David Adeleke (born November 21, 1992), better known by his stage name Davido, is a Nigerian American recording artist, performer, and record producer. In 2011, he co-produced and released “Dami Duro”, a song well-received throughout Nigeria. Along with his elder brother Adewale Adeleke, Davido is the co-owner of HKN Music, a record label home to Sina Rambo, B. Red and DeeKay. He has produced for numerous artists, including Naeto C, Skales, Tiwa Savage, and Sauce Kid. In April 2012, he signed an endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria. On October 23, 2013, Davido partnered with Guinness for the “Guinness World of More” concert, held at the Eko Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos on November 3, 2013. Davido has won a Kora Award, a Channel O Music Video Award, a Nigeria Music Video Award, three Headies awards, four Nigeria Entertainment Awards, and two Dynamix All Youth Awards, among others.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Davido relocated to Lagos, Nigeria at a young age. He released his debut album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012, which contained the singles “Back When” featuring Naeto C, “Dami Duro”, “All of You”, “Overseas” featuring Sina Rambo, “Ekuro”, “Gbon Gbon”, and “Feel Alright” featuring Ice Prince. Davido has released “Gobe”, “One of a Kind”, “Skelewu”, and “Aye”, four singles off his upcoming album; the upcoming album, currently untitled, is slated to be release in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Life and music career
1992–2010: Early life
“I’ve been doing music for like 3 years but I took it seriously in March 2011. I was formerly in a group called KB international in America. It wasn’t working out so I thought I should just do this on my own that was when I moved back to Nigeria. When I came, the only people I knew in the music industry were Wande Coal and Don Jazzy, they are like family. I told them that this is what I wanted to do and they advised me. I was around people that were musically inclined. Wande Coal is like a big brother to me, I’ve known him for years, even before he dropped his first album. Shank is also like a brother to me, one of the first people that introduced me to the industry. I love music, and why not do something you love and are happy doing and making money at the same time.”
Davido on his decision to venture into music
Davido was born on November 21, 1992 to Mr. and Mrs. Adeleke in Atlanta, Georgia. His father, Chief Deji Adeleke, is a Nigerian business magnate while his mother, the late Dr. Vero Adeleke, was a university lecturer. He attended The British International School in Lagos and travelled frequently between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Davido studied Business Administration at Oakwood University prior to relocating to Nigeria. He also studied Business Administration at Babcock University in Ogun State. Davido’s love for entertaining people was inspired by his late mother.
2011-2012:Omo Baba Olowo
Work on Davido’s debut studio album, Omo Baba Olowo (a Yoruba translation for “son of a rich man”), began in 2011. On May 7, 2011, Davido produced and released “Back When” featuring Naeto C, his first song ever recorded. The song served as the album’s lead single and received numerous airplay on radio and TV stations across Nigeria. The music video for the single, uploaded to YouTube on May 9, 2011, was shot and directed in Nigeria by Clarence Peters. During an interview with Adesope of Factory 78 TV, Davido said he recorded “Back When” in London. On October 30, 2011, Davido released “Dami Duro”, a song he co-produced with Shizzi. The music video for “Dami Duro” was released on January 8, 2012. It was shot and directed in Lagos by Clarence Peters and was released during the Occupy Nigeria protests. In an interview posted on Notjustok, Davido spoke on the release and composition of “Dami Duro”, saying, “I recorded Dami Duro in August. What happened was, I was in the studio, I had the beat so I freestyled on it and everyone was like “that shit hard”. I never touched the song for like 3 months and I sent it out to some friends. Before I knew it the songs leaked. So when it leaked I was like alright I gotta rush and turn this into a single.” On May 6, 2012, HKN Music released “Overseas”, a single off the album. The unfinished version of the song leaked prior to the official release. On September 28, 2012, HKN Music released the music video for “All of You”. The song was produced by Gospelondabeat. When the song was released, it was rumored to be a “beef track”. In another interview with Factory78Tv, Davido debunked the rumors and said he recorded the song with Gospel after meeting him at a mall. To Further promote the album, Davido released music videos for “Ekuro”, “Gbon Gbon”, and “Feel Alright”.
