The title, “King of Afro-pop music” can only be worn by one artiste at a time. D’banj was once the King, 2baba was once the bearer of the title but as it stands currently, two worthy aspirants have stepped forward to claim the Royal title.
His origin can be traced to Surulere in Lagos where he started by listening to his idols, then attempted a couple of behind-closed-door freestyles before finding courage to hit the studio.
In Modoc studio particularly, he found his voice and set his sights on the glory. His journey led him to the tent of EME where he got propped and guided to the threshold of his fame. From there, he gathered a team of experienced professionals to handle his business operations while he took care of the music aspect. Together, they raised the bar of African music to the heights where the likes of Drake, Chris Brown operate.
Today, the Ojuelegba boy has grown into an iconic figure that is hoisting the African banner at the very centre of global music. Wizkid is leading the movement to globalise the African sound and his stride in that position, continues to earn him the respect and adulation of his kins.
His counterpart, Davido, treaded a totally different path on his ride to continental music dominance. Davido has known wealth from birth. He grew up in an environment of luxury and comfort; all he had to do was stay alive to enjoy the abundance bestowed upon him by providence. He had every reason to be complacent but he refused the “my daddy’s money is mine” life. Rather, he chose to write his own narrative and chose to become a man of his own.
For Davido, his narrative was scripted to allow him take up a career in music making and he set his heart out to follow the script. As a smart rich kid, he saw an advantage in his access to wealth and he hired good hands to guide him through the ropes of the Nigerian music industry. He quickly learnt the code of industry, that for a good impression, an artiste needs a hit record and to stay atop, consistency is the key.
His first reaction was to admit his limitations and then to make up for his shortcomings, he devised an effective strategy in working with songwriters to create hit songs. He found an trump card in the use of social media to engage his fans and grow his following, all of these aspects of his branding came together to help him become the star of African music in 2017.
For most part of the year, Wizkid and Davido went neck-to-neck for the title. Wizkid took pride in his commendable international repertoire while Davido beat his chest for locking down the African music community with his viral songs. For months, the two heavyweights wrestled each other in a bid to occupy the seat of power.
However, in a shocking move the two aspirants held hands and walked side by side on the famous stage of Eko Convention Centre. The move symbolises their ascension to the throne as a pair and they seem happy to share the title, at least for the moment.
Written by Ogbeni Lagbaja.
Ogbeni Lagbaja is a character created by a man who used to be an atheist; a man who was once in love, a man who once doubted himself. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org