Davido: How MTN lifted my music career
Popular musician and Afro Pop star, David Adeleke, known as Davido was the face of MTN Pulse between 2012 and 2016.
MTN Pulse was a prepaid tariff plan that allowed subscribers enjoy a flat rate of 11.26k per second for calls across all local Networks in Nigeria after the first 90 seconds call of the day at 27k per second.
The tariff plan had a very beautiful pay-off line of “With MTN Pulse, you talk more, laugh more and love more”.
During that time, the tariff plan was synonymous with Davido, the brand face, and like a Siamese twin both flourished. While the plan resonated mainly with the youths and attracted huge funds into MTN coffers, the pop star also dropped hit songs like Aye, Skelewu, and Gobe to mention a few which stuck with not only the youths but also with the aged and yound adults alike. Davido smiled to the banks from streams of show performance deals,whilst picking up a number of awards along the way.
since then, Davido has risen to become one of Africa’s biggest musical export, selling out various venues across the world including the O2 Arena in London, performing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, earning billions of streams across multiple platforms and collaborating with some of the world’s biggest artistes. He recently released his fourth studio album “Timeless” which peaked at number 2 on the World Album charts.
However, that is not even the main story. Recall that Davido’s reputation as an “Omo baba Olowo” (son of a rich man) has never been in question. His father, Adedeji Adeleke is a billionaire with an estimated net worth of about $1.7 billion. With this kind of wealth, it is always taken for granted that the young musician was made with his father’s money, whivh in value terms can buy him everything he needs to make a career.
But, that is the irony of the whole story. Literarily, Davido was not made by his father’s money but by the N20m, provided by MTN to sign him in 2012 as Brand Ambassador and face of the MTN Pulse tariff plan.
Although the money is nothing compared to what his father can afford or dole out to him, the sign-on fee, however, come with it, the required motivation and necessary following a musician needs to climb to fame and Davido truly seized the opportunity.
According to him, “I remember when MTN, a telecommunication company, came, and they were like they want to do endorsement, but then my Dad was like how much, and I said 20 million. I was 17 years old, and I felt nobody at my age had seen that kind of money. Wow, this is from music, and it’s off like two songs, of course.”
Davido further explained that the deal came at the right time as it proved to be the incentive needed to convince his father of the potential in the music business
Hear him: “I’m like, ‘Daddy see, we can do this’. So, he built me a studio and gave me some money to run my stuff and did my first album, and it came out really very successful,” he added.