- Davido is taking his second shot at dominating the U.S music scene.
- But he is not the first person to take a swing at this difficult terrain. Wizkid tried with his ”Sounds From The Other Side” EP in 2017.
- We compare their numbers on Youtube, Spotify and other music streaming platforms to see who can become a bigger hit abroad.
Davido is currently taking his second swing at the American music scene.
He is trying again this year after failing to win over the elusive U.S market in 2016, despite signing a deal with US record label, Sony Music.
Unlike last time when he tried to push his music into the global scene with the release of the “Son of Mercy” EP, he is now intentionally targeted radio stations with his ongoing Press Run.
“Honestly, when I tried to cross to the American market, it didn’t work,” he admitted in an interview with Shade 45‘s Sirius XM on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
He continued his press run with a visit to Hot 97‘s Ebro in the morning show in New York yesterday, Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Davido and Wizkid’s crack at the US market
A few months after getting his deal, Davido made an official attempt to cross into the American market with the aforementioned EP.
The five-track project featured American singer, Tinashe. When it didn’t work, he went back to focusing on his fan base. “F** all that international shit! It’s cool but f** it. I am back to the basics,”
Davido announced on his social media pages.
This decision led to the release of singles like his ‘Fall’ which become the most Shazamed song by New York listeners in 2018. It also showed up on the Billboard charts and eventually became the longest charting Nigerian song earlier this year. This single has been getting a lot of radio play abroad in the past three months.
Davido is not the first person to try to crack this tough nut. Fellow Nigerian pop star Wizkid started to ease his way into the difficult American music market in 2012 with his bromance with international singer Chris Brown. This resulted in a song with the foreign music act called ‘African Bad Girl’ in late 2014. Before this song, he collaborated with rapper Wale in a 2013 track called ‘Drop’, and ‘Murder’ which was featured in Wizkid’s second album ‘Ayo.’ It was released in 2014.
He got a major break in 2015 when Drake did a remix to Wizkid’s sensational single ‘Ojuelegba’. “I think I put up something on my Instagram and Drake heard it and was like ‘yo dawg that sh*t sounds crazy. We need to do something for my album real quick” he told Ebro during his Beats 1 on Apple Music interview.
His international profile continued to rise as he continued to collaborate with the famous rapper. He was featured on ‘One Dance’, one of the lead singles from Drake’s album, ‘Views’ in 2016. It was streamed over 1 million times on Spotify and got him a Grammy nod the next year.
A second collaboration on 2017 single ‘Come Closer’ pushed Wizkid further into the American music scene. Before the release of this single, Billboard announced the news that Wizkid had signed “a multi-album worldwide deal with RCA Records/Sony Music International” on March 1, 2017.
With a deal in the bag, Wizkid tried and failed to ‘shoot his shot’ with the release of the ”Sounds From The Other Side” EP in 2017. Like Davido, he got numbers too weak to really do anything. As Pulse Senior Editor Ayomide Tayo notes in his ‘What is the impact of ‘Sounds From The Other Side’, a year after?’ opinion piece, “Numbers-wise Sounds From The Other Side did not make a commercial dent in America’s massive music recording industry.”
In spite of their initial failed attempts at cracking up open this market, both have done really well for themselves. Since then, they both have turned into two of Africa’s biggest musicians taking Afrobeats to the world with back-to-back hit singles, pricey endorsement deals, sold out concerts all over the world, global tours and great streaming numbers.
Davido sets his sights on the American market after conquering the 02 Arena in London (Instagram/Efe One)
Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa takes a look at how these two huge pop stars perform on Youtube, Spotify and other streaming platforms;
Davido’s most viewed video is the chart-topping ‘Fall’. Released in 2017, it has received 140 million views. Next is ‘If’ with 77M, followed by ‘FIA’ with 59M, ‘AYE’ - 53M and ‘Assurance’ - 36M.
He has 1.4 million subscribers on the popular platform.
Wizkid’s verified Youtube account, on the other hand, has less than a million subscribers while the StarBoy TV account has 265,206.
His most watched video is ‘Come Closer ft. Drake’ with 72M, then ‘SOCO’ - 39M, ‘OJUELEGBA’ - 30M, ‘Fever’ - 21M and ‘Final (Baba Nla)’ - 19M.
Last year, the popular streaming platform released its list of the 10 most streamed artists on its Nigerian channel. Davido emerged as the most streamed artist with 9.38M views, while Wizkid came in third with about 5.72 million views. This between September 2017 to September 2018.
Davido - 1M monthly subscribers
Streaming numbers (Spotify)
Wizkid - 2M
Streaming numbers (Spotify)
In 2018, the streaming platform released the first ever A-list of African music. It featured “the hottest tracks from across the continent”. Fourth on the list of 49 songs was Davido’s ‘Wonder Woman’.
Wizkid’s ‘Fever’ and ‘Master Groove’ also appeared on the list.
Davido - 217,390 fans
Streaming numbers (Deezer)
Wizkid - 272,677.
Streaming numbers (Deezer)