Billboard recently spoke with Nigerian-American singer Jidenna, and topics ranged from how much his Nigerian heritage has influenced his music, to the idea behind the now-popular phrase, “Classic Man“, and which Nigerian artiste he feels is gaining global reputation.
Read the interview below…
What kind of influence do you feel “African” music has on your works?
Oh, it’s profound. Even if the production doesn’t feel African, the vocal delivery — singing through your nose. Specifically, Highlife music from Nigeria. That was the first music I ever heard as a child. So singing through my nose is something I do often, and that’s directly rooted in my heritage.
At large, I feel like we’re entering into a time when hip-hop music in the states, and pop and hiplife and all types of genres across the African continent are emerging, in general. I think they’ll be even more influential as I continue.
Which Nigerian artiste do you feel is ” really blowing up right now”?
Wizkid, of course, in the U.K. — his sound is undeniable. I love his voice, I love his production team. I was just hanging out with them recently. He’s definitely be one where I’m looking forward to what’s to come, and I love his catalog already.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to release a bundle of songs for the fall. I think people are ready for it, they want something new for the fall. “Classic Man” was something that got them through the summer — they need something to keep them cozy as the seasons change.
Also I’m going on tour with Stromae, so I’m really excited about that. He feels like a kindred spirit, like a distant cousin from another continent. We’re definitely different, and have different sounds, but I think the similarities are remarkable, not knowing him personally. I’m really excited.