The Rise of Rema: How He Became Music’s 2023 Icon

The Rise of Rema: How He Became Music’s 2023 Icon.

Media entrepreneur and TV Personality, Chude Jideonwo, has in on his cultural/ music icon of 2023 announced Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema as his choice.

The choice of REMA is not strange to followers of music trends, because the 23 years old cleared most of the awards for categories of this clime and Africa on account of his hit song, ‘Calm Down’ which received wider recognition and spawned a remix with American singer, Selena Gomez that peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and led the United States Afrobeats Songs chart for a record-setting 58 weeks.

In a statement by Chude who is also a film maker, the media personality applauded the new sound, Afrobeat and noted that “It is impossible not to be inspired by Nigeria’s new Afrobeats generation. They have risen on the courage and chutzpah of the previous generation which includes the likes of 2face, Psquare, Freestyle (now Mista Styles), Sasha, Ruggedman, the Remedies, Bouqui and others, and they deserve credit for seizing the moment, casting out convention, and leaning in.

“While major attention is fixed on the likes of Davido, the iconoclastic Burna Boy, the fearless Wizkid, and the brilliant Tems, I believe it is their younger sibling, Divine ‘Rema’ Ikubor, that fully captures the moment and its limitless potential and its range of possibilities.

“People often think Nigerian creatives, especially its Afrobeats clan, need to be a certain way: gregarious, combative, other-focused. People think they have to surround themselves with activity and keep churning ‘content’. People expect them to stoke rivalries, rile up their base, and thump their chests.

“However, Rema who gained initial recognition with the release of his 2019 song ‘Dumebi’ has remained as himself: silent, focused and ferocious. I remember watching a raft of his interviews two years ago and thinking: This is the one who will remain, who will outlast and who will be unforgettable.

“The major reason for his success is of course talent and hard work. But talent is not scarce in Nigeria, and, on average, everyone works work very hard. So I think the deeper reason for his success is his sense of inner-directedness. He doesn’t refer to anyone but himself. He is certain about who he is, what he is capable of and how far he can go.

His rise, as I have observed, is not driven by fear or competition. It is driven by a deep understanding that he has a unique contribution to the world, and he alone can make that contribution so there is no need to pay attention to what anyone else is doing. It may seem odd to draw this comparison, but it’s not if you’ve been paying attention to him: Rema is what spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra referred to as ‘self-referential’ three decades ago. This is somewhat unusual because Rema is a staunch member of Gen Z.

Without judgment, it is a generation that is convinced that it must always be visible, always be heard and that the only game that counts is hustle and grind. Of course, the roots of this energy come from millennials, so no one should be too quick to get on their high horse,” says Jideonwo.‘

Meanwhile, Jideonwo, was recently made the new Board chair of The Initiative for Equal Rights’ (T I E R) created in 2005 with the purpose of creating a society where human rights are guaranteed regardless of status, identity, orientation and affiliation.



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