To be honest, this collaboration came out of nowhere this week. There were no announcements, no pre-release hype as would be typical for most collaborations of this magnitude, there was no press release to go along with the record or even an official artwork – all of a sudden, two days ago, this massive collaborative effort between one of Ghana’s fastest-rising artists Shatta Wale and Nigerian Pop star Davido titled “Wine Ya Waist” just appeared. What’s even more bizzare about how this song was released is that it is one of the best new “Afrobeats” songs of 2014.
I write “Afrobeats” in inverted commas because although “Wine Ya Waist” is more a Dancehall record than anything else and while the Shatta Wale shtick is that he is a Ghanaian Dancehall artist, any music coming out of West Africa onto the world stage will be referred to as “Afrobeats”, it is what it is, but alas I digress. We were just starting to wax lyrical about how this collaboration between Shatta Wale and Davido has created one of the best new songs to come out of West Africa this year.
I must admit, I’ve tried to not pay attention to Shatta Wale but his name and his music have been virtually inescapable around Afrobeats circles for the past six months. The music video for his breakthrough hit “Dancehall King” has been watched nearly one million times on YouTube while his latest hit “Everybody Likes My Tin” is one of the biggest Afrobeats songs in the UK right now, with the visuals for that single nearing half a million views already. There is no other way to say it, Shatta Wale is one of the biggest Ghanaian artists of 2014.
On the other hand, what can we say about Davido that hasn’t already been said. Ever since he burst onto the Nigerian music scene with the Naet C assisted “Back When” in 2011, he has remained one of the biggest stars in the country. On the verge of releasing his highly anticipated sophomore album, everything the Lagos native has released has been pure gold from last year’s “Gobe” and “Skelewu” to his latest monster track “Aye“, the music video for which garnered over a million views on YouTube in less than a month.
Individually, Shatta Wale and Davido are hit-making superstars by any and all standards but together, they’ve taken things up a few notches and just gone and outdone themselves. I really don’t know how this collaboration came about but I’m guessing this was a one-take session (the two were photographed in a studio just over two weeks before this song found its way online), which not only speaks highly about the chemistry between the two artists, but also about Davido’s artistic versatility. We all accept that Shatta Wale is the “African Dancehall King” but Davido matches his Ghanaian counterpart – bar for bar, lyric for lyric and flow for flow – on his own turf – the outcome is overwhelmingly one of the best new
Afrobeats record of 2014.
“Wine Ya Waist”:
Words by Ayo Adepoju