David Adedeji Adeleke, Born on November 21, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S, and popularly known as Davido a.k.a. Omo Baba Olowo, Baddest, 30BG and most recently “Papa Ifeanyi” is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is one of the most influential artists in Africa.
Born to Billionaire businessman Adedeji Adeleke and late Dr. Vera Adeleke, Davido’s interest in music dates far back to his late teens while attending Oakwood University when he started making his beats and investigating music production with His Cousins – “B-Red and Sina Rambo”. He soon dropped out of school to focus on His music career full-time, temporarily relocating to London to work on His vocals and finally to Lagos, Nigeria.
His journey officially began when He released His debut single; “Back When ft. Naeto C,” on May 7, 2011. The music video directed by Clarence Peters was released just 2days after and the song received maximum attention for its mix of urban/western groove and Afro-pop rhythms. “Back when”
Davido soon followed this up with the release of His second single “Dami Duro”. The accompanying music video for “Dami Duro” was released on January 8, 2012. “Dami Duro” became a massive hit and shot the young singer into stardom.
He released His debut album; “Omo Baba Olowo: The Genesis” on the 17th of July 2012. Though the project received generally negative reviews from music critics, it could boast of other solid singles including “All of You,” “Ekuro,” and “Overseas.”
Over the next few years, He thrilled His fans to an array of hit singles including Gobe, Skelewu, Aye etcetera whilst working on His second studio album.
Between both Albums, He also inked a deal with Sony, before moving to RCA Records a Year later as His initial record deal with Sony Music had altered plans for The Baddest’s release with speculations that the contract required the album to have an international appeal to allow for global distribution of it. This culminated in Him releasing an EP in the closing months of 2016 “Son Of Mercy”.
Davido soon founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide(DMW) a few months after signing with Sony and has since signed Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda, and Peruzzi to the label.
Between 2017 and 2018, Davido released 4 Major Hit songs “If”, “Fall”, “Fia” and “Assurance” and more standalone tracks followed until 2019 when His sophomore album “A Good Time” finally arrived, featuring guest appearances from Peruzzi, Popcaan, Chris Brown, Summer Walker, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Gunna, and other stars from around the world, and fared relatively well both commercially and with critics. Davido quickly followed this up with the release of His 3rd studio effort this time titled “A Better Time,” which was this time also a feature-heavy project which saw OBO work with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lil Baby, Sauti Sol, and many others on this bright and catchy R&B-infused Afropop project. ABT also got on well commercially, breaking into the Billboard charts in its first week of release however it received mixed reviews from Critics and Fans alike.
Awards and Achievements
Success came early for Davido as He won His very first award in His breakout year when His debut single “Back when” went on to win Song of the Year at the Dynamix All Youth Awards 2011, with Him also going home with the Promising Youth Artiste Award.
The release of His second single “Dami Duro” the following year earned Him nominations for Best Pop Single and Song of the Year in the 2012 Edition of The Headies and Best African Act Video in the 4syte TV Music Video Awards. It eventually won Best Video By A New Artiste (Live Beats Choice) in the Nigeria Music Video Awards 2012, Most Gifted Newcomer Video of the Year in the Channel O Music Video Awards, and Hottest Single of the Year in the 2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
His Debut album “Omo Baba Olowo: The Genesis” won The Headies R&B/Pop Album and received a nomination for Album of the Year at same The Headies 2013 and at the 2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
To cap off a fine sophomore year in the Industry, He won the Best Newcomer Award at the Kora Awards on New year’s Eve’s day.
On February 25, 2013, Davido released the track “Gobe” produced by Shizzi. It was ranked second on Premium Times’ list of the Top 10 songs of 2013. It also garnered multiple nominations including Best Pop Single at the 2013 Headies, Most Popular Song of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards (2013), Best African Act Video at the 4syte TV Music Video Awards, Best Pop Extra Video at the NMVA, Most Gifted Afro Pop Video and Most Gifted Dance Video of the Year, both at the 2013 Channel O Music Video Awards.
