Divine Ikubor (born 1 May 2000), known professionally as Rema, is a Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter. He gained initial recognition with the release of his 2019 song "Dumebi". That same year, he signed with D'Prince's record label, Jonzing World.[3] He received wider recognition for his 2022 single "Calm Down", which spawned a remix with American singer Selena Gomez that peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] and led the United States Afrobeats Songs chart for a record-setting 58 weeks.[5]

Rema
Rema catwalk for UK apparel brand Tokyo James in 2019
Rema catwalk for UK apparel brand Tokyo James in 2019
Background information
Birth nameDivine Ikubor
Born (2000-05-01) 1 May 2000 (age 23)[1]
Benin City, Edo, Nigeria
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2018–present
Labels
Websiteheisrema.com
YouTube information
Channel
Subscribers3.99 million[2]
Total views1.381 billion[2]

Last updated: 10 February 2024

Early life edit

Divine Ikubor was born into a Christian family in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.[6] He grew up singing and rapping while he was in secondary school. He attended his primary and secondary school education at Ighile Group of Schools in Edo State.[7] His father and elder brother are deceased, and Rema was left to look after his mother.[1]

Career edit

He started his music career in churches with Alpha P. In 2018. Rema posted a viral freestyle on Instagram to D'Prince's track "Gucci Gang". The post caught the attention of D'Prince who flew him to Lagos to offer a record deal to the young talent.[8] Rema signed a record deal with D'Prince's Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin Records owned by record producer Don Jazzy, in 2019.[9] He went on to release his self-titled debut EP "Rema" in 2019, which peaked at number 1 on Apple Music Nigeria.[10][11] On 21 May 2019, Jonzing World, and Mavins released the music video of "Dumebi", a major breakout song from his self-titled EP, featuring a cameo appearance from Diana Eneje. The video was directed by Ademola Falomo and currently has 70 million views on YouTube.[12] Later that summer, In 2019, one of his other most popular songs from the EP gained more popularity when it was placed on former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama's summer playlist.[7]

In September 2020, Rema's songs were included on the FIFA 21 soundtracks.[13][14]

In September 2021, Rema was unveiled as a brand ambassador for the popular soft drink Pepsi alongside his label mate Ayra Starr.[15]

2022–present: Rave & Roses and Ravage EP edit

After Rema signed a record deal with Jonzing World in 2019, he released his debut EP Rema. After two more EPs (the Freestyle and Bad Commando EPs), he released his debut album Rave & Roses on 25 March 2022.[16] The album includes 16 tracks and features from 6lack, Chris Brown, AJ Tracey, and Yseult.[17] The album charted 10 songs on the US Billboard Afrobeats Chart following its debut week.[18] His single "Calm Down", including a sample from fellow Nigerian artist Crayon's track "So Fine",[19] then began charting five months after its official release.[20] It then became the most-viewed Afrobeats video on Youtube.[21] The song became internationally famous because of Selena Gomez, who recorded a remix of the song. "Calm Down (Remix)" with Selena Gomez was released August 26, 2022,[22] and gradually gained popularity, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[23][24] spending 57 week there, and topped many international charts, as well as setting and breaking many world music records, and winning the MTV Video Music Award for Best Afrobeats Video, Billboard Music Award for Top Afrobeats Song and many other awards.[25][26] On 7 November 2022, Rema received an award on stage during his London concert as his songs achieved 1 billion streams worldwide.[27]

In February 2023, Rema received the Digital Artist of the Year award at the Soundcity MVP Awards which were held at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos.[28] In April 2023, Rema released a version of his debut album Rave & Roses titled Rave & Roses Ultra containing an additional six tracks: "Charm", "Hov", "Reason You", the remix of "Calm Down" with Selena Gomez, "Holiday", and "Dunno Me", which became the first African album to cross one billion streams on Spotify.[citation needed]

On 26 October 2023, Rema released a 5-title EP named Ravage.[29] On 30 October 2023, Rema performed at the Ballon d'Or ceremony which was held at Theatre du Châtelet in Paris, France.[30]

