Rema: Story to Fame

by Duke Magazine
Rema/ Instagram Rema

It is undoubtably true that that the 20-year-old Rema, born Divine Ikubor is a shining star on Nigeria music scene. His huge impact within the space of a year in his musical endeavor is speaking volume for him. With his breakthrough single ‘Dumebi’, Rema has really done well for himself amassing achievements to his collection. He is seemingly a kid born into affluence, but the irony was the case for him.

Rema at a very young age began grinding for survival and sustenance before hitting the jackpot of stardom under Don Jazzy’s Mavins record label.

Fast backward to Rema’s childhood story, he was born on May 1, 2000 to an Edo father and Igbo mother as the third son of the  family. Growing up was rough and tough for him as he tragically lost his father and elder brother while still a kid. This ill-fated incidence prompts him to brace up and assume the role of man of the house. At age 11, Rema has realized that he can creatively make some things happen well for him aside the comics he do draw for his friends.

He has the flare and talent for music, and he sees it as a lucrative venture if he delve into songwriting from his normal comic writing.

Just like every other artists’ music story, Rema started rapping to gospel songs in church, and was the group leader for rap nation group. His stage ‘Rema’ was coined out of mentorship with his optimistic and passionate dream of performing at the star-beholding stage of his church headquarter, Christ Embassy, in Lagos.

With the keen moral support of his mother, this was limited by financial constraints in financing his tertiary education or music career. Rema later met a young singer like himself, Alpha P at an event, and got along after then. Alpha P got inspired more with the passion of Rema into music that they created a music duo known as RNA group. In the group, Rema did the rap part of song and Alpha P handled the hooks. They both contributed frantically into strengthening the group. 

Heeding to his mother’s advice, Rema took his academics seriously, but did go to the studio with Alpha P to rehearse and record songs after school hours.

The duo competed at a talent show, and emerged as winner in 2015. With this success, they were able to release their first music video of a single ‘Mercy’. This great release of theirs, got them interviewed by HipTV and Channels TV then.

Pushing forward, Rema is already seeing the green grasses ahead of him, and see no reason for backing out of his music dream. He saw financial predicament as the only hurdle for him to cross in footing his music recordings.

With the little or no help his mother could be able to provide for him, Rema held the bull by the horn by spacing himself from distractions, and left Nigeria for Cotonou (Republic of Benin) in 2016. He continued putting more efforts into earning for himself and his music.

Rema on the walkway at the 2019 Lagos Fashion Week

Rema later found his way to Ghana, and got a menial job at the beach. While in Ghana, he was working tirelessly to make ends meet, and also mastering Ghanaian music. He came back to Nigeria in 2017 at age 17 to buy his mother a SUV car from the proceeds of his hardwork in Ghana.

Rema started contributing huge time into actualizing his music hustle into stardom. He spent time downloading beats and getting his songs produced. He was working relentlessly to see his money take him through recording sessions in the studio. With the release of Dprince’s song ‘Gucci gang’, Rema jumped on the song by making a freestyle cover for the song after contracting producer-Liquid Mix to produce a remix for the song which he later posted on Instagram on February 28th.

This remix got Dprince intrigued, and he was called over to meet with Don Jazzy. This meeting led him to Don Jazzy and introduced to Mavins team in August 2018. Few months later, he recorded songs like ‘Iron Man’, and most of the songs on his 2019 EPS. With the star-studded Mavins team members like Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks and Don Jaxxy, Rema learnt so much of what not just music, but hit music is all about. Rema was officially signed into Mavins record label on March 22, 2019, with load of songs to be released by him.

‘Dumebi’, his debut hit song topped the music charts in Nigeria for several weeks. His unique and well-toned voice pitches him at the first call of interview with media giants within and outside Nigeria. He has released over fifteen tracks within the space of a year with extended playlists being number one on Apple Music in Nigeria.

His song ‘Ironman’ appeared on former U.S president Barack Obama’s summer playlist while making his debut runway work at the 2019 Lagos Fashion Week. Rema made his appearance hanging out with Jaden Smith for Drake’s Halloween bash at Delilah West Hollywood California on October 31st, 2019.

In reaping for his handwork, Rema won the 2020 Headies Award in the category of Next Rated Award, and the SoundCity MVP for best new artist. Recently, Rema released ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Beamer’ songs that lasted for weeks on Audiomack Top 10 songs. American rapper, Drake, had an Instagram live session with Rema and said “We have six songs together”.

Pulling waves and gathering momentum, it is certain that the sky of music is just the very beginning for this star kid.

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novo pet January 10, 2024 - 4:58 pm

What interesting idea..

Pedrohem January 25, 2024 - 11:21 pm Reply

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