by Augustine Ogwo
It would be grave injustice to discuss the future of Nigerian Music without giving artistes such as Davido and Wizkid several mentions. Wizkid and Davido spearhead a generation of young successful Nigerian musicians. Consciously or not, knowingly or unknowingly, these two talented musicians have empowered youths through their music maybe not through the message but with the zeal, consistency, passion, can-do spirit and hard-work they have shown for years now which has been the hallmark of their enviable success.
Innumerable young artistes were and are still being inspired to venture into the music industry simply because the success of Wizkid and Davido ignited their passion and gave them the believe that irrespective of age, they can succeed in an industry which was formerly crowded with veterans and older musicians who were not ready to step down even when they no longer had nothing to offer.
Wizkid has grown from the 19-year-old who burst onto the scene in early 2010 with ‘Holla at Your Boy’ (produced by Vebee and DJ Klem) to an outstanding 24-year old musician and label executive who would be considered a legend of some sort by many even if he decides to quit music this day. He is set to drop what is just his sophomore album soon but he already has more songs than some veterans in the Nigerian music industry had in their entire career. Singles upon singles, he has never failed to impress his fans and he seems to get better as weeks and months fly by.
In May 2011, 18-year-old Davido released his first official single, Back When which featured rapper, Naeto C. The song spread like wildfire, hit singles upon hit singles and top notch videos followed then and eventually, the teenager launched his debut album O.B.O (Omo Baba Olowo) on the 17th of July, 2012. Davido has grown to become a household name in the Nigerian music industry and has helped the career of other artistes with some super collaboration.
In recent times, there have been rumors of squabbles between both stars but it seems the last one which began on social media broke the camel’s back. For the first time, both parties addressed the situation in separate interviews with on air personality, Olisa Adibua. Davido felt and maybe still feels a tweet sent out by Wizkid was a subliminal taunt at him and made it clear he realized Wizkid doesn’t like him after that episode.
‘Since I came out, there has always been this comparison between me and Wizkid, but there’s room for everybody, we are not doing the same thing. Funny enough, we used to see each other around at clubs and back stage of events, and there was no problem at all. I’ve always been a good fan of him, he makes good music, and it all started with a flight to New York.
Funny enough, this is the second time we were on a flight together, the first time was when we went to Benin and it was a successful show. So when we came out from the flight in New York, people were surprised to see us together, so a lot of people wanted to take pictures with us and show that unity, and it felt cool. So we all left the airport, he was going for his own show in New York, while I was going for my Canadian tour, but I went through New York. But about 3 months before his own show, I had my own show and my venue was below capacity, we had like 2,000 people inside and over 3,000 people outside, and you know people in New York don’t waste time, they call the police over every little thing. ‘It wasn’t anybody’s fault, but it’s the love people have for me, it’s never happened in New York history to have an African artiste sell out a venue, so the venue was where they were expecting about five hundred people and over 4,000 people showed up. So after my show, naturally Wizkid was the next choice for them to bring to New York.
So when we left the airport, you know I’ve been in America all my life, so we spoke about hooking up later at night and just hang out with friends and show them that Naija boys can do it too. Only for me to get to the hotel and the next tweet I saw from him was ‘proper shows, proper venue’ and I was like common, to be honest if we were not on the same plane together, I wouldn’t have cared, but the fact that we were together in the same plane, same cabin and we spoke. It was then I knew that either this dude doesn’t like me or someone with him doesn’t like me.’
‘it was very clear he was talking to me, who else did a show in New York, it’s very clear. I have no problem at all, Nigerian music is just growing and it’s still the two of us that’s taking it International, and I don’t have time for beef, I’m just doing music for what I love, but at the end of the day I don’t want to be disrespected, just leave me alone I won’t disturb you and you shouldn’t disturb me. Everybody knows he’s making money and I’m making money too’, Davido stated.
Wizkid who is slightly older than Davido insists his message was not directed at anyone but was only born out of excitement. He believes that it is too trivial an issue to dwell on and his body language suggests he is indifferent to the situation.
‘The situation is just so funny to me, because we all were on the same flight, I was only tweeting and talking about my show, I was talking about myself, you know I had a show in New York a year before that sold out, but the sound was bad, the venue we used was crazy and f*cked up. So this time I landed at the airport, drove through the venue and I saw my name in lights and I was like wow, I came down, took a picture and I posted it with the caption ‘Proper shows, proper venues’, and people started catching feelings. ‘If I was really talking to anyone, then everyone else like Iyanya and others that have done shows in the US should be mad at it. When I saw it, I just smiled because I don’t have time. If you get mad at that, then it means you don’t do proper shows at proper venues. I was just promoting my show. I feel like if am happy about my success and you are hating on it, I don’t know if I’m to consider you as a friend or foe’, the Starboy said.
One thing is certain, both artistes can function together and there is no need for animosity as they will function even better if they are friends. They have some mutual fans and need not split their fan base as a result of enmity or should I say minor misunderstandings. They need to draw thick lines between competition and hatred; in actual fact, there is little or nothing to compete for. They have functioned independently and very well in the past and they can continue to do so.
Davido has won major awards this year and many music aficionados on social media reckon that may be a reason for Wizkid to envy Davido but that may just be balderdash as the former has no reasons to do so and that insinuation seems very far from the truth. Both parties need to properly analyze whatever information they are fed with before swinging into action or start snooping around each other’s timelines.
Davido has revealed he believes Wizkid does not like him and it is your fault and my fault that he thinks that way. Davido has the right to feel Wizkid hates him because we put it in his head by our comments, tweets and indiscriminate comparison of their worth, girlfriends, and every other thing but the quality of music they put out. It’s common to see blog posts with headlines such as ‘Wizkid Vs Davido; who do you prefer?’ and some very irritating ones such as, ‘Wizkid’s Girlfriend Vs Davido’s girlfriend; who is hotter?’ It was such articles that fanned the embers of discord between the singers.
The fans and the media called for the current misunderstanding between the young artistes and are now pretending to play the role of conciliators, how hypocritical!
It’s clear as noonday that Wizkid and Davido are still focused on making good music despite the distraction which has been christened ‘beef’. Hopefully, they will someday put all those who have fueled the fire of hatred to shame by not only burying the hatchet but by collaborating on a track or two.