Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scandals no longer scare me’- Africa’s hottest act, Davido

David Adedeji Adeleke, famously known as Davido is arguably the hottest artists in Africa at the moment, and no thanks to his hit singles, and collaborations which have won him prestigious awards, particularly MTV’s MAMA and BET International.
At 22 and in less than two years, Omo-Baba-Olowo, as he’s fondly called has achieved so much for himself, and from the handwriting on the wall, this is just the beginning for the Ede, Osun born HKN Record Label boss.  Some of his achievements, which qualified him as Africa’s best, include:

Highest performances, 19 shows in a month. Charges between N3.5 and 4 million. He recently headlined Rwanda Annual Liberation Day celebrations at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali, where he thrilled. He was received by Paul Kagame, Rwanda President.
Dami Duro, Overseas, All of You, Ekuro, Gobe, Skelewu, Aye. For instance, Aye’s video is the most watched on YouTube Nigeria in the first quarter of 2014. It recorded over 300,000 views in the first week.
BET International Award, MTV’s MAMA, Kora Award, Channel O Music Video Award, Ghana Music Award, Nigeria Music Video Award, The Headies Awards, NigeriaEntertainment Awards, etc.
Below is this exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, held at Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa’s office in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Weeks ago, you won big at the MAMA in South Africa. Now, you defeated other Africa’s artistes to win Best International Act Africa at the 2014 BET Awards. How does it feel?
It was a good feeling, being in Los Angeles, USA for the BET Awards. I feel the whole set-up and the award proper was mind-blowing. The fact that I was also nominated alongside other American A-List artistes made me feel great. Shouts to the BET for putting African artistes on that platform, and with that we can further our career internationally.
You have won so many awards, which one do you hold close to your heart?
The BET and MAMA are close to my heart. Winning these awards has always been in my dream, and to win these awards in a year, you know what that means. It’s a great achievement, reasons I hold them close to my heart.
Did you see yourself winning at MAMA and BET, considering the calibre of artistes in that category?
Shouts out to all the nominees. They are all great artistes. I just prayed to God that if I deserved it, let it be mine. Besides, I don’t always put myself under pressure when it comes to awards, because if you don’t win, you feel very disappointed.  I just believed I have worked hard this year, and whatever plan God has for me, it’s going to happen.
You’ve won all these awards with just an album, how does that make you feel?
When I was recording all these songs, I didn’t just have a good heart. I am surrounded by good people. Shouts out to the love I have for my country. It spurs me to make great music. The reward for my hard work just came at once.
There was the impression that the award you received wasn’t presented to you on the same platform with the international artistes, can you clarify that?
People claimed that Africans performed to empty hall while some said we received our awards at an empty hall. That didn’t happen. I am saying the truth. There are two channels; BET America and BET International. BET International is broadcast to the UK, Island, and other Asian countries, but the second channel is just for Americans. First, we were not segregated. I sat with all the A-list stars, but BET international gave out the award to Best International (Africa) and Best International (UK), which was aired in the UK and the rest of the world aside America. This is a great development now that they showed it in the UK, unlike before. Even reggae music which is big in America wasn’t recognized as such. It is step by step and one day, we’ll get there.
Can you describe your first experience at MAMA and BET?
MAMA is much like our own thing. It’s something we had to put a great show for ourselves and Africa. It’s also a signal to the world that we (Africans) can do better. That’s MAMA and it was a great show, but BET is international. That’s the difference.
You have done so many collaboration. Why are you doing so much of that?
My collaboration with other artistes is not a ploy to be popular, after all, I am not going to take the glory alone. Apart from the artistes you collaborated with, you never know what song can make you big as well. It doesn’t matter if you feature a big or up-and-coming artiste. That’s the main reason I am doing this.
Do you have a dream collaboration, especially international?
I might not call it ‘dream collaboration’ but by His grace, it’ll work, and already, I am talking with Drake and Don Jazzy. We would work on something very unique.
You have had wonderful songs but Skelewu and Aye seem to have overtaken. How does that make you feel?
It’s God, that’s my feeling. When you go into studio to record songs, there’s always a feeling that two of the songs would be hits. So, I feel it is just God that makes a song toblow, I only do my best. There is no formula, there is no juju.
What really motivated Aye?
I was heartbroken. Sorry, I am joking (smiles). Everybody has been in love at a particular time. There is always that girl who wouldn’t want anything from you. That is what the song is about.
What informed the choice of the lady, because a lot of people said she’s your girlfriend?
I have heard the rumour that the girl in the video is my girlfriend. All I can say is that she has been a close friend of mine for years. Actually, we wanted to use a beauty queen but her contract couldn’t allow her to do it, so we ended up using the same lady, and funny enough, she’s a makeup artiste and she did very well.
If she’s not your girlfriend. Can you tell us the lucky woman?
I don’t want to talk about my girlfriend. I like to keep that part of my life private. I don’t see why I should talk about it. When it’s time for me to get married, you’ll see her.
You seem to get much attention from ladies. How do you cope with that?
It is cool. I enjoy it. If you don’t have female fans, there will be no way for you. The men like to form like ‘bad’ guys. But once they see females getting attached to your music, they join.
Let’s talk about you and scandal. How you have been able to survive?
I started to have scandals when I was very young and I got so much attention. It wasn’t funny at that time, but I am a bit older now. When you are a star, people are out for you. There are some people who are just there to mess you up; you just have to be careful.
Why do you like to flaunt your wealth on social media?
I don’t call it flaunting of wealth. It is my car, my money and it is even my page. You don’t have to follow me on my Instagram. You don’t have to follow me on the social media. It would have been different if I was advertising all this on a billboard. I am not doing that.
How busy are you now that you’re a superstar?
When I was coming up it is crazy. But now, I perform in front of thousands of people. It is the work of God. I don’t have any regret being an artiste. No way! I will not lie. I am happy. God is blessing me. I cannot deny God’s blessing.
Can you be specific, for instance, in a month?
The more you charge, the less you do. In a good month, let say 10-15 times. We have three in a day, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, including Sunday, consecutively in a month.
How much did you charge when you started and now?
It’s different now (smiles). I can’t say it except you call my Manager if you’re serious.
Would there be a time you would return to your family business?
There will be that point when I would want to switch to another thing. It doesn’t even have to be the family business. Trust me, the money I am making now is okay for me, I can decide to start my own business. I don’t have to ask my dad for money. He has not given me money in a while. But anything he sends my way, I will gladly receive.
When is your next album?
I have about 90 songs unreleased. I don’t want to drop so many songs. I am still young. Before you know it, sounds change. I am working according to God’s plan. I am going to have a big concert in December and I will bring an international artiste to perform.

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