Interview
Photo: TSE. Courtesy of Rema.

Interview: Rema, Afropop's Wonder Boy, Is Ready to Take Over

We talk to the buzzing young Nigerian talent for an exclusive interview around his new project Bad Commando, his well-regarded EPs, fame, self-doubts and beliefs.

In just a few EPs, Rema has established himself as a special new talent.

His first release, the eponymous Rema EP, consists of certified afropop hits like "Dumebi," "Corny," and "Iron Man," which even made it to President Barack Obama's 2019 summer playlist, quite the high-profile co-sign for the 19-year-old from Benin, Nigeria.

The second track on that EP, "Why," a trap ballad about rejection from a love interest, seemed out of place at the time but foreshadowed the surprise release of his Freestyle EP, which dropped in June. Freestyle repeats the four song structure of its predecessor, but the compositions showcase Rema's sensibilities for terse emotional songwriting, which the artist says is the result of "passion, love and heartbreak."

Both "Boulevard" and "American Love" are about failed attempts at courting love interests. On "Spiderman," the artist self-casts himself as a superhero with a "passion to save the youths through my sound." "Trap Out The Submarine" is thematically close, as a lasting title-image about overcoming impossible odds.

Rema's now returned with his new 4-track project Bad Commando, which features production work from the likes of Altims, Oliver El Khatib, 1mind, and Honter.

In a new interview with OkayAfrica, the self-styled "baby dragon" discusses his new release, two well-regarded EPs, fame and fandom, self-doubts and beliefs, and the reasons why he's one of the most exciting artists in afropop.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Video still via YouTube.

Rema's New Music Video for 'Dumebi' Is Here

Nigeria's own rising hitmaker drops the accompanying music video for his track that makes you hit 'repeat.'

It's no question that Rema's "Dumebi" is the standout track from his self-titled EP.

The 18-year-old recent signee to Mavin Records has released the music video for the track, where we see the Benin City native crushing on a taken beauty, attempting to vie for her attention on a road trip—with her boyfriend present. Cute but sad, abi? We've all been there before.

Styled in bright colors and Lagos cool (even in Nigerian streetwear brands like WAFFLESNCREAM), the music video for "Dumebi" is yet another example of how Nigerian youth are slowly making their own space for fresh, creative and quality sounds and visuals.

Watch "Dumebi," directed by Ademola Falomo, below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.