How many of you reading this post remember world-famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias? In 1983, he was the most recorded artist in more languages in the world, and in 2013 as the Latin artist who has sold the most records in history. He is recognized as the most successful European commercial singer in the world. He is one of the top ten record sellers in music history, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide in 14 languages. More than 2600 certified gold and platinum albums. It is estimated that during his career he has offered more than 5000 concerts, serving more than 60 million people on five continents. A musical artist who conquered the world. Another young artist named Davido, might be on his way to doing something similar.
David Adedeji Adeleke, born November 21, 1992, better known by his stage name Davido, is an American-born Nigerian recording artist, performer and record producer. His father is a Nigerian business magnate while his late mother was a university lecturer. He attended the British International School in Lagos. Davido studied Business Administration at Oakwood University prior to relocating to Nigeria. Davido’s interest in music started during his time at Oakwood University. He bought musical equipment and started making beats as well as recording vocal references. He dropped out of Oakwood University when he started getting bad grades and relocated to London, where he focused more of his energy towards vocals as opposed to production. When Davido returned to Nigeria in 2011, his music career was sidelined after he agreed to honor his father by enrolling at Babcock University. However, this would be the beginning musically for Davido.
Work on Davido’s début studio album, Omo Baba Olowo, (Yoruba: Son of a Rich Man) began in 2011. On May 7, 2011, Davido produced and released his first musical recording “Back When”. The song served as the album’s lead single and received frequent airplay. The music video for the single, uploaded onto YouTube on May 9, 2011, was shot and directed in Nigeria by Clarence Peters. After a couple more singles were released to promote the album, Omo Baba Olowo was released by HKN Music on July 17, 2012.
Even in his early stages of recording, Davido proved to be connected to various communities. It gave him a unique perspective when producing and recording music. Davido is a Nigerian artist born in the US, Atlanta to be exact. His first recording, Back When, was recorded in London. Even though the music is unmistakably Nigerian, the Euro and American influence is very much a part of future music coming from Davido.
Much like other artists, Davido wanted to get right back to work on his followup effort. In early 2013, Davido began recording his second studio album. On February 25, 2013, he released “Gobe” as the upcoming album’s lead single. Davido understood that the music and associated videos needed to speak to his fast growing audience. Charles Mgbolu of Vanguard commented on the release of the single, saying: “It’s a beautiful song with a tremendous video running along. In Gobe, Davido is beaten up by thugs after winning the girl. It’s a song that exudes fun from start to finish.” The music video for the single was shot in South Africa by Godfather Productions. A second single “One of a Kind”, from the upcoming album, would be released on May 13, 2013. The music video for “One of a Kind” was also shot and directed in South Africa by Tebza of Godfather Productions. It visualizes a united Africa rich in culture and music.
As Davido continued his work on his second studio album The Baddest, he released more singles and videos. His music not only entertained, but he offered music that would move others to action. In June 2014, Davido collaborated with Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Sarkodie, Diamond Platnumz and Tiwa Savage on a song for DSTV’s Africa Rising campaign, which was designed to inspire Africans to partake in community-based social investment projects. The music video for the song, released on June 24, 2014, was shot and directed by South African production house Callback Dream. The artists performed the song at the Africa Rising launch ceremony in Mauritius.
Other business developments marked the beginning of 2016 that might be very big moments in Davido’s career. Only time will tell. First, Davido announced via Twitter that he signed a record deal with Sony BMG. Second, Davido started his own label, Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), a few months after signing with Sony.
Overall, both moves seem to place Davido to really conquer the world by way of Africa, Europe and the US. If that occurs then the rest of the world of music is not far from his reach. At this point Davido is right on schedule. Appropriately, he named his own label Davido Music Worldwide. In the past, it seemed that the young star lived and worked in a world without borders, separated by nothing. The beat goes on!