Audio

Hear Davido's New Single 'If,' Produced By Tekno

Davido's new Tekno-produced single "If” is a slow burner, much in the vein of “Pana” and “Diana,”

Davido is a shrewd business man. As with many of his hits, if he hasn't written it, he's bought it—or so the hard to dismiss rumours go. Why a very common practice in the music industry is treated like a deep secret revealed, I don't know.


To begin with, his work rate is most impressive. His last EP Son of Mercy dropped only two months ago in November.

Reviewed here, it featured admirable decisions to adopt house on “How Long" with Tinashe and what, at the risk of ridicule, I'll call 'trap & b' on “Coolest Kid in Africa" with Nasty C (and that truly nasty bar about shadows).

New Music: Listen to Davido's New Album 'A Good Time'

Less enterprising or eager artists would have kept promoting the EP well into the summer. Not this guy. Dropping a new single and video this early in the year must mean that he has wrapped up promo for Son of Mercy.

“If" is not what we've come to expect from Davido, who seemed to flourish on songs that require high energy—“Gobe" “Gbagbe Oshi" and “Duro."

“If “ is sexy, it slinks and sashays. The beat sounds hollowed out and this 'space' has a real effect simply because it isn't cluttered with instruments, the same way an absence of incidental music in a film could give it an atmospheric charge, even when it's a complete bore. Put simply, to add is to subtract.

“If" is a slow burner, much in the vein of “Pana" and “Diana," both by Tekno who here is deputising as producer.

Davido's singing voice isn't talked about much and this, in part, is down to that rasp of his which is common to rappers and jazz singers.

Here the slow tempo and unfussy beat allows room for his voice to impress, and it does. He strains but never quite belts, enough to make him a slow smoother and charmer, when you expect him to ram you over the head with thumping beats and frenetic singing.

Davido has also proved himself the perfect conduit. Every song he's rumoured to have bought—whether "Aye," "Gbagbe Oshi" or “If," supposedly ghostwritten by Runtown, General Pype and Tekno respectively, may have the heavy imprint of its writers, but only an unfair critic would tell you he hasn't imbibed these songs to completion, which is a different skill from mimicry.

“If" from all indication was written by Tekno. First evidence is a particularly clear line of simplicity that runs through similar songs like it “Pana" and “Diana," both by Tekno.

The lyrics sometimes don't add up to much except as memorable clusters of rhymes. In “Pana" it was “fajaba, lagbaja, gwagwalada." Here it is “girl you're beautiful too/ my number one tutu/ sipping burukutu/ for your love tutu/ I go chook you chuku-chuku/ biko obianuju/ se you do me juju/ cos I'm feeling the juju."

Memorable, no doubt but there's more humour in appreciating the confluence of Igbo, Hausa, pidgin and English—what to some might be disparate elements made into a seamless whole.

Words and Meanings

Tutu - safe to assume it is an affectionate term.

Burkutu - locally brewed alcholic drink from Northern Nigeria.

Chuk - to pierce, or insert

Chuku-chuku - thorny or spiky

Obianuju - you came in the time of abundance

Juju - if you don't know this one you shouldn't be on an OkayAfrica webpage.

So, Kris Beatz produced “Pana" before co-producing “Diana" with Selebobo all for Tekno, who has here produced “If."

Jay Z once made his aspirations to billionaire status clear on Lil Wayne's “A Milli," but then more people bought Beats by Dre than they bought Tidal subscriptions.

Davido, never to be accused of humility, has just raised the bar a little too high insisting that he has “30 billion for de account".

Assuming it's in Naira—and we can only assume—if converted to the pound is still a more than impressive figure. Pity the fool who chose journalism.

Sabo Kpade is an Associate Writer with Spread The Word. His short story Chibok was shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize 2015. His first play, Have Mercy on Liverpool Street was longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. He lives in London. You can reach him at sabo.kpade@gmail.com

popular

Cardi B Teases New Remix of Davido's 'Fall'

Looks like the Nigerian star's massive hit is getting yet another re-up.

Cardi B has teased her apparent upcoming remix of Davido's "Fall."

Posting from a private jet, as she was on her way to New York before heading to West Africa, Cardi B shared a video of herself rapping and dancing along to the unreleased remix.

From the sounds of it, Cardi's "Fall" remix will feature a brand new verse from the New York rapper.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Still from YouTube.

'Entertainment Has Saved Nigeria'—Here's What Happened When Davido Spoke at Columbia University

The artist discussed his new album 'A Good Time' and changing perceptions of Africa through music with Melanin Unscripted founder Amarachi Nwosu.

A week ago, media platform and digital agency Melanin Unscripted along with Columbia University's African Students Association hosted none other than Nigerian megastar Davido for a talk entitled "Shaping the Image of Africa Through Music, which focused on the themes in his newly released sophomore album A Good Time as well as "the next frontier of afrobeats."

There was a feeling of pride and excitement as attendees—mostly African students from Columbia, gathered at Columbia University's campus in NYC. The night's two hosts quizzed the audience on Davido trivia, and ran through other Afrobeats-related questions to keep the audience entertained as we awaited the artist's arrival.

Once Davido finally came through—about an hour and a half later—the excitement still hadn't waned. Moderator, Amarachi Nwosu, the founder of Melanin Unscripted, asked the artist a range of questions that touched on the role of social media in helping spread African pop music, using his platform and influence to address social issues in his country—"music has saved Nigeria," the artist remarked—as well as the making of A Good Time. "I just got tired of Americans singing 'If' and 'Fall," the artist joked.

In line with the night's theme, the event was an overall "good time," complete with a fun conversation between Davido and Nwosu that highlighted the artist's humorous side and energetic personality. You can check out the 45-minute conversation in full below courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Keep reading... Show less
Art
Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Still from YouTube

Croatian Authorities are Under Fire for Wrongly Deporting Two Nigerian Students to Bosnia

The students and table tennis players were in Croatia for a tournament when they were picked up by police and sent to a refugee camp in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, Nigerian table tennis players and students at the University of Technology Owerri, were wrongfully deported to Bosnia after taking part in a sports tournament in Pula, Croatia, The Guardian reports. Organizers of the event are now demanding that the students be immediately returned to their home country.

Chinedu and Alexandro, both 18, were reportedly picked up by Croatian authorities on November 18—the night before they were scheduled to return to Lagos—in the country's capital Zagreb. They had visited for the fifth annual World InterUniversities Championships, which took place outside the capital in the city of Pula, and competed in the table tennis tournament. They were exploring the city afterwards and say they were approached by two officers while getting on a train and asked to provide identification.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.