Nigerian singer Azeez Adeshina Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, recently revealed the reason behind his fluency in the Yoruba language, despite growing up in London, United Kingdom.
In an interview with Cool FM Nigeria in Lagos, Naira Marley shared that his ability to rap fluently in Yoruba was influenced by his upbringing. He explained that while living in South-East London, particularly Peckham, he experienced an environment akin to a small Lagos, which exposed him to Nigerian street music.
Moreover, Naira Marley disclosed that his father played a significant role in shaping his Yoruba language proficiency. In their household, his dad enforced a rule that prohibited the use of English while encouraging only the speaking of Yoruba. This led to the entire family communicating primarily in Yoruba and immersing themselves in Yoruba culture, including listening to Fuji music and enjoying African cuisine.
Reflecting on his return to Nigeria, Naira Marley noted that his background in Yoruba language and culture helped him easily adapt to the Nigerian street music scene. Despite growing up in London, his fluency in Yoruba made him feel connected to his Nigerian roots.
The singer also revealed an alternate path he could have taken, sharing that he had the opportunity to pursue a career in football. During his time in England, Naira Marley played for the Arsenal youth team, showcasing his athletic prowess in addition to his musical talent.