Meet DJ Nu Kidd, the creative responsible for Burna Boy’s Fela inspired chain

Sculptured in the likeness of Fela's iconic victory pose

Burna Boy has always worn his Fela influences boldly across his chest, paying homage to the Afrobeat legend through his musical direction and expressive lifestyle. While it didn’t do anything for his reputation as a unique artist with several others mining Fela’s identity when he had first started out, no one else has matched his dedication to pushing the gospel of Fela religiously.

With the recent success Burna Boy’s music has enjoyed in America over the last few months, his hero-worship has also grown new wings fashioned to appeal to the new audience he’s sure to amass. He debuted his new chains, sculptured in the likeness of Fela’s iconic victory pose in his cameo for Mahalia’s “Simmer” music video. The chain has since continued to glitten around his neck, seen in the several radio and TV appearances that followed the release of his recent ‘African Giant’ album.

DJ Nu Kidd is the jeweller responsible for crafting the bling, updating Burna Boy with the drip and swagger of a true African Gaint, shinny enough for the whole world to see. Diamonds have always caught the eyes of the 24-year-old Nigerian, picking up interest in studs and diamonds when running errands for his parents who had a few pieces lying around. NATIVE spoke with DJ Nu Kidd, trying to uncover more context for the inspiration behind creating the piece.

NATIVE: How Did You Get into Jewellery Making?

DJ Nu Kidd: I remember like whenever my parents would send me to like get something from their room, I would look on the tables and see a studded or diamond earrings or watches or something just sitting and it always just caught my eye and attention you know. They always had a few pieces lying around and even my grandmother too. I would say the females in my family were into jewellery a lot so I think that helped it too. I loved the rich vibrant look it gave to people, seeing it in like music videos on TV and such. Jewellery was like a necessity so it’s something that could not have gone unnoticed for me as a youth. I appreciated the culture.

Along the line, I moved to New Jersey for college which was so close to New York’s diamond district; that’s like an area famous for jewellery. I would always just go there you know. Always learning about the jewellery, the pieces and just infatuated with everything, to be honest. The jewellers themselves liked me you know. They were and still are super cool and open when I asked questions and such. I wouldn’t say I’m a jeweller per-say because I don’t make them with my very own hands but I design jewellery pieces and bring peoples ideas to life I guess…in jewellery form.

NATIVE: Can You Describe Your Creative Process?

DJ Nu Kidd: I don’t have any set process really. It’s me coming together with a client and bringing their ideas to life. My unique signature is to basically make the designs as simple as possible but still standout.

NATIVE: What’s The Reception For Those in the Jewellery Making Industry in Nigeria?

DJ Nu Kidd: I’m not really focused on that. I’m just doing my own thing and it has been pretty good vibe mostly. I’ve been making custom jewellery for a pretty long time and it has all been a good ride.

NATIVE: Have You Had Any Milestone Experiences Along the Way?

DJ Nu Kidd: Milestones? I have to have had milestones leading up to here. Think I’ve made pieces for literarily almost everybody and I’m grateful you know.

Meet DJ Nu Kidd, the jeweler responsible for Burna Boy's Fela inspired chains - The NATIVE

NATIVE: How Did You Come Up With The Idea For Burna Boy’s Piece?

DJ Nu Kidd: Burna boy wanted to honour an icon, someone he’s looked up to basically since forever you know, Fela, and I wanted to do it in a dope memorable way. So he decided to make a custom piece. And when he mentioned it, we tossed around different ideas on how to leave the original image of Fela while also putting a modern twist to it. He gave me the green light to add my twist and we brought Fela back to life.

Featured Image Credits: Twitter/artmurri

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You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

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