You have to give it to Mayorkun. You have to respect the man’s resilience and drive to ensure that he succeeds. It is all he has got as an artist, and at the moment it is succeeding.
For the first time, I attended a headline show by Mayorkun. After what has been his best career year, the DMW singer was ready to headline his concert in Lagos. This was the city he walked through as a kid, and now is pushing for leadership in the music industry as one of the brightest in the land.
2017 has been a great year for him. He has one of the biggest songs of 2017 in ‘Mama’, and as he rounds off December, his latest single ‘Che che’ has become a sleeper hit. Throw that in with support from Davido, a growing fan base of young people, and a team that has his back. Mix it well, and you would find the bravery and courage to do a headline show at the Hardrock Café.
Yes, Mayorkun did it. He did it. And gosh, he did it!
Mayorkun hit the stage after performances from 15 opening acts. It was the highest number of artists I have seen take the stage for a headline concert of an artist of his calibre. The list was long. Artists like Terry Apala and Dremo performed, while DJs Cuppy, Consequence and E-Cool spun the place around. It did feel like forever, but finally, after an age, he appeared. The Mayor of Lagos. Mayorkun, God’s personal gift to Eko, was on stage.
In 2016, Davido found this kid on Instagram, making a cover of a single. He was immediately snapped up and signed to a deal that offered him the tools for a great launch. And to his credit, he took it with both hands. ‘Eleko’, ‘Sade’, ‘Love you tire’, ‘Mama’ and ‘Che che’ have gained great penetration in the country, and given him a super start.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came out,” he said. “Davido thank you too.” He acknowledged his benefactor.
But his success hasn’t come without its criticism. To be honest, Mayorkun hacked it all with a formula. ‘Eleko’ and ‘Sade’ were extensions of Kiss Daniel’s ‘Woju’, while ‘Mama’ and ‘Che che’ were remixed gulps from Davido’s glass of ‘Pon pon’, which originally had ‘If’ and ‘Fall’. Although he has dealt with the criticism with dignity, and denied much of it. But it was tough to ignore during his performance. ‘Eleko’ and ‘Sade’ were performed as one song, with the live band not switching anything.
“Bro, that’s one song right?” A friend who just got the revelation asked me.
“Yes, it’s one song with two different titles,” I replied.
Mayorkun struggled with a live band. The singer still has a lot of development to undergo, before he can use a band. Without any through vocal strength or mastery, the singer lacked the ability to do this for long. He struggled with delivery, syncing and tone. But what he lacked in finesse, he displayed a willingness to make up for it with energy. You might not get quality, but you receive excitement.
And to be honest, it worked with the crowd which was dominated by students from the University of Lagos. Their happy faces glistened with sweat, as they sang, danced, and shared it all on social media. He might not be the finest performer in the universe, but he was beloved.
Thankfully, Mayorkun had to retreat back to the comfort of a DJ’s backing track. It felt like a weight had dropped off his back, and he flourished like a fish who had just found water after a spell out of it. Mr Eazi was a pleasant surprise act. He lifted spirits, and performed ‘Pour you water’, a single he’s pushing.
The energy hit a new level when ‘Che che’ came on. It is Mayorkun’s best work so far, and the crowd loved it. But nothing can be compared to Davido’s appearance on stage. OBO caused a mini-stampede, as everyone inched closer to bask in the glory of Mayorkun’s proud music daddy.
“Remember a video on Twitter where I said I will make you a star,” Davido asked Mayorkun, before turning to the crowd. “Today what is he?”
The response was deafening. It was a great moment to behold. Say what you may, but Davido was right. Mayorkun is a star. Just like his boss, there are holes in his artistry. He isn’t a complete artist, neither is he the music Mayor Of Lagos. But he has been effective in 2017, and you have to respect that.
As he whipped out the mic to perform 'Mama', the entire '30 Billion Gang' got on stage. Kiddominant, who produced 'Fall' and 'Mama' was a backup singer, Davido became a hype man, and the rest created a happy community. May this repeat itself in 2018.