This article is a reaction to what Davido and Wizkid have decided to do with their spare time – beef.
They didn’t focus on their strings of beautiful women, play Playstation or smoke expensive cigars. They had the bright idea of chasing down shades and hurling them at each other with reckless abandon.
Their only weapon is their achievements, which has reduced all of their life’s work into “I am better than you because you are a lesser artist than I am.”
This has created a conversation on Twitter, with fans and enthusiasts taking sides, and shredding every bit of information on the two artists and comparing it. There have been career comparisons, song styles, awards, income and lots more.
Who is a better artist? Who is a greater earner? Who has more fans? Who has a stronger impact?
Fairly, Wizkid and Davido has done a lot in their young careers, and there’s still a lot more to achieve. To properly analyze this arguments, we have gathered almost all of their data for 6 months to find out who has performed better.
In 2015 and 2016, Wizkid and Davido were the poster boys of the international spotlight on Africa and the push for her pop sounds to become globally acceptable. They were ready for it. These two talents had conquered the continent, had a chokehold on pop music in Africa, had the numbers behind them, and possessed all the qualities that stardom required.
They were a perfect fit for the role.
Sony Music Entertainment stretched their long arms into the continent and offered them recording deals, and in the US, RCA Records was chosen to house them and handle distribution in the US. This was a big deal. It was the first time for a new age African pop star to be handed these international deals. The big leagues were here. Wizkid and Davido were the vanguards.
Davido was plucked, offered a deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, one album, with the option of more, depending on the performance of the project. OBO also lost his creative control, which required that a team from Sony will handle his A&R. They would have to fund his work with new producers, tweak his sound, and get him to create a hybrid version of the African flavor, which they can market to global audiences as the new wave.
Wizkid also received the same deal, although it was announced later than Davido’s. His contract had more financial backing, RCA was his home, and he needed to tweak his sound, which would ensure that he had a strategy to breaking even on the international stage. Already, he had begun to make his mark on that stage, working with Tinie Tempah, Drake, TY Dollar Sign, Justine Skye, Zara Larsson and many more.
Based on the strength of their Sony deals, Wizkid is rated as a greater international prospect, and he took home a bigger pay.
Scores: Wizkid 1 – 0 Davido
Outcome Of The Deal So Far?
Davido struggled to tweak his sound. All of Sony’s efforts to get him to blend with more westernized artistic styles and sounds didn’t work. His work was delayed, his music held, and it showed in the way he handled his business. Incessant complaints on Instagram and unhappy spells frustrated him, and he went several months without any released record.
In October 2016, he released the EP, “Son Of Mercy,” a project which was critically bashed. His collaboration with Tinashe on ‘How long’ was roundly criticized, and the lead single ‘Gba gbe’ did not impress either. The singer quickly moved on, with more complaints.
At the start of 2016, unable to bear it any longer, Davido negiotiated and won an amendment to his contract; he received creative control for Africa, fired his manager Kamal Ajiboye, and set out to focus squarely on reigniting his career locally.
While he still has his Sony deal, his core focus is in Africa.
Wizkid took the deal in his stride. Countless recording sessions in various countries enabled the singer to access another layer of his artistry. He began to model his delivery after Caribbean sounds, fusing elements of his local tongue to create a hybrid. It is this experiment that has created ‘Daddy Yo’, ‘Come closer’, ‘African Bad Gyal’, and his numerous collaborations.
He has an album coming through, “Sounds From The Other Side,” which would feature international guests, but produced mainly by local producers. It is his first project under RCA Records. It is receiving the major album roll-out plan with promotional process put in place for it.
Wizkid has a deal that is still originally intact, with all parties working together. He has also unlocked a new artistic depth, from which he is operating right now.
Scores: Wizkid 2 – 0 Davido
Songs and Impact In Nigeria
For 2017, Davido’s local impact is incomparable. OBO is killing it, with the success of his record ‘If’, which has reignited his career and made him a hot artist again. The single is one of the biggest songs out of Africa, with R. Kelly covering it. It has restructured the story around the singer, injecting a huge dose of positivity.
Davido has also released his second single ‘Fall’ which instantly raved and is receiving acceptance on a mass level. The singer’s influence back home has grown, and his ’30 billion for the account’, has created a pop culture phrase. He is crushing it right now at the local level.
Wizkid on his part has come through with ‘Daddy Yo’, which was a mellow hit. Other singles have focused their core promotion outside the country. 'Çome Closer’ is coasting in Nigeria, but new song ‘African Bad Gyal’ which features Chris Brown is gathering some storm.
At the moment, Davido is ahead on this one at the local level. But Wizkid is pushing his international credentials. Davido takes this one based on his transformation and pure heat from his hits. He is holding the home front down.
Scores: Wizkid 2 – 1 Davido
Numbers Don’t lie
According to Soundscan, Next Big Sound and a lot of other music business analytical softwares the following numbers are from both artists within the past year.
Youtube & VEVO video views:
Davido (Fall, Coolest Kid In Africa, How Long, Gbagbe Oshi, How Long (BTS), Skelewu, If: 39,272,103
Wizkid (‘Come Closer’, African Bad Gyal’, Daddy Yo’, ‘Final’, ‘Sweet love’, Shabba (audio)’): 48,258,591
Davido: 474,090 monthly listeners
Wizkid: 5,396,615 monthly listeners
Social Media Reach (Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook):
Although Davido trumps Wizkid on social media reach, Wizkid more than crushes it on streaming and viewing numbers. He wins this one.
Scores: Wizkid 3 – 1 Davido
Awards (2016 – 2017)
While Davido has got nothing due to his dry spell and lukewarm releases, Wizkid won big at NEA, The Headies, AFRIMMA, MOBO, MTV EMA, MAMA, SMA, GMA, APA, TCA, Billboard, iHeartradio Music Awards, Echo Awards.
Career wise, Wizkid has 42 major awards, while Davido owns 29.
Scores: Wizkid 4 – 1 Davido
Wizkid in the past two years has achieved more than Davido. He deserves more respect on the basis of numbers, awards, money, and popularity.
In the end, this beef is pointless.