African Giant- Burna Boy continues to show he is the ‘True Warrior’ We All need To Celebrate in “Wonderful”, The Review
Burna Boy Wonderful Review, Audio and Video…. The coronavirus seems to have nothing on Burna Boy. While we anticipate the release of his new album “Twice as Tall”, we latch on to the first single from the album “Wonderful”. Burna Boy in a statement explains the creation of the song and what it means to him. He says “It’s important for me to show that music is a uniting force that transcends state lines, barriers and borders. This song is about the ‘wonders’ of seeing the impact of my music on people’s lives as they shared their joy, pain and pleasure with me while I toured the world. It serves as a note that no matter how far you go, or how hard you work; you must be ready to come home, the pandemic forced us all to take refuge in our homes. Above all, Africa is home, it is the motherland to all people. For us to truly matter, Africa has to matter.” The music itself talks about the importance of walking hard and returning home.
Wonderful video opens up with Burna lying asleep on a palm front “somewhere in the land of warriors, kings and queens” where he is woken from his slumber by a gorilla and ambushed by some warriors dressed in traditional clothing. It then turns into a celebration where both the warriors and Burna are seen dancing. In an interview with Elle Burna said “The album is deliberately set ‘in the land of Warriors, Kings and Queens’ to depict the strength in our origins as Black people, as Africans. We are the most resilient people, always able to find the silver lining in every situation and turn it to a cause for communal celebration. Then we live to fight another day,“
The dancer begins a choreography somewhere that is safe to be assumed as a village square. The choreography is seamless and the dancers add a special vibrance to the music video. The bridge scene dance is also very interesting, having Burna Boy in the middle and the dancers behind him swaying in synchronized movement to the music. The video then takes a turn to evening time life in this faraway land. You see young children running around, women cooking, nursing their young, girls in the corner having their time and elders discussing. Then it is night time and Burna Boy is dressed as a warrior and hailed a champion. He stands on a pedestal and the warriors dressed in traditional clothing fist bump the air around him. Much like an accolade to his African Giant Status.
The costume and make up for this video was well executed. The tribal markings, the clothing choice and the setting depicts old African ways. The transition from one scene to the other was well done and you would not find Burna mouthing to one thing and the music sounding another, The whole team did a good job in executing their desire
The song itself is a reminder that no matter how far we go in our endeavours on becoming successful we must always return home. Proudly African Burna channels old African setting and dressing to depict home and the joy, freedom and safety of being home. “Anywhere I go mo n’ lati pada si ile mi (‘Cause mama mi won wa ni ile mi)”. GET FULL LYRICS HERE
When I heard the song for the first time, I assumed that the video would be images of Burna on the streets of Nigeria, Ghana, Cape Verde, South Africa etc. Showing the people, the life, the daily commute, the cultural celebration and his own family. I was initially put off when I saw images of warriors and tribal marking. I thought although we might have had that kind of life in the past, today’s Africa is nothing like that. While it is true that there are regions just like that it is mostly not rampant and though we know who we are in a modern world, we have not totally lost our history.
On a second watch, I appreciated what Burna Boy did, creating a fictitious Africa where everyone is accepted, roles defined and society maintained by the wisest. It is a place where gender is not a limitation. Burna Boy doesn’t interpret the videos in the literary sense of things, he take a figurative approach in telling his story, As night changes to day, you see the warriors fighting, much like how we all take on strides “hustle” for a better life and towards the evening the same warriors are seen celebrating because after a hard days job, one must always find ways to unwind and even though we might have our grievances we know that over a bottle of palm wine there are no enemies and he who brings kola brings life.
The interpretation of an audio to visual is something fans look forward to as a glimpse into the life of their biggest stars . It has to take appreciation of the music, understanding the mindset of the creator, feeling what he feels, to be able to clearly pass his message in a way that his voice is not lost and the public understands it, appreciating the quirks of a culture or place and interpreting the music in visuals that exemplify or amplify these quirks.
At a surface level sense of things, one would say the video, although a very beautiful one, did not pass the message of the music that no matter how far one goes one must come home. It did not show the interaction of Burna and his mother that he so eagerly desire to go home to meet and his “hardworking” routine so no one would call him lazy but when you choose to look past surface level observation, you would appreciate the creative team’s effort of a land of kings, queens and warriors which is what Africa really is and one can not miss Burna’s conceited nature of hailing himself an African Giant at least this time around you will not be all to upset of his display of it.
It is a beautiful video and it deserves a 3 star out of 5.
Burna Boy Wonderful Review
Written by Chioma Onyefuosaonu