Davido released another major hit single Skelewu” on August 13, 2013. It was ranked fifth on Premium Times’ list of the top 10 songs of 2013. Skelewu earned Davido a nomination in the Most Gifted Dance Category of the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards, Song of the Year at the 2014 Edition of both the MTV Africa Music Awards and the African Muzik Magazine Awards.
Davido showed no signs of resting on His laurels when He ushered in 2014 with His February 1st release a T-Spize-produced song “Aye”. The song went on to win Best Afro Pop Video at the 2014 NMVA (with nominations in 3 other categories), Music Video of the Year at Ben TV Awards 2014, and received a nomination for Best International Performance at 2014 Soul Train Awards amongst others.
To mark another wonderful year, Davido won Best International Act: Africa at the 2014 BET Awards, Best Male West Africa and Artist of the Year at the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards, Best Male and Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards, and Artiste of the Year at the 2014 edition of The Headies. He, however, narrowly missed out on the African Young Person of the Year at The Future Africa Awards and the Best African Act category of the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards.
“If” released by Davido in 2017 was arguably the biggest jam that year and it got certified diamond by the Recording Industry of South Africa and went on to win Best Pop Single and Song of the Year at The Headies 2018.
“Fall” released on June 2, 2017, was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa. it was one of the top 100 most Shazam-searched singles in America in January 2019 and was a top-10 record on Shazam in New York. In February 2019, it became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history. “Fall” was ranked at number 163 on Pitchfork’s list of the 200 Best Songs of the 2010s. In December 2018, the video surpassed 100 million views, becoming the most-viewed video by a Nigerian artist on YouTube. Popular Portuguese and then-Real Madrid Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo soon followed OBO on Twitter after His attention was drawn to His mention of the song.
Davido released “Fia” on November 10, 2017, to continue his golden run of form and it garnered nominations for Best Pop Single and Song of the Year at The Headies 2018.
Davido ended 2017 with wins in the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards Best African Act category and was one of the Best Worldwide Act recipients.
Davido capped 2018 by becoming the first African artist to receive an award on the main stage at the BET Awards following His win in Best International Act Category. He was also nominated for Favorite African Star in the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards that year.
In September 2018, Davido performed alongside Meek Mill, Post Malone, and Fat Joe at the Made in America Festival.
In January 2019, Davido sold out The O2 Arena in London, becoming the second solo African artist to do so after Wizkid in 2018, and was ushered in stage by British actor; Idris Elba.
Davido’s next single “Blow My Mind” which featured Chris Brown’s released re-iterated his status as a Serial Hit-maker. It was produced by Shizzi and released on July 26, 2019. The accompanying video amassed one million views in 11 hours, surpassing Wizkid’s “Fever” and “Come Closer” to become the Nigerian music video to achieve this feat in record time. It also became the Nigerian music video to gain the most views within the first 24 hours of its release.
Davido released “FEM” which was the lead single to His “A Better Time” Album on the 10th of September, 2020, alongside its music video. “FEM” Video hit 1.8 Million YouTube views in less than 24 hours, breaking his record for the fastest Nigerian music video to hit 1 million views on YouTube, a record previously held by his song “Blow My Mind” which featured Chris Brown. It also dethroned Wizkid and Burna Boy’s “Ginger” as it peaked at number one on the Nigeria TurnTable Top 50 chart in its second week of eligibility.
On December 14, 2020, Davido announced on social media that ABT had accomplished over 213.2 million streams in one month.
In 2021, he featured in Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America 2 where he made a cameo appearance wearing a floral suit while performing his hit song Assurance at the Royal wedding, to the viewing pleasure of all his fans. It is indeed a feat not many African Artists can boast of.
Davido may be looking to possibly add the Grammy’s Gramophone to his fine collection, but irrespective, His status as a G.O.A.T. in the Afrobeats Space is already written in stone.