Naira Marley real name Azeez Adeshina Fashola is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is known as the president of his controversial fan base, “Marlians”.
Naira Marley’s journey from the Prince of Peckham to cult figure in Lagos, Nigeria represents his evolution into a bonafide intercontinental rockstar: selling out shows across Africa, and trailed intently both online and off by his mass of obsessive followers, the ‘Marlians’.
Named after the Nigerian currency and known for his anti-establishment youth spirit and viral dance crazes, Naira’s wave connects the West African diaspora to their roots as he delivers his lines in a syrupy mixture of Yoruba and English.
While the likes of Wizkid and Burna Boy used 2019 as a big year to universalize their appeal, Naira is in a lane of his own that politely ignores the commerciality of Afropop and its close cousin Afrobeats.
His 2018 collaboration with Olamide and Lil Kesh, Issa Goal, became an unofficial anthem for that year’s Nigerian World Cup campaign as the international diaspora massed behind the team’s footballing efforts. But he’s had more controversial encounters too, including his investigation by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission after he made comments and released a tongue-in-cheek track about email fraud in the country. Such is his appeal, however, that the EFCC’s efforts have so far only raised his profile and boosted his adoring fanbase.
Lord Of Lamba – shortened somewhat appropriately to ‘LOL’ – is the name of his first substantial body of work following a four-to-five-year string of single bangers. The EP is a continuation of Naira’s juiced-up spirit, with an added dose of Yoruba and dance routines, and sets the Peckham-via-Lagos MC up for his biggest year to date.