Windhoek - “Twice as Tall” is the fifth studio album by Nigerian singer Burna Boy and was released on August 14, 2020 by the artist's label, Spaceship Entertainment in association with Atlantic Records and Warner Music.
Recorded mostly in Lagos, Nigeria during the city's lockdown, production was done by Telz, Rexxie, JEA5, with assistance from international producers like Timbaland and Mike Dean, among others.
Burna's mother, Bose Ogul, is an executive producer.
Guest appearances from Youssou N'Diour, Naughty by Nature, Sauti Sol, Chris Martin and Stormzy add flavour and depth to the project that has swept the music world like a hurricane.
“Twice as Tall” is an eclectic fusion of Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae, r&b, and hip-hop; all delivered in English, Yoruba and Pidgin English.
At its release, Burna said, "’Twice as Tall’ is an album about a period of time in my life. Its's the album about the struggle for freedom. Its the album about life in general, real life, good times, bad times, happy times, sad times, great times."
His grandfather, Benson Idonije, was Afro beat pioneer Fela Kuti's manager, a role his mother later took on.
No wonder then that Kuti has greatly influenced Burna Boy both personally and artistically.
“He's the embodiment of protest music. I learned lessons from him, good and bad, from his experiences and music,” he once said.
Artwork for the album cover depicts him as a titan striding over ancient monuments and enduring monoliths, which include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest.
And accompanying the audio project is a comic book, "The Secret Flame", narrated by his grandfather.
It follows Burna through a spiritual journey of self-discovery, and it highlights some of the epochal moments that have made him feel twice as tall as he has ever been.
Following his hugely successful “African Giant” album, the hype and anticipation that awaited “Twice as Tall” was certainly not misplaced.
And the numbers don’t lie: within five days of its release, “Twice as Tall” had surpassed 20 million streams on Audiomack.
The album has peaked at number one on Apple music in 48 countries and the buzz is only getting louder.
The song “Real Life”, which features Stormzy, debuted at number one on the UK Afrobeats Chart, becoming the first ever Nigerian track to achieve that feat; the song "23" debuted at number two on the same chart this week.
Burna Boy has already eclipsed “African Giant" as the best performing Nigerian album on that platform.
He might now be a global superstar but the love, respect, passion and support from his home country is unmatched. According to Charts Africa, he is the artist with the most monthly listeners on Spotify, a whooping 14 million plus. Burna Boy is the first artist to earn over one million views on YouTube Nigeria in a week, obliterating the previous record held by Beyonce, of 902, 000, from July 19-July 25, 2019.
The “Wonderful” hitmaker is also the first artist to hit over 40 million total streams on BoomPlay Nigeria.
There are already calls to give “Twice as Tall” a Grammy - something he is inching ever closer to following a nomination for Best World Music Album last year.
Burna Boy touches on the Grammy snub on the track “Level Up” on ehich he sings: “I remember when I couldn't level up, cause the Grammys had me feeling sick as f***, Throwing up and s***, Asking questions like, Why it wasn't us?"
“Twice as Tall” itself delves into a myriad of issues, with its narratives bearing contemporary significance to to the local and global discourse.
It’s an album of triumph over adversity, an ode to self-discovery, and a celebration of right overcoming might.
"The purpose of this world is the pursuit of your highest self. I believe that if you don't reach the highest self and you leave this world, you end up coming back,” he said in a statement accompanying the release of “Twice as Tall”.