Jidenna’s rise to stardom was a gradual process that started right from his days in Milton Academy and continued all through his time at Stanford University. He has since grown to become a renowned African-American singer, rapper, record producer, and songwriter who is best known for his RIAA platinum-certified debut single Classic Man. Jidenna has since released a total of four more bodies of work, the latest being 85 to Africa in 2019.
How Jidenna Rose to Stardom and Achieved Fame
Jidenna’s rise to stardom did not come overnight. The musician had to resort to teaching music after graduation in 2008 in order to raise funds for his career. Though teaching was not fun for the aspiring singer, he had to continue for the next six years because he had the need for the money. While on the teaching job, he was relentless in pursuing his musical career, shuttling between LA, New York, Atlanta, and Oakland.
While on his death bed, the artist’s father bestowed blessings on his son, urging him to discover himself and make music that reflects the globe, such that people would be able to reflect it, and the type that has never been heard. Taking his dad’s last words to heart, Jidenna embraced music as his full career in 2013. He signed on to Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records and collaborated with some of the record label’s artists like Roman GianArthur, Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, and St. Beauty.
By 2014, the artists of the group worked on an EP of five tracks titled Wondaland Presents: The Eephus. This included two of his songs; Classic Man and Yoga where he collaborated with Janelle Monáe. Classic Man was released on the 4th of January 2015 and it debuted at #89 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Yoga, on the other hand, was released on the 31st of March that year, peaking at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, Jidenna has been collaborating with other singers and has released multiple music videos, including from his debut album The Chief which finally came to light on the 17th of February 2017 through a collaboration with Epic records and Wondaland Records. That album was succeeded by an EP titled Boomerang on the 10th of November 2017.
7 Other Things You Probably Did Not Know About Jidenna
1. He Is Multi-Racial
Jidenna’s dad, Oliver Udemmadu Ogbonna Mobisson, was a Nigerian professor from the Igbo ethnic group. He was notably one of the founding members of Enugu State University of Science & Technology. His mum Tama Mobisson, on the other hand, is a white woman of American origin.
2. Jidenna Is His Parent’s Last Child
The famed singer is the last child of the Mobisson family with three siblings comprising of two older sisters and an older brother. Notable among his sisters is Nneka Mobisson-Etuk who works with African Operations, Institute for Health Care Investment as the Executive Director. Geoff Mobisson his big brother is a Harvard Business School graduate.
3. He Had A Bad Experience In Nigeria
Jidenna was just five years old when he had a harrowing experience. The Mobissons boarded a bus on their way to the airport when a group of armed robbers adducted them, beating up his mum and molesting his sister while they left Jidenna with a bullet in his foot.
4. He Has a Sound Academic Background
Despite the fact that the family was not rich, the artist’s mum ensured that all her children had access to good education, sending Jidenna to the revered Milton Academy where he accomplished his high school education. Though he reportedly didn’t like the uniform one bit, the rising performer thrived in Milton, earning the position of the basketball team captain.
Drawing inspiration from big names like Biggie, Mase, Tupac, and Nas, he co-founded Black Spadez – a rap group which he began writing songs for, and perhaps that was the bedrock of Jidenna’s rise to stardom.
5. Jidenna Graduated From University In 2008
With his graduation from Milton Academy achieved in 2003, Jidenna got offers from Stanford University and Harvard University but decided to go with the former where he initially started studying sound engineering but changed to ritualistic arts in the long run.
6. He Was Rumored To Be Gay
Though he seems to be single at the moment, the African American artist was rumored to gay at one point in his life. The allegations were found to be baseless with an ensuing rumor that broke out about his dalliance with sports analyst Rosalyn Gold-Onwude but this has not been confirmed too.
7. Jidenna Is Proud To Be Nigerian
Jidenna holds his home country in great esteem, often traveling home to Nigeria most recently when he took pains to bury his dad in their village in Awo Idemili. On his latest visit, the popular artist set up an annual scholarship at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in his father’s memorial.