NATIVE RESET ISSUE: Rema, Still Divine

"Everything that you hear is from my soul."

In three short years, the young boy that was once rapping out of the car window has become the young man on top of the world. Rema has scaled to the pinnacle of the music pyramid, and he’s done so seemingly without even breaking a sweat. Signing jointly to Jonzing World and the machine that is Mavin Records in 2019, he came on the scene young but confident boy, tipped as The Next Big Thing.

Not only has he lived up to the billing, but it’s fair to say he may have already surpassed the expectations the ever-sceptical Nigerian music industry had for him. Today, he sits atop the Billboard US Afrobeats Charts for a record 11th week, as a result of his borderline fanfic collaboration with Selena Gomez.

For NATIVE’s The Reset Issue cover, Rema is setting the record straight–he’s still Divine, the wunderkind from Benin who has bent Hip-Hop, Trap and Pop into his sonic orbit. “Everything that you hear is from my soul. I rarely have an external principle lead my spirit to create. I’m not boxed in. I can be on [any] genre and still sound like me. Afro-Rave is ME,” he declares triumphantly on our Ember 2022 Issue.

Full credits.

Photography: Richie Igunma

Art Direction: Gbenga Ayeblue

Styling: Pat Ada Eze

Production: Dawa Thompson

Make-Up: Ayopo Abiri

Photography Assistants: Toafiq Alade, Idowu Oe, Tunde Sunmi, Jeremiah Ogunsina

Art Assistants: David Abai, Busayo Adedeji

Styling Assistant: Freya

Production Manager: Ademola Eshinlokun

Production Assistants: Tega Akintola, Olaotan Collins, Moore Wright, Damilola Layiwola

Words by Seni Saraki

Read the full cover story here.