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Davido talks about Forbes calling him the “King of Afrobeats,” how he created his album Timeless, what he has planned for his tour, the future of Afrobeats and more!

Davido 0:00
I’m ready for the genre to just go crazy.

Davido 0:02
I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Davido 0:09
Yo, what up my people? It’s your boy Davido, and you’re watching Billboard News.

Rania Aniftos 0:20
Hey everybody, it’s Rania Aniftos with Billboard News, and we’re here with singer, songwriter, producer — the king of Afrobeats Davido.

Rania Aniftos 0:31
You just dropped your new album Timeless. So tell me a bit about the album and the inspiration behind it.

Davido 0:39
You want very out on the record out, I didn’t put out an album in like three years. So I’m just happy that you know, it’s breaking records everywhere.

Rania Aniftos 0:50
You have the most first day streams of any African artists on Apple Music and Spotify. What is it like to represent your home country like in such a successful way?

Davido 1:03
I mean, was dope. We just made the album. You know, with low criteria, we just wanted to just go into studio and make good music. Like, we didn’t plug most of it. We were just like natural vibes, you know, in the studio, not putting pressure. You know, even when picking the records, you know, normally I’d pick the whole album myself or like I’m very, very sensitive. So I pick 17 songs out of like, 68.

Rania Aniftos 1:28
How do you even go about picking the songs?

Davido 1:31
So kind of like made up this formula where I said, I sent songs to like everybody, like even my friends. So I was like everybody votes and it kind of worked out.

Rania Aniftos 1:41
What was the one song that was kind of common throughout everybody’s list?

Davido 1:47
Definitely like “Unavailable.”

Davido 1:54
Like the intro of the album. I wasn’t gonna put it by everybody. I was like, do and then my dad liked it.

Davido 2:06
The one with Angelique Kidjo. I have veto power. That one’s going.

Davido 2:12
Regardless if there’s no vote.

Rania Aniftos 2:18
That’s cool, too, that you get to also work with other artists.

Davido 2:22
Definitely, there’s this is girl I found on I found on the internet doing like a cover to a song. And then I DMed her and like, “Yo, your voice is amazing. Wow.” She doesn’t even believe like, I’m the one talking. She’s so good.

Rania Aniftos 2:35
And now she’s on a record-breaking album with you.

Davido 2:37
Yeah and I signed her too.

Rania 2:41
Forbes named you the “King of Afrobeats.” How does it feel to be named something like that? And to represent a genre, be the face of it?

Davido 2:51
I mean, it’s true.

Davido 2:55
You know, I’ve lived in both places. I’ve lived in America. I went to school out here too.

Davido 3:00
In Alabama. So I was always like spreading the gospel of like, African culture. Food, the fashion you know what I’m saying. When it was time to do music like my dream was always the crossover. Where we were without crossover happen. You know, I was one of the first to get signed by major label from dead on everything just got lit.

Rania Aniftos 3:31
Who were some of your musical influences growing up that have led you to create such a unique sound?

Davido 3:36
I mean, growing up I was like, really like a hip-hop fan. I love that. Yeah, I was like, really, really into like rap. Like I love like 50 Cent. Ja Rule. Like I dressed like a rapper.

Rania Aniftos 3:54
As far as Afrobeats as a genre, it’s really been blossoming over the past few years. What do you think it is about the genre that’s connecting so much with people recently?

Davido 4:03
Man it’s fresh yet you don’t say it’s been here for years? You know? Even when I was in college, I’d always play like African music because that’s what I was listening to. At the time. My friends my like, American friends always like ah, like it sounds good. So I always knew that if he got the opportunity to get heard people would like it.

Rania Aniftos 4:31
You’re about to go on tour. Tell me a bit about what we can expect what you have in store what’s going on with this tour is like

Davido 4:41
Man you know, I’m gonna need to challenge myself in my last tour. You know, Afrobeats wasn’t as crazy as it is now. So it’s like, Now all eyes on us.

Rania Aniftos 4:57
Where do you want to see the future of Afrobeats go?

Davido 5:00
I’m like just happy everybody’s doing well. You know what I’m saying The future of Afrobeats.

Davido 5:06
I feel like it’s in good hands. So hopefully a documentary soon about not only me, also about the culture as well. Up we go.

Rania Aniftos 5:16
Up you go! So many cool things. Timeless, your album is out now, you’re about to head out on tour. Thank you so much for speaking with me today.