As Nigerian music goes to the west, the reverse is also taking place.
While Wizkid has been featured by Drake, this time, the Nigerian-American artist Jidenna will be coming to Lagos, Nigeria to promote his official debut album. His performance is supported by Trace and Sony scheduled to take place on 1 September at the Hard Rock Café, location for the D'banj video for Emergency.
It has been quite a journey for Jidenna, who was born to a Nigerian father and an American mother. He was born in the US and lived partly in Nigeria where his father was a lecturer at a university in south-east Nigeria. When Jidenna was 10, his family moved to Boston in the US, and was already delving into producing and writing songs in secondary school.
In 2008, he graduated from university and even as his father had intended for him to become a doctor or some other similar professional, he pursued music. By 2015, after signing a record deal, he released ‘Classic Man’, his official debut single. The song later received a nomination at the Grammy Awards.
Jidenna has had a turbulent relationship with his fatherland, especially after an interview where he spoke about the possibility of his kidnap went viral. An apology was issued by the singer, and he has come to enjoy support from Nigerians. On the recent single ‘Little Bit More’, he used elements of Nigerian pop and sings some part of the song’s lyrics in Nigerian pidgin.
As part of efforts to generate excitement for his Hard Rock café performance, he posted the news of event on Twitter: “I'm coming home Naija! Meet me at Hard Rock Cafe 9/1.”
Already the ‘Chief Don’t Run’ singer has received endorsement from one of Nigerian music’s stalwarts. “Jidenna, you have now joined afrobeat gang,” wrote producer Don Jazzy. “We shall call you #YankyBanky.”