2019 marked a monumental year for Davido, born David Adedeji Adeleke. It opened with a sold out date at London’s O2 Arena – making him the first solo African artist to do this – to creating mass hysteria across America with his smash hit single Fall which was recently certified GOLD in the US and Canada. The song went on to have the longest run of an Afrobeats single on the Billboard Charts, and saw it peak across Shazam as one of the most searched songs in the States. To date the video for Fall sits as the No.1 Afrobeats music video with 180 million views on YouTube Music. His much celebrated album A Good Time recorded over 1.2 billion streams and he now gears up to release A Better Time in November 2020.
Despite being young, his music was “stuff the older people could like” and so bridged the generational gap of those who enjoyed the classic sounds of Shina Peters but also the new take on Afrobeats from the likes of Davido and Wizkid who would go “back to back" releasing singles. From his debut single Back When to Dami Duro, it was not long before Davido struck gold with Skelewu, now boasting to over 50 million streams and views. At the time admittedly “labels were still understanding” the Afrobeats resurgence, but the intrigue of the sound that was quickly spreading worldwide pricked the ears of A&Rs across the globe, and it was not long before Sony Music signed the Nigerian star. Nevertheless, David’s approach remained the same working with his go-to producers Speroache Beats and Kiddominant, (who’ve also produced his upcoming album) to release enough music across the past 8 years to make “5 albums”.
A faultless methodology that catapulted David’s profile globally – as he knew was possible. Lauded as the ‘King of Afrobeats’ by his “30 Billion Gang”, who have made him the most followed Afrobeats artist on social media across platforms. He now holds a discography now attesting to over 2 billion global streams and 500 million video views, earning over 30 awards internationally including the MOBO for Best African Act, the MTV EMA for Best International Act, two MTV Africa Music Awards, a 2014 BET Award for ‘Best African Act’, two Nigerian Teen Choice Awards for ‘Top Featured Artist’ and ‘Choice Male Artist’. Successive hit singles If, Fall and Fia has seen recognition fawn in from around the world.
It might not be surprising that as he nears his tenth year of making music, he feels like in five years’ time, at the tender age of 32, he might be ready to retire. Leave music? No that would not be an option but finding a salve in mentoring the younger generations of musicians coming through the scene, in the same way the likes of “D’Banj and 2Face” did for him. Mentorship and the familial approach taken to music, is something Davido attributes to the burgeoning Latin music scene, they “collaborate, tour together and the streams grow” and something he feels could be a great addition to the African scene, as he feels that not “one person could do it on their own”.