Afrorave edit

In 2019, South African music producer and artist Toya Delazy introduced a genre titled "Afrorave". The genre was described by Delazy as combining genres such as garage with Zulu lyrics.[31][32]

In May 2021, Rema announced he would be calling his sound "Afrorave", a subgenre of Afrobeats with influences of Arabian and Indian music which has led to him having one of the strongest fanbases in the country known as Ravers.[33][34]

Personal life edit

Although Ikubor gained admission to study at the University of Lagos in 2022, he left the institution in 2023 due to a strike by the ASUU teaching union.[35][36]

On September 28, 2020, Rema tweeted accusations against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the death of his father, Justice Ikubor, who was a former chieftain of the party.[37][38]

Impact edit

Rolling Stone said "Rema has undoubtedly and proudly become an emblem of Afrobeats global rise."[39] Writing for Business Day Anthony Udugba remarked Rema has "expanded the horizons" of African musical impact on the global stage.[40] The Guardian Nigeria opined "As the Afrobeats landscape continues to flourish, Rema’s success sets a high standard, showcasing the global appeal and dominance of Nigerian music on the international stage."[41] The Native stated "It’s impossible to erase the mark he has left on Afrobeats history."[42] Victor Okpala said "Rema’s sound has cemented his place as a true musical trailblazer."[43] Many critics have praised him for breaking barriers and inspiring other African music artists.[44][45][46]

