Afrobeats singer and producer Davido has revealed how he launched a music career against his father’s will.
His father, Adedeji Adeleke, is a billionaire, business magnate, president of Adeleke University and the CEO of Pacific Holdings Limited.
In an interview session with a radio station, Real 92.3, in Los Angeles, Davido shared his musical journey and how his father disapproved of his music career when he started.
The Afrobeats star, born in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, said his father did not know he was a musician until about two years after he started recording his songs.
According to Davido, who is the most followed African artiste on Instagram and Twitter, he did not tell his father about his music because he looked up to him and did not want to disappoint him as well.
He said, “I come from a family where you go to school; after that, you will work for dad. It is a business and Christian family. That’s why I didn’t let my people know I was a musician.”
“My Dad didn’t know I was a musician till about two years after I started recording. I’m the last child of five. All my siblings graduated and had their master’s degrees. So, I was expected to do the same.”
The 30-year-old singer, who studied business administration at Oakwood University in the U.S. before dropping out, noted that he once had a big show, and his father sent the police to arrest him, the promoter and everyone else at the forefront.
Before then, the music star said he left his father’s palatial home to become a studio rat because he was determined to brave the odds against him, which in this case, was his father’s disapproval.
He said, ‘‘We had a 60 million dollar house in Nigeria that I ran away from; I was sleeping in my friend’s studio, hot. My guys were telling me to be going home,’’ he said.
He said his father put him far away from home, which was about a four-hour drive so that he could focus on school and leave music, but he ran away twice.
The Unavailable crooner, who lost his mother as a child, felt despite his father’s love for him, he was being overprotective because of a promise he probably made to his mother to always take care of him.
“My dad saw a billboard of me, and his security told him that your son has the hottest song in the club right now, and he came to the show I headlined and arrested the fans, me, my friends, and even my promoter. After that, I was on a roll, switching locations like a real-life fugitive, switching hotels, and switching sim cards.
“No one wanted to book me because of this. It happened more than once, and the third time I said I was gone, I scaled the fence, ran, and remembered I was not wearing shoes. They called me and said they arrested all my friends, and then I said I don’t want to make music again, and they released them.
Davido told the show anchors that his father wanted him to stay in school. The deal was that he would be in school for 30 days and get three days off, and then his father promised to build him a studio and finance his career.
“I recorded this one song, and it blew up. One day, my guy called me to say he was at the club last night, and people were singing my song. This was like the first time anybody would celebrate me.”
“So, I left school. School is like four hours away. My dad put me four hours away from the city. I went to the club, and after the DJ played my song, they all went crazy. I started getting some little gigs from there. My father found out that I left school. This was the second time I had been running away.”
“I had this big show once, and he sent the police. They arrested the promoter, and anybody backstage, whether you were a fan or even people in the crowd. He was doing that for a couple of gigs. Then I dropped another song, and it was bigger. It was even like the president of the country’s ringtone. Over time, he decided to let me be.”
ALSO READ: Davido: Reactions as Kwam 1 titles 49th album ‘Timeless’
Eventually, after several attempts to break even in the Nigerian music industry, the second single from his debut studio album, Omo Baba Olowo (2012), became the game changer.
“I recorded the song ‘Dami Duro’, which means you can’t stop me. ‘Ema Dami duro, Emi Omo babalowo’ means you can’t stop me, leave me to do what I want to do; I’m the son of a rich man,” he said.
“So people called him (his dad), let David do this, cause the music is popping, he friends were listening’’.
Timeless album and tour
Also, speaking on his timeless album, Davido emphasised that it meant a lot of things to him, particularly the cover image, which represented what his late son, Ifeanyi, loved.
He said he wants the album to have an evergreen vibe for many years and for the audience to feel the same way every time they listen.
“I lost my son last year, and he loved nature, like trees. His favourite animal was an elephant. The timeless cover image was used to represent all the things he loved. He was with me in the studio through half of the songs.”
Meanwhile, he disclosed that his Timeless Album tour tickets, almost sold out, sold about 40 per cent of the tickets representing 8,000 in 24 hours.
“The tour is almost sold out right now. The team and I are working so hard. The genre Afrobeat is bigger now, so we will do it big.”
The Afrobeat star rose to fame after he released his second single, “Dami Duro”, from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012. Since then, he has released several singles and albums such as “Ekuro”, “Overseas”, “All of You”, “Gbon Gbon”, and “And Feel Alright”, amongst others, to be where he is today.
His current album, ‘Timeless’, is his fourth studio album and has won the hearts of his fans and music enthusiasts, particularly the song ‘Unavailable’, the most trending song on the album.
The Afrobeat star further hinted at his upcoming project called ‘AwayFest’, which would provide a platform for Nigerian artistes and creatives who do not have the opportunity to be in America to perform in Atlanta, United States.
He disclosed that starting in November, the project would touch on African fashion, food and, most notably, music to showcase Africa to the world.
He said, “I’m starting AwayFest in Atlanta in November. I want to bring artists and creatives to Nigeria who don’t have the opportunity to come to America. We are going to be showcasing fashion, food and music. It has always been my thing to showcase Africa to the world.”
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