The DMW Boss got signed to Sony Music Entertainment in January 2016, and has endured a fractious relationship with the major label due to creative control issues.
The relationship provided the lukewarm “Son Of Mercy” EP and a collaboration with Tinashe on ‘How long’.
But the singer was unhappy, and has renegotiated his contract to enable him create his music the way he wants to.
“First of all, I didn’t even want to take the deal because I didn’t need it. I was doing tours all over Africa with 50,000 to 80,000, people so it was like why am I signing the deal?” He told Guardian.
“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’s collaboration with Tinashe produced the song “How long’. The record was a tropical House production, which had the singer alter his style to blend with the US singer. A video for the song was shot in Malibu, California. But Davido was unhappy with it.
“The collaboration was as a result of the Sony deal. Don’t get me wrong, Tinashe is a talented artist but it wasn’t my style. My style is just the Nigerian style like I said before, I can’t sing American music pass Chris Brown and Chris Brown cannot come and sing Nigerian music pass me.” He says.
Davido’s new deal with Sony gave him creative control, which he has flexed to provide good results. His first single of 2016, ‘If’, has become a mega hit on the continent. The song produced by Tekno is currently leading every African chart and playlist. It has also shown crossover potential.
Davido believes that it is proof of how creative freedom provides the best results for musicians in Africa.
“I had to look at what I had, which was a whole continent. That is what all of those guys in America want. When you’re over there all of them want to be here. We need to just know what we are worth.”
Davido’s plan for his career is to be a legend and put other artists on. Then he can pivot his business to other fields.
“My goal would be to keep doing what I am doing and get to that legend status. I want to bring up other artists like Mayorkun, who dropped his single Sade.”
“I am 24 now, I cannot be doing music when I’m 30, I’ll probably drop two albums after this but I want to be done by the time I’m 29 or 30. I want to have a big media house and go into other things like filming. I know eight presidents personally so you can imagine what I can do, like youth empowerment.”