Nigerian pop music sensation Davido has released a new album titled Son of Mercy, which is his first project under his new label Sony Music. Davido describes the five track project as an experiment, in which he enlists the talents of U.S. R&B star Tinashe (who is part Zimbabwean) and South African rapper Nasty C. Pulse Nigeria reports that the first single from the album, “Gbagbe Oshi,” and its accompanying video have received positive reviews among Davido’s fan and critics across the continent, while he waits to see how it performs on the American music scene.
The 23-year-old recording artist signed to Sony Music in January, becoming one of the few music acts from Africa to get a deal with the international label. Speaking about his deal in an interview with Pulse, Davido said, “I have creative control, it’s a joint thing. Most times, whatever I send them, they are ready to go”.
On the advantages of working with an international music label, he added, “You will see. I can’t explain, you [just] got to see the work. At least I don’t have to pay for my videos again. I’m always thinking: ‘spending $250,000 on one video, that’s what I’ll never do.’ That’ll just take it to another level.”
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Davido says that depending on how things work out, the Son of Mercy project could serve as a prequel to his major album release scheduled for 2017. The major album is expected to feature a host of high profile international artists such as Usher, Trey Songs, Young Thug, and Future. Davido says he hopes to make significant inroads into the American music scene with its release, while making sure not to alienate his fans back home in Africa.
Observers of the contemporary African music scene believe Davido’s deal with Sony Music could open up more opportunities for other African artists, but only if he’s successful. Previous efforts by a number of African artists, including Nigerian performer Dbanj’s own stint with Sony Music and his underwhelming collaborations with Kanye West’s‘ G.O.O.D music, have yielded little return for the continent.
Davido is one of the most decorated contemporary African artists of all time. In the five years since his phenomenal rise to stardom, he has received a total of 29 awards and 74 nominations from award shows across Africa.