At the start of 2017, an unhappy Davido fired his manager Kamal Ajiboye and declared that he was done with the international campaign.
Who said Davido is done with his campaign for international recognition? Who said OBO is going to let his deal with Sony go to waste? Who said what?
OBO is back with a new record – ‘Pere’ – featuring Young Thug and Rae Sremmund. We always knew this collaboration is in the bag, but no one had an idea when it would hit the streets. According to Davido, he has three songs with Young Thug which were recorded in 2016 during the height of his Sony campaign. Rae Sremmund duo (Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi) were also pictured with him in the studio, as well as Tinashe.
Tinashe had hers released last year, with ‘How long’ promoted as one of the singles off the polarizing “Son Of Mercy” project. But the project did little to further Davido’s career, both locally and internationally, and he had to chill. After multiple negotiations with Sony, he clawed back creative control in January 2017, and has since scored local hits with singles ‘If’ and ‘Fall’.
This is where it gets interesting. Without Sony executives influencing his sound, Davido has thrived. His career is back on track, the hits have elevated his status back to one of Africa’s brightest pop stars, and he feels this is the time to bring back the international campaign. The confidence is at its peak, and a little mixing won’t hurt, right?
New song ‘Pere’ is a fusion of Trap music with African elements. Davido has always been in love with Atlanta and the music that rules its streets. In 2015, he collaborated with Meek Mill on ‘Fans mi’, another Trap record which polarized fans. The same happened with his work on ‘Coolest kid in Africa’, and Nasty C’s ‘Juice back’.
Produced by DJ Mustard, the record has Davido operating comfortably along synths, muscular drums, and claps. He takes on the chorus, plugs in the Yoruba language, with a refrain from Swae Lee, and verses from Slim Jxmmi and Young Thug.
At the start of 2017, an unhappy Davido fired his manager Kamal Ajiboye and declared that he was done with the international campaign. “Back to the basics!” he screamed on Snapchat as he commenced work on ‘If’. But having enjoyed the benefit of the ‘basics’, he is right back to what he was running away from.
“They tried to fix me up with a producer and I decided to come home, but I’m still signed to them, it’s going good. They have realized how much potential is here because even when I am all over the world it is my African songs that even the oyibo people f*** with,” Davido told Guardian.
‘Pere’ sits in perfectly with what Sony Music’s A&R executives have been trying to do with Davido. Gone is all that talk about ‘going back to the basics’. What we have now is a record designed outside Nigeria for the urban market. It’s a compromise that was inevitable the moment Davido showed up at the Sony offices in New York, smiling into the camera and signing the papers placed on the table. He is under contract, he has taken an advance, and he must deliver.
Davido still owes Sony an album to be recorded, approved, released and distributed across the globe. And ‘Pere’ might just be a single to continue the quest to achieve that. It is inevitable. That album must come out.
But we also shouldn’t ignore the bottom-line of this record and what it represents. The push for African artist to integrate our sounds with other markets is still on. Wizkid has “Sounds From The Other Side” representing that movement on a larger scale. Davido is working on fulfilling the terms of his contracts by international collaboration such as what we have here.
Let’s all join hands and scream “Africa to the world!”