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New Sony deal opens another level of competition for Nigerian stars

Davido



You know those moments where everything you have ever done, keeps leading to you to the same spot. Things like meeting the girl you secretly crush on 5 times in your life, being hounded by recruiters for the same job, avoiding a career in a chosen field, but it keeps finding its way back at you. Or worse, finding out that a particular brand of beer is your favorite, because every time you want to get high, that’s the only drink your favorite vendor has stocked.


Those moments, are what it is: Fate has finally found you. A force higher, mightier, more powerful and cosmic, has grabbed the reins of your existence and placed you squarely in a situation that you can do nothing about. In some fields, it is called Force Majure, the hand of God, or maybe, Karma. A reward for your efforts.
Davido, Wizkid and others play

It’s hard not to think that Davido and Wizkid aren’t being played by the hand of God. Fate has dealt them the same professional cards. Heaven has handed them lemons at every point in their careers, and so far, they have either made lemonade, or Magarita, or Martini Lemon Drop. (Margarita is still the best). They have used all of their cards and scored winning points, moving the music, the culture, the money and the hits to greater heights, and being rewarded with more.
That’s why the fans sense a competition. That’s why the media pits them against each other. That’s why they have fought, made up, and found new ways to debunk every iota of competition. They feel the pressure in their bones, and constantly push themselves to surpass each other, but in public, they avoid the conversation like a plague.
Davido & Wizkidplay
But heaven said no. Davido and Wizkid are two of a kind; young Nigerian pop stars, hit-making machines, designed to lead, sing and push past continental music and achievement ceilings. They are to be compete against each other in this life, and perhaps in the afterlife. Greatness needs the push of another great force to produce more greatness, as iron sharpeneth iron.
The duo, young Nigerian kids with different journeys to the top, find themselves currently occupying the highest spots in the continent’s pop music space. Although with young careers, their experiential overlap and clashes have brought many joys for the fans, with the news of their rift treating fans to tabloid gold, and the perceived competition that the media has generated and sustained over a period spurring them to harder work. These works have given everyone singles, which has been memorable moments in the life of Nigeria music enthusiasts.
The two artistes have projects out, cornered a well-deserved share of the pop market, developed a core following from around the world, covered magazines, and most importantly, keep making a truckload of money every year, from record sales, appearance and performance fees, brand engagements and more. Their celebrity status is unrivalled at the moment.
Wizkid and Davidoplay

But just when the signs of boredom and complacency began to creep in, then came the international spotlight. Nigerian music is currently enjoying more recognition than ever, and there is a strong feeling that this will be the legacy that these stars will have. For all their success, Wizkid and Davido have done nothing new. They have simply ran along with the template that had already been crafted by their predecessors and made it more lucrative. Their works, to date, have not created a new path, neither can they hold on to the works of their hands and compare it to other African greats.
But they have a new opportunity to break past that and become gods and heroes. This year Nigerian music is expanding, crossing the continent into new spheres. The creative section of the industry is undergoing a growth, the global music consumers become more aware of Nigeria’s sounds and the novelty of consuming it. Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ collaboration with Drake and Kyla, topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for 10 weeks, and transformed him into a desired player in the international community. Davido’s African dominance has been rewarded by a chance to break replicate it on a wider scale, with Sony Music Entertainment throwing in money and the resources to make that a reality. His debut EP will be out in September. Seyi Shay is playing the UK leagues with Universal Island Records handling her distribution. Ayo Jay, another Nigerian is on Sony’s books too, releasing his work in the US via their flagship record label, RCA Records, home to Usher, Alicia Keys and more.
Wizkid and Davido had fun at the 2015 MAMA in Durban.play

For the international stars, the infusion of African sounds, drums and elements is going mainstream, and more collaboration is being done with Nigerians. Drake’s writing on “Views” album has been rumored to have more Nigerian influences than he lets on. Young Thug has three recorded songs with everyone. Swizz Beatz has a song with MC Galaxy, and has recorded with Wizkid. Alicia Keys’ ‘In common’ hit song, will sit comfortable on any African playlist. Jidenna, the man once vilified for his description of the Nigerian societal dangers, has brought his music closer home, dancing the shoki, speaking the Nigerian Pidgin English, and appropriating the drum kicks on ‘Little Bit More’. Previously, prior to this explosion, he was content to have his dressing bear testament of his origins. Now, he embraces it, and makes his art a fusion of both worlds.
Wizkid and Davido are fully involved in all of this, and would need to bear the responsibility of leading Nigerian music to achieve more penetration. They have the powers for this. Wizkid has already been on this path for a longer time, touring the world, and collaborating with numerous international stars. His list of announced collaborations are lengthy, one of them manifesting as the super hit song ‘One Dance’. There’s still more to go for the star, as he has a full set up to manage the process.
Don't wait till Friday night to find out if Wiz or O.B.O dropped something new earlier in the week.play

Davido’s earlier deal with Sony Music had the advantage on paper to be more structured. Signed on an album-dependent deal, the singer is faced with the opportunity to push our music into mainstream America, Europe and beyond. The resources of Sony Music are behind him, with management, sales, publishing and developmental systems in place for the star to shine brighter and expand his influence. If this succeeds, he would successfully break the Nigerian sound into distant areas of the globe, thereby offering our sounds more growth.
Wizkid now has the same deal, only with more money allocated to his side of the dotted lines. Both stars have come under the same umbrella to work and grow their art. They have the same resources, their contracts are similar, and what’s left now is for their hustle and talent to shine forth.
Wizkid and Davido are set to drop new albums.play

The competition that they have avoided all through their careers have brought them under the same roof and they now have to do business in the same company. They can’t avoid the competition now, as their different careers have been joined in the hip by Sony Music. Call this fate, brand it Force Majure, try to see the Hand of God at work, and you won’t be wrong. Wizkid and Davido are competitors now that it is official. May the better team win.

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