What Rema’s India Tour Represents For His Afrobeats Legacy

Rema's Indian tour is set to become the first by an African act.

Rema's India Tour
Rema's India Tour [Instagram/@heisrema]

Rema’s India Tour is not a myth, it’s actually happening or it actually happened depending on when you come across this. Do you believe in prophecies? Do you believe that the universe by default, orchestrates and manifests the realities of mankind? then you might say Divine Ikubor’s present apotheosis has been written in the stars. 

Without a doubt, the 23-year-old Nigerian superstar, Rema is one of the hardest workers in the Nigerian music scene, but his cosmic rise might just be a living embodiment of self-prophecy coming to pass.

Around early 2019, Rema was a fresh voice in the New Nigerian music industry. The Babyfaced crooner was unveiled under the wings of D’Prince who is also known as Charles Enebeli

The latter had discovered Rema via an Instagram freestyle clip a year earlier and had decided to take a chance on Rema, but to fully provide his new-found beacon with the resources to come aflame, he needed substantial backing. 

Luckily, D’Prince’s brother was none other than the very experienced and successful label mogul, Michael ‘Don Jazzy’ Enebeli.

Together, both brothers fueled by utter conviction and temerity gave Rema a platform to thrive. 

With this Platform came his debut offering, ‘Iron Man.‘ Iron Man was met with a plethora of harsh criticisms from Nigerian listeners who weren’t keen on embracing the then-fast and-rising act’s sonic experimentation- many labeled it cacophony and alien, while others saw the sound as a faux representation of Southern Asian sonic influences, in particular, sounds from India.

Paying no mind to criticism, Rema punched on with the breakout smash hit, ‘Dumebi.’ On Dumebi, Rema’s vocal phrasing, melodies, and techniques were highly reminiscent of the Southern Asian Sonic influences he had been accused of being ostentatious towards. But this time, a good majority of the naysayers were beginning to show affiliation towards Rema’s sound, catching on to his brilliance in the process.

Dumebi also marked the genesis of Rema’s Global appeal, especially in unexpected places like India. Rema’s popularity began to blossom through Dumebi. India began keeping tabs on this rising Afrobeats superstar, building a following from that part of the World.

Following the release of his debut E.P., coupled with more projects and singles to Rema’s discography, it became glaring that the young music act was intentional about his fusion of arabesque melodies in his song. He wasn’t just belting these melodies for the sake of it, there was a vision at play and Rema would subsequently confirm this in several granted Interviews where the topic of his sonic experimentation came up.

He would tell of how his melodies and style were on purpose, how he one day hopes to fully break into thresholds that seemed impenetrable for an African act, citing India as a case study; displaying the foresight of a radical visionary far above his years.

Rema's India Tour
Rema waving the Indian flag while on tour in India [PHOTO CREDIT: Times of India]

Based on the singer’s confidence and personal conviction when speaking about his plans to dominate terrains like India(the most populous country by the way) one couldn’t help but admire the singer’s faith and even more importantly, one couldn’t wait to see what hand Fate would deal him.

The wait wouldn’t last for long, however, as Rema’s vision had come to pass through his chart-topping/ smash hit single ‘Calm Down’. Calm Down was his undeniable passport into the World’s most populous country. 

The song was highly accepted by Indians with the statistics to prove- Calm Down amassed in India, 13x IMI Platinum (7.5x Platinum) this basically meant more than 70 million people purchased the song in India. Seemingly, he had surpassed his expectations with this hallmark, or maybe not.

Calm Down took India by storm, even peaking at number one on the Indian music industry chart in January 2023, an enviable feat, a giddy one at that, especially considering that he was just in the twilight years of his musical career, the only Nigerian act to have achieved this before him was Burna Boy.

Following the overwhelming success in India, Rema and his team took a brilliant initiative; announcing a three-city day tour In India, scheduled to kick off on May 12. Rema’s Indian tour is set to become the first by an African act.

If history is kind to Rema, his recent global triumph would be echoed for years and Divine Ikubor would forever be remembered as the boy who literally said he would take Afrobeats to the next level and delivered on the promise.

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