King David is born.
In early 2011, a young, upcoming artiste David Adeleke made his entry into the Nigerian music scene. Three years later, he can proudly boast of being Africa’s biggest artist.
Truthfully, it’s taken Davido less than three years to attain such status; his journey started out in May 2011 when he released his first official single ‘Back when’ featuring a stunning verse from Naeto C.
The song was mildly accepted by critics and was just enough to get him the attention he needed at the time. And thus began the then 19-year-old’s journey to superstardom; he seemed to have the perfect team – a young and zealous manager – Asa Asika, a hit making producer – Shizzi, a lively crew/hype-men – B.Red and Sina Rambo, and a whole lot of money..
Omo Baba Olowo… Talking about money; chatter and buzz around Davido increased when it was discovered that his father was billionaire businessman Deji Adeleke. He was immediately tagged a ‘trust fund kid.’
Davido didn’t seem bothered and didn’t shy away from his privileged background; his follow up single ‘Dami Duro’ drummed his wealthy status into our minds.
The song immediately shot him up to the A-list category, a well-envied and sought-after status occupied by top acts like Psquare, D’banj, 2face Idibia and another young star Wizkid. He morphed into ‘Omo baba olowo,’ the rich kid who planned to dominate the music industry.
The ‘rich-boy-trying-to-do-music’ status stuck with Davido, with many saying the singer used money to bum-rush his way into the Nigerian entertainment scene. Some said with the help of payola, he was able to get his music and videos heavy rotation on radio and TV. But David didn’t seem to care; not budging or backing down, he continued pushing out more material – in the space of nine months, he had released more material than his peers, performed at more shows, got more spins, and his career grew rapidly.
It could best be described as accelerated growth; never had this been done before. Shortly a year after his 2011 debut, the comparison with fellow Pop star Wizkid (who had blown up a year earlier) began. The two were compared on all fronts – talent, label strength, financial stance, and lifestyle. Tension between both acts increased their competition, with each one trying to outdo the other. Appealing to the same market, it looked like Davido had come to replace Wizkid.
In April 2012, Davido went on to sign an endorsement deal with MTN worth N30m. Then people started to take him seriously..
In July 2012, he released his highly anticipated debut album ‘O.B.O: The Genesis’. Despite the huge marketing budget put behind it, the album was received with mixed reviews, with many saying the record fell below expectations. It only spurred Davido on.
He went on to release multiple singles off the album and shot videos for every single one of them, unrelenting despite critics labeling him a ‘flash in the pan.’ In 2013, he released a new single ‘Gobe’; it became an instant hit – the club friendly tune was on everyone’s playlist – young and old.
By this time, the public’s general opinion started to change: ‘He may actually be talented.’
The Birth of the African Star Davido‘s rise in the African music scene started in April 2013 when he released his single ‘One of a kind’.
The song was strategically written to cater to the African market, with the singer naming several African countries in the chorus. The music video followed the theme of the song, highlighting several African flags.
This is all the Pop star needed to break into the Eastern and Southern African markets, two regions where only the likes of Psquare and Flavour held ground. Months after, Davido moved his music from Nigeria and Ghana into Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia and turned into an international star….
Another huge single, the intoxicating ‘Skelewu’ blew him into space – the controversy behind the music video somehow played to his advantage, receiving millions of views on YouTube. Davido went on a European tour, returned and visited several African countries. Photos and video clips show the young singer now pulls close to 30,000 fans outside Nigeria.
It should be also be noted that despite a cartload of controversies, Davido’s career has still soared, steadily gaining more and more fans. His latest single ‘Aye’ is a fan favourite, appealing to a huge demography..
On June 7, 2014, Davido was crowned as the ‘Best African Artiste’ at the MTV Africa Music Awards in South Africa and on June 29 was named ‘Best African Act’ at the BET Awards in Los Angeles but does he consider himself as the biggest? ‘I thank God, I want to be bigger, there’s still a lot of work to do.
I can’t think I’m the best now.’ Davido tells NET. The singer will have one big hurdle to cross; a major phenomenon that has ended the careers of some of the biggest Nigerian artistes – Longevity.
Article By Osagie Alonge from TheNetng