Hip hop artist Jidenna stands out from the crowd. With his unique look and his blend of African and American musical influences, Jidenna is a fresh face on the scene. Born thirty-two years ago in Wisconsin to a Nigerian father and an American mother, Jidenna Mobisson spent his early childhood in his father’s native country before the family returned to live in the US when he was six years old.
Jidenna’s music career began while he was a teacher. He eventually signed to Wondaland Records, led by singer Janelle Monáe. His first single, “Classic Man.” was a hit in 2015, having extensive airplay within the United States and peaking at #22 on Billboard’s hot 100 and at #8 on the R&B chart. His collaboration with Janelle, “Yoga,” was also well-received. The following year, he released “Chief Don’t Run” before dropping his first studio album—The Chief—in 2017. To date, the album has already sold over 20,000 copies. Fans of Jidenna are able to enjoy a double-dose of their fave artist this year, with the release of Boomerang last month. The six-track EP dropped just nine months after his debut album came out back in February. The new release features two remixes—“Bambi Too,” and “Little Bit More (Remix)”—along with four new songs.
Inspirations Behind his Music and his Look
Jidenna attributes his music style influence to Big Daddy Kane and KRS One. He also mentions Nigeria’s music genre popularly known as highlife, which heavily draws from Ghana’s native Akan tribe music style. Jidenna’s stylish dandy look is a result of influence from his college psychology professor who taught him about the power of fashion, as well as in tribute to his father. His fashion is partly inspired by West African fashion coupled with Harlem’s renaissance period.
Awards and Nominations
“Classic Man” received a Grammy nomination for the best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the Grammy awards in 2016. “Yoga” won the Best Dance Performance award at the Soul Train Music Awards in 2015 with “Classic Man” winning in the New Song category. Jidenna was also recognized as the winner of the New Artist award.