In early 2013, Davido began recording his second studio album. On February 25, 2013, he released the upcoming album’s lead single titled “Gobe”.The song was produced by Shizzi, HKN Music’s in-house producer. Charles Mgbolu of Vanguard Media Limited commented on the release of the single, saying, “It’s a beautiful song with a tremendous video running along. In Gobe, Davido is beaten up by thugs after winning the girl. It’s a song that exudes fun from start to finish.” The music video for the single was shot in South Africa by Godfather Productions. The song was ranked second on Premium Times list of the Top 10 songs of 2013. On May 13, 2013, Davido announced via Twitter that the second single, “One of a Kind”, from the upcoming album would be released. The song was also produced by the aforementioned in-house producer. The music video for “One of a Kind” was shot and directed in South Africa by Tebza of Godfather Productions. It visualizes a united Africa rich in culture and music. On August 13, 2013, “Skelewu”, the third single, was released. It was ranked 5th on the aforementioned list of the top 10 songs of 2013. The song peaked at number one on Afribiz’s Top 100 chart. A dance competition with a cash prize of $3000 (N480,000) was announced days after the release of the song. Davido uploaded an instructional dance video onto YouTube and asked fans to upload videos of themselves dancing to “Skelewu”. On October 10, 2013, Davido declared Bello Moshood Abiola the winner of the competition, tweeting: “Congrats my lil bro kiddy!! Won the 3k dollars skelewu competition .. I’m gonna change this kids life!! More things to come kiddy!!” A week after announcing the winner of the Skelewu dance competition, a Sesan directed music video was released to the public. Shortly after the release of the video, Davido took to twitter to debunk the video, claiming that someone betrayed him by releasing it. He also said that he’ll re-shoot the video with Moe Musa, a UK based music video director. He tweeted: “Pls disregard the leak that is not the official video… The official video is being redone. Thx ..”.
Sesan released a statement saying:
“My attention is drawn toward the chaos surrounding the release of the Skelewu video. Myself and my team shot the video for Davido in Nigeria and to the best of my knowledge my client and his team were very happy with the result, when they watched/ and approved the video. If he has since had a change of heart, that is ok. I am not in any way responsible for the release of the video. I believe Davido and myself did a very good job regarding the video production and as a professional of over 10 years. I find it very irresponsible and immature if my client and his management publicly put out false statements/comments, in an attempt to tarnish my name, credibility and reputation. I remain dedicated, humble, focused and as hard working as ever. Thank you to all my fans and industry professionals.”
On October 21, 2013, the official music video for the single, shot and directed in London by Moe Musa, was uploaded onto YouTube at a total length of 3 minutes and 56 seconds. On February 2, 2014, Davido released “Aye”, the fourth single from his upcoming album. The song was produced by T Spice. The music video for “Aye” was released on February 7, 2014; it was directed by Clarence Peters. According to the music video’s synopsis, “Davido plays a poor farmer who falls in love with the prince’s love interest.”
On April 6, 2012, Nigerian Entertainment Today reported that MTN Nigeria signed Davido to a N30 million deal, unveiling him as the face of MTN Pulse, a marketing campaign for Nigerian youths. On October 24, 2013, Pulse Nigeria reported that Guinness Nigeria signed Davido to an endorsement deal. As part of the deal, Davido performed at the Guinness World of More Concert alongside P-Square, D’banj, Wizkid, Ice Prince, Burna Boy, Olamide, Phyno, Chidinma, Waje, and Tiwa Savage, among others.
After the conclusion of the Guinness Colorful World of More Concert on November 3, 2013, Davido and his entourage went to the Nu Grotto night club in Victoria Island for a night of fun. While at the club, the alleged confrontation between Davido’s bodyguard, Tijani Olamilekan Ogbeide (Teejay), and DJ Jaydee, a “known” DJ, led to an escalation of violence at the club. The incident that transpired on the night of November 3 left several people injured, including Davido’s bodyguard who was treated for neck wounds. Several hours after the incident, there were numerous accounts and interpretations of the incident. Davido’s management gave their account of the incident and debunked all other accounts. According to their account, Jaydee allegedly confronted Teejay with Davido’s missing ATM card and asked for permission to speak to Davido personally. After being refused access to Davido, Jaydee allegedly dropped the card on the floor in anger and attacked Teejay while he was picking up the card from the floor. Jaydee allegedly struck Teejay repeatedly and ran off into the club.
