The 2023 Billboard Music Awards Nominee Addresses Industry Challenges and Envisions a New Era for Afrobeats
In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Rema, the renowned Afrobeats sensation and nominee for the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, candidly discussed his journey in the music industry. The artist, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, delved into issues surrounding allegations of artists emulating his distinctive style and branding.
Having earned six nominations for the upcoming Billboard Music Awards, Rema has become a prominent figure in the Afrobeats music scene, captivating audiences with his innovative contributions to the genre.
While refraining from directly naming his counterparts, Rema expressed his concerns regarding fellow musicians he believes have borrowed elements of his style without proper acknowledgment. Despite this, the artist found the imitation “flattering” and highlighted his commitment to fostering positive change within the Afrobeats landscape.
Rema’s vision extends beyond his personal recognition, as he seeks to redefine how Afrobeats is perceived, emphasizing not only the music itself but also the live performances and overall branding associated with the genre.
Reflecting on his four years of continuous dedication to his craft, Rema stated, “I’ve been on the road for 4 years back-to-back; dropping bangers, hopping on stages. It has helped my growth non-stop.” Despite acknowledging the need for breaks, he expressed a distaste for idleness and outlined ambitious plans for the evolution of the Afrobeats sound.
“I’ve always been that guy who just wants to change the game and change how it’s perceived. From sound to shows, to branding,” Rema declared, illustrating his commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity within the genre.
In addressing the lack of credit from some artists who may have drawn inspiration from his work, Rema maintained a positive outlook, stating, “Even though some artists will not give me credit, I know how many people [artists] have copied my moves and I am flattered by it.”
As Rema continues to rise to prominence, his advocacy for change within Afrobeats signals a new era for the genre, one that embraces innovation, individuality, and a collaborative spirit among artists.
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