Ever since he released the mega-hit single, Baby, in 2019, Joeboy has continued to be relevant in the Nigerian music industry and Africa at large. In this article, we’ll be discussing the biography of this young award-winning Afrobeats singer and songwriter. As you read on, you’d learn about his early life, career, net worth, and more.
Joeboy’s biography would be discussed below:
Early Life and Education
Joeboy, whose real name is Joseph, Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, is the last of four children, born in Lagos on May 21, 1997. Joeboy grew up in a musically inclined family as his dad played the keyboard at church and his elder brother the guitar while his sister sang in the choir. However, Joeboy didn’t show interest in music at a young age. He didn’t play any instruments nor joined the church choir or music groups in school.
As a teenager nearing the completion of his secondary school education, he began being interested in music owing to the relationship his elder brother had with 9ice and ID Cabassa at the time. As a student at the University of Lagos studying Human Resource Management, Joeboy began making clips of himself singing on social media, but it didn’t provide him with the desired publicity, save for his friends and family. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Lagos upon completion of his undergraduate program.
Joeboy will turn 26 years old on May 21, 2023.
At the age of 17, Joeboy had already started making music, albeit as an amateur artist. He was widely unknown then until he did a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You in 2017. His cover of Shape of You soon gained national and international recognition for his twisty-turn take on the original.
Later that 2017, a friend of Joeboy who was based in Europe took it upon herself to send clips of him singing to as many A-List Nigerian artists as she could. One such artist that got Joeboy’s clips sent by his female friend was Mr. Eazi. Pleased with the clip, Mr. Eazi reached out to Joeboy directly on Instagram via his DM. This meeting would make the unknown artist a successful musical act in less than two years.
In 2018, Mr. Eazi created a talent incubator for emerging African artists known as emPawa, which would offer marketing, distribution, publishing, label, and management services. Mr. Eazi also launched a funding and mentorship program, #emPawa100, which he advised Joeboy to sign up for.
Following the directive of Mr. Eazi, Joeboy signed up for #emPawa100, making him one of the 10,000 applicants from 14 African countries. Out of the 10,000 applicants, 100 would be chosen, of which Joeboy was one of them and each of them would receive $3000 to fund their music videos. Joeboy became the first recipient of the $3000 music video grant.
Out of the 100 initial emerging African artists picked from the #emPawa100 funding and mentorship program, an elite group of ten was chosen and sent to Cape Town, South Africa for a mentorship boot camp. Joeboy was one of those selected. In South Africa, Joeboy and nine other emerging artists were housed, fed, and introduced to a series of musical mentorship for three weeks. At the end of the three weeks, Joeboy and another emerging Ghanaian artist J. Derobie received an additional $50,000 apiece in funding.
Joeboy signed to Banku Music, a record label under the exclusive license of emPawa Africa Limited. Joeboy became the poster boy of emPawa. Shortly after signing for Banku Music, Joeboy collaborated alongside King Promise as a guest artist on DJ GuGuiltyBeatz’s track titled Fire. Shortly after, he released his debut single under emPawa titled Faaji, which featured Mr. Eazi and was produced by E-Kelly, which became a hit song. He used his $3000 music video grant to shoot the video of Faaji.
Joeboy experienced the breakthrough of his career with the release of Baby, which topped Apple Music’s streaming charts in Nigeria, Uganda, and several other African countries. Baby also topped the MTV Base charts for months. Outside the African continent, the song recorded massive streams and downloads too. The music video of Baby received positive reviews also when it was released. Following the success of Baby, Joeboy released Beginning, which also recorded millions of streams on music platforms, and topped Apple Music’s charts in Nigeria and Uganda, while appearing in the Top 10 Apple Music charts of Kenya, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.
In October 2019, Joeboy released Don’t Call Me Back, which featured Mayorkun as the lead single of his first body of work. Don’t Call Me Back was produced by Beats by Ko, and it was well-praised by critics and fans alike. It topped the MTV Base music charts and recorded millions
of streams. On November 8, 2019, Joeboy dropped his first extended playlist titled Love and Light, which combined love songs with happy and inspiring songs. The EP contained five songs which include Baby, Beginning, Don’t Call Me Back, All For You, and Blessings.
In 2020, Joeboy in collaboration with Mr. Eazi and DJ Neptune released Nobody, which became a massive hit in Nigeria and other African countries. Nobody topped the MTV Base music charts for most of 2020, earning the title for song of the year 2020. The song was the third-most-shared song globally on Triller in 2020. In several other music charts, the song did well. That same year (2020), Joeboy toured the United States and Europe.
In February 2021, Joeboy dropped his first album titled Somewhere Between Beauty and Magic. The song which contained 14 songs had no support from any guest artist. It was the most streamed album on Audiomack in 2021. The songs of the album include Count Me Out, Focus, Number One, Police, Door, Show Me, Runaway, Lonely, Celebration, Consent, Oshe, Oh, Sugar Mama, and Better Things. Celebration and Lonely were singles previously released before the album dropped.
Later in 2021, Joeboy released the remix Door, which featured Ghanaian artist, Kwesi Arthur. He went on to release another hit single titled Alcohol, which gained over 400 million streams and topped the Apple Music charts in 17 countries. Since then, he’s released several other ground-breaking hits such as Contour and Body and Soul.
Below are the awards Joeboy has won so far:
- The Best Pop Award at Soundcity MVP Awards Festival 2020 Edition
- The Best Pop Single Award for Nobody at The Headies Award 2021Edition
- The Song of the Year Award for Nobody at The Headies Awards 2021 Edition
Joeboy is reportedly worth between $800,000 and $1,000,000 according to various online publications.