• The Ascension of Buju: Nigeria's Captain Hook

Written by: Adeayo, Adebiyi

Buju has recorded more top 20 songs than any other artiste in the last 18 weeks

Buju generated buzz when he featured Zanku crooner Zlatan on his single “Spiritual”. Buju’s distinctive voice, singing style, flawless delivery, and the manner he held his own a single with the imposing presence of Zlatan instantly distinguished him and gave him originality that attracted attention and interest. Buju would go on to collaborate with 2Baba, sign for Burna Boy’s Space Ship record and also collaborate with the Grammy winner.

Despite the fact that Buju had given a good account of himself in the handful of singles he had released and on those he was featured, his music didn’t reach the level that corresponded with the unquestionable talent he possessed. Buju, however, continued on this uncertain path for a while. He appeared on a handful of singles on which he left his mark. His personality and appearance were befitting for an artiste with ambition, but in between all of these, Buju talked about music more than he was making it, and the uncertain direction in which his career was headed gradually began to cloud his talent and career.

Things took a sudden turn when Buju parted ways with his label after which he announced that his music would henceforth do the talking, and do the talking it did. Buju went on to feature on Blaqbonez’s “Bling” along Ghanaian Alte artiste Amaraae and ever seen, he never looked back.

There’s perhaps no better metric to capture Buju’s turn in fortune than Nigeria’s biggest music chart (accounting for music consumption of over 60 million Nigerians). A look into the record will show that in the previous 23 weeks before the debut of “Bling,” Buju had just one entry on the chart – “So Lovely.” However, between the eighteen weeks after “Bling’s” debut, Buju has had six entries all of which entered the top 20 and three of which reached the top ten including a 5-week No. 1 with his sensational delivery on Ladipoe’s “Feeling.”

Buju’s performance was captured by his best performing single as a lead artiste on the chart – “Outside” which peaked at the No. 6 position and has spent an impressive 11 weeks on the chart and “Testimony” which peaked on No. 14.

Buju seems to have the Midas touch as his appearance on a song tends to propel the song to the top 20. Buju’s phenomenal hooks and sensational performance on Zlatan’s “Alubarika” and Savage’s “Confidence” propel the song to the top 20. His feature on Blaqbonez’s “Bling” and Ladipoe’s “Feelings” earned both singles a top 5 spot, with the latter spending 5 weeks at No. 1.

Buju has established himself as a talented artiste whose ability to drop sensational hooks and catchy verses is unrivaled. Having found his footing and planted it on the right trajectory, it’s safe to say the best is yet to come from Nigeria’s own Captain Hook. Having promised a debut album for his fans, we can only expect that the Buju chart domination will continue. Nigeria has its own Captain Hook and he is only likely to keep delivering joyous melodies that will rock the airwaves, shoot up on streaming charts and top the charts published byTurnTable.

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