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

Awards and nominations edit

Year Award Category Nominee/Work Result Ref
2019 The Headies Song of the Year "Dumebi" Nominated [47]
Viewer's Choice Himself Nominated
Next Rated Won
City People Music Awards Most Promising Act of the Year Nominated [48][49]
Revelation of the Year Won
Best New Act of the Year Nominated
2020 BET Awards Best New International Act Nominated [50]
The Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year Nominated [51][52]
Music Won
MTV Europe Music Award Best African Act Nominated [53]
2021 MTV Africa Music Awards Best Male Pending [54]
The Headies Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year Nominated [55]
Best Pop Single "Lady" Nominated
Net Honours Most Played Pop Song "Woman" Nominated [56]
African Entertainment Awards USA Song of the Year Nominated [57]
Edison Award Edison Jazz/World – World Rema Compilation Nominated [58]
2022
Odeón Awards 2022 [es] Best urban song "44"
(with Bad Gyal)
Nominated [59]
2023
Soundcity MVP Awards Digital Artist of the Year Himself Won [60]
The Headies Best Male Artist Himself Won [61]
African Artist of the Year Won
Digital Artist of the Year Won
Album of the Year "Rave and Roses" Nominated
Song of the Year "Calm Down" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Afrobeats "Calm Down (Remix)"
(featuring Selena Gomez)
Won [62][63]
Best Collaboration Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
AFRIMMA Crossing Boundaries with Music Award Himself Won [64]
Artist of the Year Himself Won
Trace Awards Song of the Year "Calm Down (Remix)"
(featuring Selena Gomez)
Won [65]
Best Global African Artist Himself Won
Best Male Artist Himself Nominated
BreakTudo Awards International Rising Artist Himself Pending [66]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Is Rema dead?: Divine Ikubor aka Rema never die, na fake news dey fly upandan - Rema Manager". BBC News Pidgin. 1 February 2020. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "About Rema". YouTube.
  3. ^ Nwafor (23 March 2019). "Don Jazzy signs record deal with D'Prince's Jonzing World". Vanguard News. Archived from the original on 21 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  4. ^ tolsen (2 January 2013). "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  5. ^ Anderson, Trevor (19 October 2023). "Tyla's 'Water' Hits No. 1 on U.S. Afrobeats Songs Chart – Stopping the 58-Week Run of Rema & Selena Gomez's 'Calm Down'". Billboard. Archived from the original on 28 October 2023. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Meet Rema, The Kid From Benin With The World At His Feet". The Native. 2 May 2019. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b Holmes, Charles (15 May 2020). "How Rema Became Afrobeats' New Superhero". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 22 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  8. ^ Pierre, Alphonse. "Rema Is Leading the Next Generation of Nigerian Pop Afrobeats chart". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  9. ^ Akindare, Okunola (21 January 2020). "How D'Prince gave Mavin Records a new lease of life". NET. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Rema – EP by Rema". Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019 – via music.apple.com.
  11. ^ "Top 100: Nigeria". Apple Music. Archived from the original on 25 June 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  12. ^ "See the music video for Rema's "Dumebi"". The NATIVE. 21 May 2019. Archived from the original on 20 August 2021. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  13. ^ "FIFA 21 soundtrack: Artists, songs & music on new game, reveal date | Goal.com". goal.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Fireboy, Rema feature on FIFA 21 official soundtracks". Punch Newspapers. 28 September 2020. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Pepsi unveils new ambassadors Ayra Starr and Rema #ForTheLoveOfMusic". Vanguard News. 4 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  16. ^ Kim, Michelle Hyun (18 March 2022). "17 Albums We Can't Wait to Hear This Spring". Vulture. Archived from the original on 20 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  17. ^ FOL (22 March 2022). "Rema reveals 'Rave and Roses' album tracklist – FindOutLyrics". Archived from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Rema". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 April 2022. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Rema – Calm Down(2022)". 10 July 2022. Archived from the original on 27 July 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  20. ^ "Rema – Calm Down". Top40-Charts.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Rema's Calm Down sets YouTube record as Afrobeats continues global foray". Music In Africa. 31 January 2023. Archived from the original on 21 February 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  22. ^ Zemler, Emily (26 August 2022). "Hear Selena Gomez Join Afrorave Artist Rema on Reworked Single 'Calm Down'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 28 August 2022. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  23. ^ "Selena Gomez – Chart History: The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  24. ^ "Rema earns first Billboard Hot 100 entry with 'Calm Down' remix". 13 September 2022. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  25. ^ Atkinson, Katie (19 November 2023). "Billboard Music Awards 2023 Winners: Full List". Billboard. Archived from the original on 20 November 2023. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  26. ^ Woerner, Meredith (12 September 2023). "Taylor Swift Wins Big at MTV VMAs, Plus Full List of Winners". Variety. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  27. ^ Oyetayo, Bamise. "Watch Rema's Plaque Acceptance For 1 Billion Streams On "Rave & Roses"". notjustok.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2023. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  28. ^ "Burnaboy, Black Sherif, Win At The Soundcity MVP Awards 2023 (FULL WINNERS LIST)". African Folder. 21 September 2022. Archived from the original on 12 February 2023. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  29. ^ "Rema Releases New EP Ravage". Pitchfork. 