Changing for grammy? “What does Davido’s new direction mean”

King Sunny Adé, Babatunde Olatunji , Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Made Kuti, Burna Boy, Wizkid,  Tems. You might be familiar with this list, or maybe you aren’t; this is a list of all the Nigerians ever nominated for a grammy award.


Burna boy.

That is the only Nigerian ever to have won the award. Just one artiste amongst a great list. When you look through the name on the nomination list you will notice that it clearly resembles an afrobeat hall of fame. The list contains names of legendary artists who have ruled the music scene for decades. However, one name is ominously absent.

Wizkid and Davido for the past decade have been the best music export from Nigeria. Both starting as teenagers trying to conquer Nigeria with their music, they have each cemented themselves as household names, reaching the pinnacle of success and a point where it seems that there is nothing more to achieve. Naturally, these artists have left the shores of Nigeria with their sounds, going on to conquer the rest of the world by storm. At this point, Wizkid has had multiple nominations for the most prestigious music award in the world, while Davido has had none. It is not a knock on his craft as he is an amazing singer and entertainer, but it is a fact that now hangs like a cloud over his career in the eyes of the teeming public.

The two stars have been embroiled in a public competition, a media staged beef, a boxing match with the bows being songs and hits and the officials being millions of fans. Importantly the squabble hasn’t been physical and there has been no sign from the artists themselves that there is an active issue between them. The case is almost synonymous with that of the famous Messi vs Ronaldo argument. Never-ending and always in comparison. Hence, Wizkid being more successful in the grammy scene has undoubtedly left a void that is felt. The Made In Lagos album from Wizkid which embodied a noticeable laid back, groovy tone was very successful and nominated for awards, it could be likened to a gauntlet thrown down for the familiar opponent to respond. Now, it looks like the competitor has been looking and feeling the void too, and now he wants to fill it.

Nigerian artists have been criticised for focusing majorly on the beat of their songs rather than vocals. The legitimacy of that complaint is up in the air, but the trend has been a shift which resembles a larger focus on lyrics. Burna boy made an album targeting the Grammy awards but he didn’t win it that year. After the customary ramblings on social media, he took a page from the book of the artist he lost to and the very next year his new album which showed a definite change in lyrics won the award.

Davido is known for his high energy personality, something that he pours into virtually all his songs. Lately, this feature that has helped him all these years had begun to feel like a bug. The fans and media have criticised saying he’s not a true singer, and song critics have questioned his musical range. Although he has undoubtedly had a lot of success abroad, the critics and reality seem to be saying that he doesn’t quite have the range to perform like other artists who are killing it at the moment. To this, it seemed Davido has taken notice. It came as no surprise when fans listened to a snippet and eventual song from the Dami Duro crooner, realising that it sounded nothing like Dami Duro; it wasn’t something to dance to. Davido himself described it as expressing another side of his art, citing that “it’s different. The conception has been different, the making has been different. I know you love it when I make you dance, but now I want to make you feel”. And he wasn’t lying, the song featuring The Samples is a much cooler vibe, tinged with an unmistakable Afro-fusion sound. More is also expected as it is one of the songs from an album he promises would be out soon, we can only wait with bated breath to see what this would mean for the Nigerian music scene.

Having all the heavyweights at the top of the music chain of the world is a source of great pride, and while Davido himself would make sure the focus is on how good the music sounds (as it should be), the fans know, undeniably, that this is a push for yet another world domination by a Nigerian artiste.

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