The rapid rise of Afro-pop artist Joeboy

Jonathan Tomlinson

Caught On-Side


The rise of Nigerian singer and songwriter, Joeboy, has all happened in quick succession and has no signs of slowing down any time soon.

At the age of 25, it’s clear Joeboy has got to where he is through sheer talent. His soft-spoken words and chatty personality is both welcoming and friendly. When we met in Soho, London, he complements my tattoos and he tells me that the ones on his arms are centred around nature and wildlife within his home country of Africa. He tells me that he wants more but he has to travel to Rwanda to get them. 

The Lagos-born artist has been working his way up the musical ladder ever since Mr Eazi discovered his work in 2017.  His viral hit single Baby hit the charts in 2019 and gave him status that has seen his music become popular worldwide. ”It was definitely life-changing when I met Mr Eazi. It felt like I had waited all my life for that call because I have always admired Mr Eazi’s approach to both music and the music business, with everything he has done with emPawa and his other endeavours.”

Listening to Michael Jackson, Stromae, The Weeknd and Post Malone, Joeboy’s music taste was carefully curated through the familiar sounds that he was hearing through his family and friends. “My brother played the bass guitar, and my parents loved music as well. So constantly being surrounded by music and a family who loved it meant they all taught me a thing or two about music.” 

Joeboys inspirations came to fruition when he started writing music himself. His smooth lyrics and soft baselines connect with the listener on various levels. “I want my music to heal and affect lives,” he explains. “That’s the ultimate goal for me as a musician. Then the rest is secondary.”

It makes total sense when you meet Joeboy in person: the way his music effortlessly makes you feel free through the journey of sound. He talks about his love for nature and tells me that his favourite place in the world is the beach. “I like to sit and just enjoy the view and the atmosphere,” he says. “For anybody that’s followed me closely from the onset, they can tell you that my favourite place in the whole world is being next to the ocean.”

His debut album, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, was doted on in February 2021, with music magazine Rolling Stone declaring it one of the year’s best albums. It was just the beginning for Joeboy that year as 'Sip (Alcohol)' released in September, became his biggest single to date, with over 400 million streams worldwide and counting. 

2022 has shaped to be even more promising for Joeboy as he increased his global presence with his first tours of the USA and Europe. In 2023 we expect to see the 25-year-old hit dizzying heights with his music. 


Keep up to date with JoeBoy here.

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