On August 12, 2012, Crime Digest reported that Davido allegedly assaulted Femi Ajibola, a taxi driver. Ajibola said the incident started when he got a call from a young woman who requested a taxi ride from her house to a hotel in the Lekki Phase 1 area. Ajibola said that the girl and her friend asked him to wait for them. He said that moments later, one of the girls approached the taxi cab screaming and pleading to enter the car. He claim he saw Davido slap the girl while she entered the car. He also claim Davido knocked his face against the cab’s steering wheel while accusing him of being the girl’s boyfriend. Moreover, Ajibola said that four of Davido’s entourage beat him up severely and took the keys to his taxi cab. Ajibola said that he went to report the case to the nearest police station and was told to do so the next day. Ajibola told Crime Digest that he had a total of N100,000 in the car and had plans of using the money to payoff the dealer for the balance he owed on the car. He said he didn’t see the money in the car upon returning to the car the next day. He said he managed to get hold of Davido’s “number” and contacted him; he said someone from Davido’s camp called him back and promised to pass the message to him. After reporting the incident to the police station, Ajibola said he and police officers went to the girl’s house. Ajibola said the girl told police officers that Davido and his entourage didn’t assault her. Ajibola said he learnt that Davido was dating one of the girls he picked up and that the fight between them started after she caught Davido in bed with another girl who she was friends with. Ajibola told Crime Digest that the DPO at the police station assured him that they will investigate the case and find out the truth. Ajibola said that after Sharon Adeleke dropped off the taxi cab’s key, he pleaded with her and the DPO to compensate him for “the incident”. Davido’s publicist, Valerie Obaze, denied his involvement in the incident saying, “Davido has no knowledge of any incident involving the assault of a taxi driver or the illegal seizure of his car. He does not condone violence of any sort and will not be commenting on this untrue allegation.” Davido has since denied the incident and referred to it as a case of blackmail. He specifically said: “I want to assure all my beloved fans and friends that I am not wanted by the police and no officer in the Nigerian police gave an order for my arrest. I did not beat up any taxi driver and the lady that hired the taxi driver and all those that are involved in this matter have made statements to the police and none of them mentioned my name except the taxi driver who claims that a large sum of money was missing in his taxi, in fact the lady in question stated that she was not beaten by anyone and that nobody assaulted the taxi driver. This is a case of blackmail, and I have resolved not to succumb to any blackmail for money. And to all those that are involved in this conspiracy to bring me down, I want to remind you that God Almighty himself got me to where I am today in my music career and you will not succeed in your devilish efforts to bring me down.”
Omo Baba Olowo (2012)
|2011||“Back When” (featuring Naeto C)||Omo Baba Olowo|
|“Overseas” (featuring Sina Rambo)|
|“All of You”|
|“Feel Alright” (featuring Ice Prince)|
|“One of a Kind”|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Himself||Best Newcomer Award||Won|
Dynamix All Youth Awards
|2011||Himself||Promising Youth Artiste||Won|
|“Back When”||Song of the Year||Won|
Channel O Music Video Awards
|2013||“Gobe”||Most Gifted Afro Pop Video||Nominated|
|2012||“Dami Duro”||Most Gifted Dance Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Most Gifted Newcomer Video of the Year||Won|
Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
|2013||“All of You”||Best Dance Hall/Reggae Video||Nominated|
|“Gobe”||Best Pop Extra Video||Nominated|
|2012||“Dami Duro”||Best Video By A New Artiste
(Live Beats Choice)
4Syte TV Music Video Awards
|2013||“Gobe”||Best African Act Video||Nominated|
Ghana Music Awards
|2014||Himself||African Artiste Of The Year||Pending|
Nigeria Entertainment Awards
City People Entertainment Award
|2013||Himself||Musician of the Year (Male)||Nominated|
|Best Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year||Nominated|
|“Gobe”||Most Popular Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2013||Davido||Artiste of the Year||Nominated|
|Hip Hop World Revelation||Won|
|Omo Baba Olowo||Best R&B/Pop Album||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
|“Gobe”||Best Pop Single||Nominated|
|“Dami Duro”||Best Pop Single||Nominated|
(Sauce Kid featuring Davido)
World Music Awards
|2014||Himself||World’s Best Male Artist||Pending|
|World’s Best Live Act||Pending|
|World’s Best Entertainer Of The Year||Pending|