The Sweet Sun-Kissed Melodies Of Nigerian Superstar Joeboy
Nigerian singer, songwriter and afrobeats star, Joseph Akinfenwa-Donus, better known as Joeboy, was raised in the inner cities of Lagos. Fluent in the pivotal genres that are hip hop, RnB and of course Nigerian Afro pop – the young artist inevitably shows a sturdy foundation of knowledge when it comes to music giants such as 2Baba, D’Banj, 9ice, P-Square and Chris Brown. We caught up with Joeboy to discuss his new album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, writing hit tracks like “Baby” through adversity and what steps have led to such an exceptional journey into music.
Joeboy may only be 23 but he certainly holds his own in the growing landscape of afrobeats. His career started under Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa initiative in 2017 after getting the attention of the revered artist from an Instagram video covering Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You”. Mr Eazi eventually encouraged the then 21-year-old to sign up to #emPawa100, a funding and mentorship program, which helped facilitate Joeboy’s very first video for his single “Fààji”.
Prior to his signing at emPawa Joeboy would be found head down studying for his Human Resource Management degree at the University of Lagos. An invaluable asset that proved to be useful in his life beyond the halls of university, especially within the music industry. Growing up, Joeboy shares with us that singing in a church choir with his older brother was an experience which has had a lasting impact on his sound to this day, “I learnt a lot about harmonizing from going to choir practices with my elder brother and it kind of developed my love for music subconsciously” he tells us.