Afrobeats superstar Davido has been flying the Nigerian flag across the globe since his debut album, Omo Baba Olowo, dropped in 2012. A diasporic fusion of music widely performed by artists of African decent like original afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, and house, traces of Afrobeats have started to appear in mainstream North American music this year—most notably in Drake's hit "One Dance" which featured Nigerian superstar Wizkid. Davido, who signed a deal with RCA Records over the summer, is making his mark in establishing that connection as well, as he collaborated with Meek Mill last year for his song, "Fans Mi." The connection continues today as we're premiering Davido's new song and video, "How Long," which features Tinashe and will appear on his forthcoming EP, Son of Mercy, set to release tomorrow, October 14.
The black and white clip is shot in Malibu and shows Davido and Tinashe meeting at a beach, her arriving on a white horse and he on a motorcycle. To find out what inspired the collaboration and what to expect from Son of Mercy, we spoke with Davido. Watch "How Long" below.
Noisey: What was the inspiration behind making "How Long" the song and the video?
Davido: For the song, I recorded that record about a year ago. One of the executives at Sony International had the record. He played it for Tinashe, and he asked me if I would like to put her on the record. I thought it was a great idea. We just did it. We shot the video in Malibu. It was beautiful. I feel like it's something different. I call it Afro Fusion. It has all kinds of music. It has the Afrobeats, it has the house music. Everything just fused together.
This year a lot of Afrobeats and Caribbean music have shown up in mainstream American music. How does it feel to have that influence from West Africa infiltrate the rest of the world?
It's something I knew that would always happen. The vibe is cool. People love the Afrobeats. If you think about it, I call it World Music because over here in Africa we have people that do hip-hop as well. I don't think they're using our style. It's more of like they're rating us and appreciating the sound.
Can you speak on the process of making Son of Mercy? Was there a different process than your earlier work?
I wouldn't say it's different process. I had my producers. The only producer that I had outside of Africa was Dun Deal out of Atlanta. Everything was natural.
Was there anything on this project that your listeners and your fans wouldn't expect from you? Like a surprise or a certain technique you used that you haven't used before?
I wouldn't say there are any surprises. People know I'm very constant with my music. I have a certain style that people are familiar with.
Photo courtesy of RCA Records
Lawrence Burney is a Staff Writer at Noisey. Follow him on Twitter