, it appears the singer would be better off as being independent. First, Buju’s output for 2020 was way less than the year before: one new single which came in at the last month of the year, and also, the remix to 2019’s L’enu which dropped in May. Between May and December, Buju was missing in the music space.
There’s however an explanation. Obviously Buju had records to ship out, but with Burna Boy dropping the epoch-making project, Twice As Tall, all hands had to be on deck. It meant Buju’s singles or a project (who knows) had to be pushed back. But that was August.
In an industry, where rising artists could be quickly forgotten when they’re passive in releasing music and with the music populace giving preference to artists who are consistently dishing out well tailored releases, Buju’s 2019 momentum dipped.
That could perhaps be the explanation for the low attention turned towards “So Lovely,” his latest sonic offering. Impressive single, less fueled with promotion. In a month, the single has less than a million streams (332k streams) on Audiomack, a freemium music streaming platform. And in four days, the video has just 15k YouTube views as at the time of writing.
The problem is not Buju. Now that he’s under a record label, one expects things to level up for him better than he was while being independent. No one knows the specifics of the deal Buju signed with Spaceship Records, yet there’s a feeling Buju put pen to paper to fulfill his goals.
Talking to Native Mag earlier in 2020, he revealed how he wanted the year to turn out. More streams, more international awareness. “The word for 2020 is mainstream. My music needs to be heard on a global level,” he said in that interview. With a Burna Boy co-sign and anchored on the same record label, this should however happen easily.
Fans and social media hopefuls who were convinced of the singer’s enthralling talent would hope he re-enacts his blazing 2019 run. To do that, his record deal with Spaceship Records will be instrumental to achieving that momentous success.
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here