2017 has – without an iota of doubt whatsoever – been a massively phenomenal year for the Nigerian music industry and its many uber-talented artistes. The year has witnessed a milieu of power-packed local and international collaborations and recognition and, of course, the steady output of mega hits by the biggest and best names in the game.
The two names that most readily come to mind when one thinks about the very best players on the Nigerian music scene right now are Davido and Wizkid. The question of who’s a more successful artiste between the two industry icons is one that’s bound to be the perfect starter for an unending heated argument within any gathering of Nigerians, regardless of their genders, ages, religions, or ethnicities.
This really is no surprise at all, considering the fact that the love for Nigerian music – even seemingly more so than that for soccer – easily cuts across all demographics within the country. Furthermore, the Wizkid vs. Davido rivalry is one that’s almost as old as time itself, with each artiste’s diehard fans perpetually armed with facts, ready to justify why their star is the bigger icon
One fact remains undisputed as 2017 comes to a rather climactic end; Davido and Wizkid are – by miles – still the clear frontrunners of the Nigerian music industry and the obvious contenders for the top spot. There can however only be one number 1, so who between the two internationally-acclaimed music superstars has had the most successful 2017?
This feature takes a deliberate, intricate look into the mega-successful artistes’ music careers and their achievements in the year under review, and is aimed at providing you with all the information you need to decide for yourself who between the two reigns supreme in 2017.
27-year old Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun better known by his stage name, Wizkid, was born in Surulere, Lagos. The international singing sensation, who started recording music as young as 11, signed a record deal with Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment way back in 2009 and eventually rose to prominence the following year with the release of his critically-acclaimed break-out single, ‘Holla at Your Boy’.
Davido, whose full name is David Adedeji Adeleke, is the 25-year old son of multi-billionaire businessman and founder of Adeleke University, Chief Adedeji Adeleke. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but burst onto the Nigerian music scene in 2011 with his smash hit, Dami Duro, which laid the foundation for a more-than-worthwhile music career.
Ever since their inceptions in the industry, both superstars have continued to raise the bar, releasing massive bangers back to back and keeping their millions of loyal fans and supporters desperate for more. 2017 has been no different.
This year, O.B.O., who has put out colossal hits such as ‘All of You’, ‘Overseas’, ‘Ekuro’, ‘Gbon Gbon’ , ‘Feel Alright’, ‘Gobe’, ‘One of a Kind’, ‘Skelewu’ and ‘Aye’ over the span of his highly successful music career released global scorchers ‘If’ and ‘Fall’ (the visuals of which are currently the first and third most viewed Nigerian music videos this year on YouTube) as well as ‘Fia’ which he released after the painful and controversial deaths of two of his close friends. His most recent single, ‘Like Dat’ was produced by Shizzi, and is still making enormous waves.
‘Love My Baby’, ‘Pakurumo’, ‘Oluwa Lo Ni’, ‘Jaiye Jaiye’, ‘On Top Your Matter’, ‘Joy’, ‘Bombay’, ‘Show You the Money’ and major street anthem, ‘Ojuelegba’ are only a few of the firecrackers that Wizkid has released since his enviable career kicked off. This year, the Starboy Entertainment founder put out his third album (which is also his major label debut).
The body of work contains indubitable masterpieces such as ‘Come Closer’ featuring Drake (the 2nd most watched Nigerian music video on YouTube this year, and Wizkid’s most watched video ever, despite the absence of the Canadian rap sensation in the song’ visuals), ‘Daddy Yo’, ‘African Bad Gyal’ featuring Chris Brown, ‘Naughty Ride’ featuring Major Lazer, ‘One for Me’ and ‘Dirty Wine’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign. By releasing the highly acclaimed album, Star Boy not only asserted himself as the ultimate hit-maker, he also scored massive points for his collaborations with artistes who are prodigious shots on the global scene.
But if you think this means Wizkid totally outclassed his greatest rival in this regard, think again. The DMW boss, this year alone, has collaborated with Rae Sremmurd and Young Thug on ‘Pere’, and R. Kelly on the remix of his massive hit ‘If’. These, of course, are in addition to his previous collaborations with the likes of Nasty C on ‘Coolest Kid in Africa’ and American pop star, Tinashe on ‘How Long’.
When it comes to international recognitions, the two stars have held their own pretty well. Davido edged Wizkid out at the 2017 MTV EMAs by winning ‘Best African Act’ to the delight of his loyal fans. The ‘Fia’ hit-maker also won the Best Worldwide Act (Nigeria) at the awards.
Wizkid however seemed to even out the score as he dusted Davido for the win at the 2017 All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA). He swept the awards for Best African Male Artiste, as well as Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year for his mega hit, ‘Come Closer’. Quite the clean out, one would say.
As if to further assert his dominance, the ‘Manya’ crooner went on to win the award for Best International Act against the likes of Jay-Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B and SZA at the 22nd MOBO awards, unarguably one of the biggest award wins of his entire career.
It just might have been a much bigger statement if Wizkid wasn’t edged out at the same event by Davido to win the Best African Act in a category that both men were nominated in, alongside Mr. Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Maleek Berry and Wande Coal.
Regardless of which of these remarkable artistes you prefer, there’s no gainsaying the fact that both superstars have had a fantastic 2017 and have done extraordinarily well on the big stage. But who between the two music industry heavyweights has recorded the most success this year? Wizkid? Davido? For us, it’s rather too close to call. You decide.