Nigerian music stars, Tiwa Savage, Davido and Mr Eazi covered the Billboard Magazine on May 21, 2020.
Tiwa Savage, Davido and Mr Eazi had some interesting conversations with Billboard.
Davido tells Billboard about signing to a major label
“When I got my deal, it was very, very early in the transition of Afrobeats to the U.K. and then to the U.S. Before signing the deal in 2015, I was perfectly fine. It wasn’t something that I needed, as I’d been successful prior to that. But then I was like, “F**k it, let’s take the risk! I basically have nothing to lose, as I’ll still be able to do my thing in Africa.” But a year after signing, the vision I’d had then didn’t come into play. I felt like I had dropped the ball because people were trying to make me sound different.
“I really had to put it in [the label’s] head that the sound I was talking about was the sound that was going to pop, not the sound the guys there were trying to make us do. So me being stubborn, I came back to Nigeria from L.A. and started making the music I wanted to make. “If” was my first record that really blew up.
“At the same time, other artists began dropping [Afrobeats] music as well. Then Wakanda [the futuristic, fictional country featured in the 2018 film Black Panther] came and everyone wanted to be African. The process for making people believe in this culture wasn’t easy. I’m just happy that everything paid off in the end. All the labels are out here now in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa looking for talent.”
Tiwa Savage tells Billboard about being a woman and an entertainer.
“A lot of people in Africa still have the idea that a woman has to be submissive, stay at home and be the wife and mother. Don’t get me wrong. Those are great morals to keep. But I think the modern African woman, the modern black woman is being limited. We can do both. You can have a successful full-time job, you can be strong and vulnerable at the same time.
“That’s the message I’m trying to put across. So when you see my videos or see me on the red carpet, don’t think I’m not at home cooking for my son or helping him with homework when I’m not doing shows.”
Mr. Eazi tells Billboard about signing to a major label
“The amount of respect has grown. I remember my first deal in 2016 was 400,000 pounds [$522,068, adjusted for inflation] for three albums. It’s becoming more evident that the numbers are rising. I was about to sign a huge label imprint deal in 2018 for about $6 million but didn’t. Now I’m having a different conversation with the same people.
“Once the Internet becomes cheap in Africa, then you’ll see. That’s when we’ll be able to get our fair share in terms of recognition and revenue. Africa has a population of over 1.2 billion. When you see a Davido song with 100 million views, just know that the real view count is like 900 million because there are a lot of people who don’t have the money to pay for the internet, so they’re watching via untrackable means.”
See some of their amazing cover photos for Billboard Magazine below.