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Two days ago, Barack Obama sparked a fresh round of excitement on Twitter. This came just before we got over Burna Boy’s Anybody on Sir Elton John’s show. Barack Obama shared a list of the songs he and his wife Michelle have been listening to over the summer. The tweet got trending when Nigerians noticed that the song Iron Man by Rema was No. 42 on Obama’s playlist.

Rema responded with a humble tweet at Barack and Michelle Obama, thanking the former President of the United States and his wife for their recognition.

Rema is an 18-year-old rapper and singer signed to Mavin Records. He was born and raised in Benin City, Edo State. After successfully drawing the attention of D’Prince to his impressive freestyle on an improvised beat of D’Prince’s song Gucci Gang, he was signed to the Jonzing World label in February 2018. Under an imprint deal, he made another move to Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records earlier this year.

Rema was unveiled as a Mavin Records artiste in March. Soon after, Mavin Records released a four track EP titled Rema, which featured the songs Dumebi, Iron Man, Corny, and Why. The song Dumebi was an immediate sensation on social media and music channels. A second EP, Rema Freestyle followed. Songs off the two EPs: Boulevard, American Love, Spiderman, Trap out the Submarine and Dumebi, broke a record on Apple Music in June when all five were in the top ten of the Top 100 category at the same time. Since his debut, the young star has been riding the waves of his unbelievable success with performances in and outside of Nigeria. His most recent concert was in Tanzania.

Though he had a small following before the success his self-named EP, Rema’s Mavin backed releases were his tickets to fame. Before the fame, he was a 16-year-old in Benin, making and releasing freestyles in the trap music genre to a handful of listeners. In an awkward but heartwarming YouTube interview, he talked about how he struggled against sounding like ‘everybody else’ and eventually found his own sound. His Rema Freestyle EP is a more accurate representation of what his ‘sound’ was like before he was discovered by D’Prince and Don Jazzy.

It’s hard to believe that Rema was unveiled as an artist only a few months ago. In those first months after his unveiling, Dumebi attracted the most airplay. But virtually every song on his two EPs have been a massive hit with audiences in Nigeria and abroad. Rema made his first million at the age of 17. He posts videos on YouTube where he laughs, eats cereal, and talks about cartoons, as if to remind fans of the fact that he is still just a teenager. He seems to be a young prodigy with an unbelievable amount of luck, but his easy going smile and carefree persona leaves you with the uneasy suspicion that his wild success and sudden fame were all part of some grand master plan. If so, we’re eager to see the next phase.

Watch this mind-blowing video of three teenagers singing Rema’s song Dumebi in Spanish. Even in a foreign language, the song is still a hit.


The Cable Lifesyle

Daily Trust NG

Featured Image Source: Pitch Fork

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This article was first published on 26th August 2019


Tochi Onwubiko is a 'Jack' of many trades. A designer, book editor, lawyer and happy freelance writer. She enjoys drinking tea, sitting in quiet spaces, and reading thick books. She hopes to publish books one day. She also loves a good house party. If you know about any good books or parties, leave a comment on one of her posts.

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