Soaring on the beat: Here’s how Davido is expanding his Afrobeats empire across the globe

Abu Mubarik June 30, 2023
Per Forbes, Davido’s albums have been streamed more than two (2) billion times. His current album, Timeless, has been streamed over 133 million times since it was released in March, and hit #2 on Billboard's World Album chart. Photo credit: Rasheedhrasheed

In 2011, Davido, born David Adedeji Adeleke, broke into the music scene. Since then, he has established himself as one of the best Afrobeats singers in Africa and beyond. His songs have topped music charts in Nigeria, the UK, and the USA.

With four studio albums, Davido has performed in some of the world’s famed venues like New York’s Irving Plaza, and appeared on high-rating TV shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. On social media, particularly Tik Tok and Instagram, he amassed an impressive 30 million followers.

His growth was propelled by the rising influence of the music genre, Afrobeats, which hails from West Africa and is very popular among Nigerian and Ghanaian artists. The genre is a mixture of jazz, driving drums, reggae, pop, and hip-hop.

“I can remember when it wasn’t cool to be from Africa—people would lie and say they were Jamaican,” Davido told Forbes. “Now we have our own Billboard charts in the US and UK—that shows how serious the Western world is taking our music.” 

According to Forbes, Afrobeats is driving Africa’s music industry, noting that the region’s music revenue surged 34% to $94 million. What is more, Africa outpaced mature markets like the US (5%), European (7.5%), and Asian (15%) regions to become the world’s fastest-growing music region.

“The global music industry is investing in artists and producers from Africa and authentically leaning into what people are listening to,” J.J. Italiano, Spotify’s head of global hits told Forbes. “It’s a truly global sound, and the industry is responding to it in a way that’s super cool and encouraging.”

Per Forbes, Davido’s albums have been streamed more than two (2) billion times. His current album, Timeless, has been streamed over 133 million times since it was released in March, and hit #2 on Billboard’s World Album chart. 

According to Davido’s team, he could earn more than $20 million in 2023 from royalties, touring, merch sales, and endorsements. His endorsement deals include Pernod Ricard’s Martell Cognac, smartphone maker Infinix Mobile, and Puma. He is also behind the record label Davido Music Worldwide.

Davido was born in Atlanta to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. His father Adedeji Adeleke, founded Pacific Holdings Limited. Established in 1983, it has grown into an industrial conglomerate whose power plants generate most of West Africa’s electricity.

Davido was inspired to do music by musicians like 50 Cent and JaRule. He dropped out of Oakwood University, a historically Black school in Huntsville, Alabama to focus on music.

He hit the limelight with his first album, Dami Duro, before releasing Omo Baba Olowo, coupled with some singles and collaborations with other musicians. He released his third album, A Good Time, and then A Better Time in 2020.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: June 30, 2023

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