After a 7 year wait, Davido’s sophomore album, “A Good Time” is on the way

How the afropop juggernaut has kept us interested in all this time

It’s been over seven years since Davido released his debut LP, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’. After a number of false starts and dashed expectations, the afropop superstar is finally releasing a sophomore album, ‘A Good Time’, three years after his EP, ‘Son of Mercy’. The wide gap between both full lengths has been packed with all kinds of positive activity for the singer, a testament to how he’s been able to fashion himself into the quintessential Nigerian pop star.

In the Nigerian music terrain, the prominence of an artist is mainly judged by success of their singles, and the ability to move a large crowd in concert. Since breaking out with his instant smash hit, “Dami Duro”, it’s a given that a Davido song is in widespread rotation upon release, both on the radio and in the clubs. With this track record as one of this decade’s perennial hit-makers, Davido’s immense popularity has barely ever wavered.

The closest thing we’ve had to a Davido drought was in the short-lived ‘Son of Mercy’-era, due to the lukewarm reception the EP generated amongst listeners. In his 2018 cover story for NATIVE’s issue 002, the singer was pointed in his own criticism of the EP, calling it “shit”. By his high standards, Davido’s self-effacing honesty made sense, even though the project still spawned its own hits, like the General Pype co-written “Gbagbe Oshi”, and “Coolest Kid in Africa”, his collaboration with South African rap ascendant, Nasty C.

However, Davido returned to unquestionable popularity in the following year with a slew of back-to-back hit records, culminating in one of the most dominant runs we’ve seen in contemporary afropop. The singer powered through 2017, starting off with the Tekno-produced “IF”, then following up shortly after with “Fall”, eventually closing out with fan favourites, “Like Dat” and “FIA”. Despite formidable competition from his main competition of the decade, Wizkid, who had put out his Billboard charting major label debut, ‘Sounds from the Other Side’, Davido emerged as the clear leader for MVP of 2017.

In the two years since then, Davido has been riding even higher, becoming one of the bonafide superstars of the ‘Afropop to the world’ movement. While he continued his run of infectious hits in 2018, including NATIVE Best New Music entries “Assurance” and “Wonder Woman”, his star power has only shone much brighter this year.

To kick off the year, the singer headlined a filled-up concert at the prestigious O2 Arena in London. It is a massive feat that has only been matched by his steady rise to popularity in the U.S. After becoming one of the most Shazam’d singles in January, Davido’s 2017 hit “Fall” became a phenomenon, stateside, landing on the Billboard Airplay charts and peaking at number 13.

The renewed success of “Fall” opened up an avenue for aggressive promotion, and the singer took the opportunity with both hands, pulling up at a handful of popular media spots in the U.S, including the highly-rated morning show ‘The Breakfast Club’. During this period, Davido also went on a mini U.S tour in support of his buzzing single, followed up by appearances on high profile stages, like New York’s Summer Jam Festival in June, and a cameo at the renowned Madison Square Garden in August.

Strengthening his crossover potentials, Davido collaborated with Chris Brown, for his summer slapper, “Blow My Mind”. Although the Shizzi-produced song caters to the R&B inclinations of its guest artist, it still contains the groovy flavour of made in Nigeria afropop. Being a direct product of the back-to-basics campaign in 2017, the song underlines Davido’s main intention to make music that represents his abilities as a Nigerian artist.

Emphasising the singular nature of his artistic vision, Davido’s most recent single, “Risky”, flips his hilarious and embarrassing freestyle on Shade45 into a banger. While its minimalist, dancehall-inclined production plays into Jamaican singer Popcaan’s wheelhouse, it’s the type of song that was clearly crafted with Lagos clubs in mind. This leaves no doubt that Davido’s soon-to-be-released album, ‘A Good Time’, will be one Nigerian audiences will identify with. He might be reaching further across the Atlantic but his roots are firmly planted at home.

Amping up excitement for his sophomore LP, Davido finally unveiled the star-studded tracklist over the weekend. Naira Marley, Zlatan, WurlD, Peruzzi, Dremo and Yonda make up the Nigerian contingent, while there a handful of mouth-watering international collaborations. In addition to the high-profile features on pre-released songs, R&B star Summer Walker, and rappers Gunna and A Boogie With Da Hoodie complete the list of guests from across the pond. From already laid out precedents, these variety of guests should be coming into Davido’s musical orbit, adding their own bit of colour to the vibrant playhouse the singer has been constructing for a long minute.

In a new Instagram post debuting the album’s eye-catching cover art, Davido referred to ‘A Good Time’ as the “album of the century”. Part of that lofty claim comes down to the anticipation that followed the announcement of an upcoming album back in September. While fans were expectant, there wasn’t an active clamour for a new Davido full-length, since the singer has held the scene in chokehold with mostly singles and features. Less than 48hours to the album, it is apparent that Davido is only looking to strengthen that. With that, it seems fitting to project that Davido’s good time will only continue, even if it takes another seven years to get a third album.

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Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter