Nigeria has set the tone for Afropop and 21-year-old Cameroonian singer and song writer #Ambe Tebong Neba a.k.a Denzyl is adding Cameroon to the mix. His just released single, ‘#So Long’ could soon serve as a ‘party warmer’ with its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics.
The song is about his mother who passed away, written as a love song anyone can relate to. “When I sing, ‘You stole my love away’, I’m talking about how the cold hands of death snatched my mother from me. Losing her was really heartbreaking, but it made me stronger. The video is a celebration because in Africa, after mourning the death of a loved one, we then celebrate the person’s life and the fact that the loved one now lives forever in the next life. In the same way, after you suffer from lost love or any other problems in life, you must always celebrate the fact that you live again to fight another day.”
After the devastation in Haiti, the artist decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from each paid download of the song ‘So Long’ to UNICEF and the Red Cross for Haiti relief efforts.
AFRICANVIBES.COM: Cameroonian Artists are fairly new to Afropop. What inspired you to pursue this genre?
I listened to a lot of American Hip Hop/R&B from the time I was still running around in diapers – or napkins, as we called it then; that influenced me a lot. By the time I was 13, I was only thinking about music. I thought of doing something different in my local language (Pidgin English), which everybody could understand. However, I still include pure English language in some of my songs from time to time in order to reach those who cannot understand the pidgin language.
AFRICANVIBES.COM: What was it like creating your own album?
It’s never an easy road when you’re trying to create something you hope people will like, even if you’re the most gifted dude on earth. Many times we even have to sleep in the studio trying to come up with something. I have sacrificed a lot of time, energy and personal relationships hoping to make it happen. I even lost a girlfriend I really loved because I was spending all my time in the studio sessions and had no time for anybody else. Now, I’m very excited because we came up with something new and revolutionary; a rare blend of Afrobeat with Hip Hop/R&B that we call AFRO-HOP. Yes, we’re introducing the Afro-Hop revolution, and those who’ve already listened to SOME of the songs on Jango Radio online are really appreciating and loving the sound.
My debut album – which was, in fact, a demo presentation entitled ‘’E Don Blow’’ – was produced in Nigeria by J Sleek, the same guy who made the music for #African superstars like 2 Face Idibia, Faze, Chuddy K and Sound Sultan. Some songs were also produced by Jedi of Chillen Music, a recording studio in Buea, Cameroon. My collaboration with J Sleek was the most enriching experience for me because he is a Nigerian artist and music producer with an incredible record of greatest hits. And he happens to have produced most of my songs.
AFRICANVIBES.COM: Which artists have most inspired your musical career?
Well, many different artists and many different vibes inspire me. From Africa, I would name 2 Face Idibia as my best of them all. I love his music and vibe, and he’s a true inspiration for younger artists like me hoping to accomplish something new. I also love Akon a lot and he inspires me to accomplish even more than he has done to date in the USA and worldwide. Finally, I believe there is a little bit of Michael Jackson in every living artist. He’s the best of all time!
AFRICANVIBES.COM: It must be challenging trying to stand out as an Artist in Africa. How has it been for you?
I’ve known all the ups and downs of the musician’s life in Africa, mostly the downs. It would not surprise you that, even though I am very talented, it is often very difficult finding a good manager or reliable record label in Africa. I had not found one until I signed with #Barthson Global Communications (BGC) who have representation in the US, Cameroon and South Africa. At first I was a hustler doing all by myself, but now things are so much better as I have this whole professional set up working for me.
I am a fighter. I keep on surviving because I fight back and I go out there looking for the best opportunities. My musical inspiration is what motivates me, and my faith in God sustains my motivation. With faith in God, all things are possible. Please, don’t get me preaching now… (laughs).
Davido Just Released A New Remix Of His Song “Fall” With Busta Rhymes
Davido’s “Fall” is by far his most successful single till date. Since the release of the track in 2017, it has earned over 113 million YouTube views. Recently it broke the record as the longest pop song in Billboard history. It appears the multiple award-winning pop star wants to extend the reign of the song. Davido recently released the remix to “Fall” where he teamed up with veteran rapper Busta Rhymes and Brooklyn-based MC Prayah.
