A pioneer in the Afrobeats scene
British-Nigerian artist Naira Marley (born Azeez Adeshina Fashola) is a singer-songwriter and record label owner who fuses Afrobeats with a gritty rap sound. Born in Agege, Lagos, he moved to Peckham at the age of 11.
Marley got into freestyle rapping as a teen but opted to study business law at Crossways College. Initially, he intended to manage the careers of his MC friends, but a recording session in 2014 fanned the fire of his own musical aspiration. While Marley was in the studio with his mates, they implored him to jump in on a track. Everyone loved his strong Nigerian accent so much that he decided to do a solo cut assisted by Max Twigz, resulting in Marry Juana.
Marley released his debut EP Gotta Dance in 2015, combining vibrant dancehall rhythms with grime. A series of singles and collaborations followed including 2016’s Ko Si Werey featuring Olamide and 2017’s Afrohouse tracks Money On The Road and Cele with Omo Frenchie.
Marley started receiving worldwide attention after revealing 2018’s Issa Goal with Olamide and Lil Kesh. Not only was the funky party tune used during Arsenal warm-ups, but the Super Eagles – Nigeria’s football team – made it their theme at that year’s FIFA World Cup.
A rapidly rising force on the Afrobeats scene, Marley released the singles JAPA and Drummer Boy in 2018, with Soapy, Am I A Yahoo Boy and PXTA trailing in 2019. To the delight of his growing fan base dubbed Marlians, he made an appearance at Starboy Fest with WizKid that autumn. In late December, Marley’s second EP Lord Of Lamba came out and he held his first Marlian Fest event where he announced the launch of his Marlian Records label with CBlvck, Zinoleesky, MohBad and Fabian Blu signed on as the first acts.
In February 2020, Marley performed his first solo concert live in the UK at London’s O2 Academy Brixton and released a handful of new tracks throughout the spring and summer including Aye, Dido Lobo, Mofoti and As E Dey Go. In autumn, he confirmed the return of Marlian Fest, presented by Roadh2show International, where he would headline on 10 April 2021 at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Naira Marley is headlining Marlian Fest in London on 10 April 2021.
Naira Marley tops the bill for London's Marlian Fest at The SSE Arena, Wembley in April 2021.
Tickets to see Naira Marley at Marlian Fest 2021 are on sale now.