Davido and Wizkid may have made headlines for flying together on the former’s private jet, but it doesn’t change the fact that their brands are still at loggerheads in terms of impact, legacy and success.
The reach of both artistes on both international and local fronts has shot up by a considerable mile in recent times and the analysts looking to compare their role in modern African music will be looking at new indicators outside all of the already known facts that have been placed on the table over the years in favour of either party.
Without further ado, these are all the cool points Davido has over Wizkid right now.
Sony record deal
The parties involved are all still keeping mum on the details of Davido’s Sony global record deal, but that doesn’t invalidate the importance of the inked agreement. Davido’s Sony deal is a distribution deal of a magnitude Nigeria has not seen in a while, not since Nneka’s slightly similar deal back in 2009. A global scale distribution deal means his label won’t have to worry about getting his music into hard to reach markets, a bridge Wizkid will still have to cross when it comes to the US markets, despite his management deal with Tinie Tempah’s record label Disturbing London. Wizkid getting buzz and popularity points from all over the world is good, but Davido already has paperwork and structure to back up his own buzz and that’s a bigger landmark that popularity alone.
Davido had a better 2015
Career and brand wise, Davido had a bigger and better 2015. From his high-density collaboration with Meek Mill on Fans Mi to hits across singles, Money, Dodo, The Sound featuring Uhuru and Izzue with Dammy Krane, Davido was on a back to back row in 2015. This is a great tone to set for all the big plans he has set for 2016, including his album release, his Sony record deal and the unveiling of new talents on his co-owned HKN label. This, in contrast to Wizkid who had an equally great year but could only get airplay with passable songs like Baba Nla and utter disasters like Expensive Shit . Wiz constantly claims he has big plans ahead, but outside his recent feature on Drake’s One Dance , nobody can authoritatively say anything about the plans Wiz has in the works.
He is closer to the fans
Lately, the Nigerian audience has witnessed a more accessible Davido who is not only open to suggestions but not quick to uncharacteristically lash out at fans. Though the move is more PR related than an actual sensitivity towards his fans, Davido is slowly trying to warm his way to the hearts of fans with more mature relatable music as we have seen with his affiliation with the ‘Streets’ by featuring Olamide on Money and his rather nostalgia-inducing well-plotted video for Dodo . Wizkid has also hinted at the same maturity since he started affiliating his brand more with afrobeat and its sound arrangement, but his themes still dance around the same Nyansh, I’ve-got-money rhetorics as we have heard repeatedly across his entire discography. Besides Davido’s relationship with his fans keeps him on the headlines and insulates him from scandals, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
While Davido would have done himself a lot more favour by distancing himself from Wizkid’s squabbles with Linda Ikeji, the singer has gained the trust of his fans in recent times, enough to stay away from scandals – or at least have his career insulated from such escalations. His brouhaha with the Momodus is a clear sign of how his brand can handle not having the media on his side. Davido was able to use the public to his advantage by airing his own “side” of the story and successfully balancing the arguments even though he has childishly used subtexts in his music to attack the Momodus ever since. Wizkid, on the other hand, continues to commit PR suicide over and over again without any backup plan should things spiral out of control.
Creating a legacy
Though Wizkid has been making moves in recent times to push his Starboy label mates Maleek Berry and L.A.X into the mainstream, his inability to find them a niche is still the biggest flaw in their career path. Davido on another hand has shifted focus away from his no talent HKN label mates B-Red and Sina Rambo to other hidden gems the industry has to offer. His latest discovery is Maryorkun, a mixed-pot Yoruba singer, and instrumentalist. Ibadan based singer, Dremo is another artsite whom Davido’s label is working on turning around. Mayorkun’s debut single under Davido’s label Eleko is already inching towards a million views on YouTube less than two weeks after its release. A feat neither Olamide’s proteges Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold nor, Wizkid’s signees L.A.X and Maleek Berry have achieved