Before the release a few days ago, Busta Rhymes teased his followers on Instagram. The song begins with Busta Rhymes dropping his signature rap style before giving way for Prayah. However, besides the introduction of international acts, every other part of the song remained the same.
‘Fall’ became the first Nigerian music video to cross the 100 million views mark on YouTube last year. With the introduction of Busta Rhymes, Davido would hope to achieve more success with the remix. While some fans may argue that Busta Rhymes time on the song was very short, it still gives fans something to hold onto while waiting eagerly for his LP produced by Dr. Dre.
Top 10 Most Popular Songs From Davido
Unlike many artists that base their success on the number of studio albums they have, Davido has just one. However, since coming into the music industry in 2011 he has not shown signs of slowing down. Each year he thrills fans with solo tracks or collaborations that quickly turn to an anthem. Here are 10 of Davido’s most popular songs.
Not many critics gave Davido a chance when he released Fall in 2017. Fall was his second single for the year and a follow-up to ‘IF’. However, a few weeks after its release ‘Fall’ became the top pick for most celebrations, thanks to its comic love lyrics. With over 100 million YouTube views and platinum rank by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), ‘Fall’ is by far his most popular song.
Released in February 2017, ‘If’ has garnered over 77 million views on Youtube. The phrase ‘30 billion for the account’ has become a popular slogan in the country and beyond. ‘If’ also earned the singer awards like Best African Act (MTV EMA), Best Worldwide Act, and Artist of the Year.
Aye is a love song. Released days before Valentine’s Day gave the song a head start. The lyrics which separates true love from materialism quickly caught the attention of fans. Davido went ahead to win the prestigious Headies song of the year award in 2014 for Aye. Aye has over 53 million views on YouTube.
Davido fans will not forget 2017 in a hurry. Late in that year Davido released FIA which is another love song told in a comic way. Fia has also garnered over 59 million views on YouTube
The popularity of skelewu cannot be separated from its unique dance step. At that time people were scampering to participate in what would have been tagged ‘Skelewu dance challenge’ today. Ace footballers like Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Adebayo were caught dancing to the song.
Davido is familiar with drama and keeps his love affair public. Earlier in 2018, Davido broke the Internet when he released the song ‘Assurance’ dedicated to his long-time girlfriend, Chioma. What thrilled fans the most is the Porsche with a custom plate number ‘Assurance’ the artist gifted his girlfriend. The song has over 36 million views on YouTube.
Full of energy and new in the industry, ‘Dami Duro’ was more of a statement of his intention. The song and its strong beat quickly became a major club song. The song also won the ‘Hottest single of the Year’ at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
‘Back When’ is one of Davido’s breakthrough songs. It was the first off his debut album, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’. He featured established rapper, Naeto C on the track. The single won him the 2012 ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Kora Awards.
Davido’s history of love songs began with Ekuro which was released in 2012. After making a hard entrance the previous year, Davido showed off his romantic side in Ekuro. The success of Ekuro paved way for other romantic hits.
All of You
Davido used this track to pay respect to veterans like D’banj, P-Square, and 2baba who were already household names. Released in 2012, ‘All of you’ quickly became a hit.
Which of Davido’s songs do you like the most?
Soweto Gospel Choir Beat Three African Nominees to Win Third Grammy
The annual Grammy Award is a celebration of music achievements in over 80 categories. Of all the categories, the Best World Music Album is reserved for international performers exhibiting “non-European, indigenous traditions”. Four African Albums were nominated for this category in the 61st Grammy Award. This includes;
However, it was the Soweto Gospel Choir that took home the award for their album, Freedom.
