Expect to hear Rema’s name everywhere soon.
While Rema has been labelled as “Afropop’s Wonder Boy,” it’s tricky and inaccurate to associate him with a single genre. Over three four-track EPs this year, the Nigerian teenager has covered a ton of musical ground. He blends Afrobeats with trap to concoct a sound that is distinctly and excitingly his own. While Rema is already taking over the charts in Nigeria, it’s only a matter of time before his music blows up overseas. With the recent international success of artists like Burna Boy, WizKid and Rosalia, it’s clear that an increasing demand for music to open up its borders. “My sound is for the young people of my generation and the older people who want to feel young again,” Rema told Pitchfork. “I really want to take the Nigerian flag over all the world.”
His music is clearly beginning to spread because Drake’s manager, Oliver El Khatib, has a production credit on Rema’s new EP, Bad Commando. While the first three songs on Bad Commando lean more towards Afropop influences, its final song, “Spaceship Jocelyn,” brings trap and R&B into the mix. When you hear it, it makes sense that he has listed melodic artists like Juice WRLD, Trippie Redd, and Lil Peep as some of his favourites. If we keep letting and encouraging music to travel, the world will have more innovators like Rema.