HE IS REMA
By Olamide Oseni / Image Credit: Google Images
This year has without doubt seen an explosion of fresh, fiery and talented music acts onto Nigeria’s music scene with the crooning melodies of acts like Joeboy, Fireboy and Lyta making our playlist simmer with love ballads and with street rave act Naira Marley trail-blazing through the conventional norms of music to give us definite ‘’zanku-able” jams and capitalizing on his notoriety to make this his biggest year yet, but amongst this fresh onslaught of new musical talent and sounds, one-act undoubtedly stands out, his name – “Rema”!
Former US President Barrack Obama and his wife, Michelle are some of the world’s most revered and loved icons and the internet went wild when they dropped their summer playlist (their top pick of songs for summer 2019), featured on the list was a Nigerian artiste, but not the regular world-class Nigerian acts you might expect such a list to contain, instead it was Rema and his hit-banger “Iron Man”.
Immediately, Nigeria’s cyberspace went abuzz with tweets rolling in about this new phenomenon, some who had previously dismissed the new artiste as just a passing fad suddenly experienced a change of heart and couldn’t begin to heap enough praises on his head and hail his musical genius (classic…huh).
An even bigger question on more lips was “Who is this Rema guy?”
Rema, real name “Divine Ikubor” was born in 2000 and raised in the city of Benin, Edo State. As can be already inferred from the picturesque references on his album art and the song title “Iron-Man”, Rema is an avid comics fan and his dreams of being a music star have been long in the works, from being in a musical group to winning a talent show and being a low-budget underground music artist experimenting with various sounds and churning out freestyles.
As luck would have it, through one of his covers, Rema caught the attention of Mavin Label Act, D’prince, who signed him to Mavin Records via his own label “Jonzing World”
So how does a relatively unknown teen with a penchant for making music becomes one of Nigeria’s biggest music exports under the space of a year, what’s to explain for that phenomenal rise?
Well, you could obviously argue that being backed by a powerhouse label with an hefty marketing budget and industry connect is all there is to it, but if that was the case, what’s to be said of his fellow label mates who have only turned out to be one-hit wonders and don’t have anything resembling a career (Uhm uhm…you know who)
There is obviously more to Rema’s success than just record-label money.
Rema’s meld of Afro-beats and trap music is a sound that we have been silently hungrying for (like a man who doesn’t realize how thirsty he is till he comes face to face with a clear stream of water and loses himself in its depth) backed by his high-pitched yet melodious voice, the effect it produces is nothing short of intoxicating.
Coupled with his seemingly tireless work routine, 3 musical projects with no features under the space of one year, little wonder as to why he has risen so high in such a short block of time.
And there is something about this baby faced teen with the braided air and glittering ear-rings that just makes you want to like him, from his seemingly laid back yet confident persona to his wild and electrifying performances, you can almost draw a parallel between him and a certain artiste with roots in Ojuelegba whose lyrics and hits caught our attention but it was his mischievous smile and charming air that made us love him.
At the recently held Headies Ceremony, after receiving his award as Next Rated Music Act, while walking off stage, like an Old Testament prophet who knows his words are backed by the mandate of heaven, Rema calmly utters the following words “ I am the future”.
That might just seem like idle bragging and posturing from an artiste fresh off his major win, but if anyone thing, Rema has made it clear that he deserves our attention.
And we’d be silently waiting and watching to see what the wunderkid has in store for us, I have a feeling it will be worth our while.
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