The annual celebration for the coveted award took place on Sunday 10th February 2019. However, this is not the first time that the group will be taking home the award. In fact, it is their third win in five nominations. The album ‘Freedom’ is a rendition of popular South African liberation struggle songs. Mulalo and Mary Mulovhedzi, and album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane were on stage to receive the award on behalf of the group.
Interesting details about the album
The Choir recorded the album in June 2018 as a tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 100 Years celebration. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95. The album is a collection of famous South African struggle songs. A worthy inclusion in the album is a brilliant version of ‘Asimbonanga’ by Johnny Clegg. The album release happened in the United States in 2018. The group also completed a three-month tour in the United States. The group will perform songs from the album in Cape Town Jazz Festival coming up in March. Soweto Gospel Choir also plans Australasia album tour from July to September 2019.
History and previous awards
David Mulovhedsi co-founded the group with Beverly Bryer, a producer, and director 17 years ago. The group won the Grammy in ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’ category in 2007. In 2008 they also took home the award in the same category for their album ‘African Spirit’. The win at the just-concluded 61st Grammy Award makes it their third. The group has also won the Metro FM Music Award and four South African Music Awards. Soweto Gospel Choir’s collaboration with pop icon U2 also won the Emmy.
The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa took to Twitter to congratulate the group for their win. He wrote,
“Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #Grammys. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high.”
Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #GRAMMYs. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high. pic.twitter.com/03QH3YZ8ZU
— President Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 11, 2019
Davido Is Second Nigerian Artist To Sell Out The 20000 Seat London O2 Arena
Musicians always strive to increase their fanbase. The multiple award-winning superstar David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido recently sold out the O2 Arena, London. Although the artist frequently performs in front of large audiences, selling out the O2 Arena is a big deal. Most importantly, it shows the appreciation of his music abroad.
On the night of January 27, 2019, he thrilled a crowd of about 20,000 fans. His energetic performance cuts across old and new hit songs. Celebrities at the event include Naomi Campbell, Tim Westwood, and the Editor of British Vogue magazine Edward Enninful. Idris Elba was on stage to introduce the superstar. In 2018 Wizkid’s AfroRepublik concert sold out the same venue. Davido made it clear that it was also his dream to achieve the same feat. Besides Davido and Wizkid, only a few artists in Africa can boast of the same achievement. Therefore, artists who do consider it a great milestone.
A recap of what happened at the event
First of all, international DJ Tim Westwood and Nigerian DJ Ecool entertained the crowd in preparation for the main event. Thereafter, rising artists like Dremo, Idowest, Mayorkun, Yonda, and Zlatan thrilled the fan. These artists are all signed to the DMW record label owned by Davido. Other artists on stage to support the superstar were Victor AD and Tomi Agape.
After Davido’s introduction by Idris Elba, he appeared on stage on a suspended platform. The superstar got loud cheers from his eagerly anticipating fans. All the artists who performed that night were exceptional. However, the overwhelming cheer made it clear who the audience wanted to see. He cranked up his performance with his smash hit ‘Aye’ before switching to other hit songs. Some of the songs he performed include ‘Assurance’, ‘Dami Duro’, ‘Fall’ and ‘If’. While performing ‘Assurance’, he brought his girlfriend to the stage. The lovebirds shared a passionate kiss to the admiration of fans.
A proud display of cultural heritage
Davido is one artist that is proud of his identity and we love it!
He appeared on stage rocking the hand-beaded bomber jacket created by the OKUNOREN brothers, Taiwo and Kehinde. The brothers started the brand in 2002 importing men’s wear. However, many years later, they revolutionized the brand to focus more on local content. The dark jacket was creatively designed using colorful beads. Speaking about the jacket the brothers said,
“This is a piece from the sacred yet to be released collection. The creation of the collection requires a deep understanding of the divinity of the Yoruba people.”
This is not the first time Davido is proudly displaying his Yoruba heritage. He frequently speaks about his local food in interviews. This may be because the Yorubas are naturally inclined to their culture. The Yorubas are one of the three dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria. They dominate the South-western part of the country.
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