27 October 2023. Archived from the original on 3 November 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  30. ^ Etukudo, Itoro (31 October 2023). "'I'm grateful for this opportunity', Rema says after Ballon d'Or performance". The International Centre for Investigative Reporting. Archived from the original on 2 November 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  31. ^ Zeeman, Kyle (9 October 2019). "Toya Delazy is creating her own genre called Afro-rave, and she says it's the future". Times Live. Archived from the original on 9 October 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  32. ^ Coetzee, Nikita (3 August 2020). "How Toya Delazy carved out her own path and created a unique sound". News24. Archived from the original on 2 January 2024. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  33. ^ "My brand of music is 'Afrorave', says Rema". The Nation Newspaper. 22 May 2021. Archived from the original on 22 July 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  34. ^ Storm, Camille (24 September 2019). "Rema is Nigerian pop's golden child". The FADER. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Rema: Biography, Age, Girlfriend, Education, Songs, and More". 18 May 2022. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  36. ^ [I abandoned UNILAG admission because of ASUU strike – Rema "I abandoned UNILAG admission because of ASUU strike – Rema"]. Vanguard. 17 March 2023. Retrieved 10 September 2023. {{cite news}}: Check |url= value (help)
  37. ^ "PDP must explain what happened to my father – Rema | The Nation". The Nation Newspaper. 28 September 2020. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  38. ^ "Explain how my father died – Rema tells PDP". Daily Post Nigeria. 28 September 2020. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  39. ^ "The 40 Best Afropop Songs of 2023". Rolling Stone. 26 December 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  40. ^ Udugba, Anthony (8 November 2023). "How Rema became Nigeria's biggest music act of 2023". Business day Ng. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  41. ^ Kareem, Itunu Azeez (20 December 2023). "REMA'S R&R ALBUM IS AFROBEATS MOST STREAMED 2023". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  42. ^ Abimbolu, Debola (22 March 2020). "HOW REMA HAS CHANGED THE AFROPOP GAME IN ONLY ONE YEAR". The Native. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  43. ^ "Rema's hit single, 'Calm Down,' reaches 1bn streams on Spotify". Punch. 10 September 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  44. ^ Acho, Affa (December 2023). "Rema's 'Calm Down' Emerges as Global Shazam Champion of 2023, Breaks Records Worldwide". Leadership News. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  45. ^ "Presidency congratulates Rema on MTV award, says music resonates with audiences worldwide". Vanguard. 15 September 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  46. ^ Morgan, Maybelle (6 December 2023). "Rema brings the heat". GQ. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  47. ^ "Full list of winners at Headies 2019". The Nation Newspaper. 21 October 2019. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  48. ^ "#CPMA2020: Citypeople releases nominations for 2020 Music Awards". City People Magazine. 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  49. ^ "Winners Emerge @ City People Music Awards". City People Magazine. 5 November 2019. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  50. ^ "Burna Boy wins 2020 BET award, Rema loses". P.M. News. Archived from the original on 27 January 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  51. ^ "Rema, Jemima Osunde, Mr. Macaroni, Odunayo Eweniyi, others make The Future Awards Africa nominees list... all nominees are under the age of 28". The Future Awards Africa. 8 November 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  52. ^ "TFAA 2020 Winners Profile". The Future Awards Africa. 1 December 2020. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  53. ^ "Burna Boy, Rema Clinch 2020 MTV EMA Nominations For Best African Act". The Guardian Nigeria News. 7 October 2020. Archived from the original on 10 October 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  54. ^ "See the Full List of 2021 #MTVMAMA Nominees including Tems, Omah Lay and Rema!". BellaNaija. 9 December 2020. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  55. ^ "Live Update: All The Winners At The Headies 2020". The Guardian Nigeria News. 21 February 2021. Archived from the original on 5 December 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  56. ^ "Net Honours – The Class of 2021". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  57. ^ "African Entertainment Awards USA 2021". African Entertainment Awards USA. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  58. ^ "2021". Edison Jazz/World. Archived from the original on 28 June 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  59. ^ "Ganadores 2022 – Premios Odeón" (in Spanish). Odeón Awards. Archived from the original on 31 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  60. ^ "Burnaboy, Black Sherif, Win At The Soundcity MVP Awards 2023 (FULL WINNERS LIST)". African Folder. 21 September 2022. Archived from the original on 12 February 2023. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  61. ^ Nosa, Oke-Hortons (12 July 2023). "Headies2023: Wizkid, Portable missing, Davido, Asake dominates, full list trends". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Archived from the original on 14 July 2023. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  62. ^ Nosa, Oke-Hortons (12 July 2023). "Headies2023: Wizkid, Portable missing, Davido, Asake dominates, full list trends". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Archived from the original on 14 July 2023. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  63. ^ Curto, Justin (12 September 2023). "Here Are the 2023 VMA Winners". Vulture. Archived from the original on 12 September 2023. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  64. ^ Nosa, Oke-Hortons (12 July 2023). "AFRIMMA2023: Music Davido, Tiwa Savage, Rema, Ayra Starr Honoured at 10th AFRIMMA Awards". Archived from the original on 27 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  65. ^ Nosa, Oke-Hortons (12 July 2023). "Rema & Davido Are Top Winners at 2023 Trace Awards, Celebrating African Music (Full Winners List)". Archived from the original on 24 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  66. ^ "BreakTudo Awards 2023: Indicados". BreakTudo Awards (in Brazilian Portuguese). 24 August 2023. Archived from the original on 26 August 2023. Retrieved 28 August 2023.

External links edit