Nigerian singer Joseph Akinfenwa Donus, often known as Joeboy, has criticized his colleague Burna Boy for claiming that most Afrobeats singers compose music with no lyrical content.
According to The Gist House, Burna Boy stated in a recent interview with Apple songs’s Zane Lowe that most Nigerian artists compose songs “without substance.”
However, in the most recent episode of the Zero Conditions podcast, Joeboy questioned the Grammy-winning singer’s claim.
“For you as an afrobeats artist, how much balance do you do with living life because, following the conversation of Burna Boy saying [afrobeats] artists don’t have substance, how much experience do you try to garner as an artist?” the presenter inquired.
“I believe everyone has substance,” Joeboy said. It’s simply based on what people can relate to. People may think you’re merely vibing when you make fast-paced, danceable music. Alternatively, if you do not sing in English.
“I used to see some comments [on social media] where people would say, ‘Ah pinging!’ because someone was singing in plain English.” What’s that pinging? Because he performed in English?
“Every artist out there, if you want people to think you’re a great songwriter, write in plain English.” I guarantee you that they [fans] will exclaim, ‘Oh! This guy is the best songwriter ever!’ When someone sings in Pidgin, the fans exclaim, ‘Ah! This one dey do lamba.’
“It isn’t lamba. It’s still communicating. I recognize that you may not be able to connect with every type of music you encounter. But I promise you, anyone who can build something out of thin air has substance.”