Exclusives 31 March 2023
Author: Ore Bolarin

GRM Exclusive Review: Davido proves why he’s ‘Timeless’ With His Brand New Album

31 March 2023

American-born Nigerian Afrobeats artist David Adedeji Adeleke – known by his name Davido – has been at the forefront of Nigerian music and afrobeats this last decade. In his illustrious twelve-year career, there have been many defining moments along the way. From the release of his debut album Omo Baba Olowo which made an impression in the afrobeats scene to his rise to international prominence with the release of hit singles like “Fall” and “If”. The run that Davido went on from the mid-2010s and leading into the early 2020s has established him as one of Nigeria’s biggest talents. Coupled with the release of his second and third studio albums in 2019’s A Good Time and 2020s A Better Time, Davido has helped push afrobeats to become one of the most popular genres in the world. Now in 2023, at the peak of his musical powers, Davido treats us to his long awaited fourth album entitled Timeless.

Timeless serves as Davido’s first musical release after he’s had some major shakeups in his life, notably the unfortunate death of his son Ifeanyi in October 2022. Timeless also marks Davido’s first album release since A Better Time, an album peaked at No. 4 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart and featured an array of various superstars including Young Thug, Nicki Minaj,Tiwa Savage, Lil Baby and more. He was also featured on one of the lead singles of official soundtrack for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, “Hayya Hayya (Better Together)” alongside Trinidad Cardona and AISHA, which he performed at the closing ceremony.

The album itself is seventeen tracks long and has a runtime of just under 50 minutes. The project sees Davido call upon features from Skepta, Asake, Dexta Daps and more. The production credits see Davido work with some of Nigeria’s best including Magic Sticks, 1da Banton and Yung Willis as well as many other talented producers.

From the opener “Over Dem” we are treated to a soothing, almost hypnotic start to the project, the song’s saxophone production and Davido’s vocals create a comforting and jovial atmosphere that continues for the rest of the album’s runtime. It truly sets the mood for the whole project as the same can be said for many of the tracks on the album like “Na Money” where Davido is assisted by Caveman and Angelique Kidjo and the amapiano inspired “Champion Sound” produced by Caltonic SA & Tee Jay and features South African artist Focalistic.

One of the standout features is from Big Smoke himself, Skepta. The UK Grime and rap legend is no stranger to afrobeats, having collaborated with another Nigerian giant Wizkid in the past to great success. On “U (JUJU)” he once again shows his versatility, hopping over the soft production with his signature delivery and serenading lyrics. The solid features don’t stop at just Skepta, other notable appearances on the album include Morravey on one of the album’s highlights “In The Garden”. She lends the track her idyllic vocals which are perfectly complimented by the guitar based instrumental. Fave on “Kante” is another notable addition to the album, bringing a soulful presence to the album with her melodies.

The beat selection across the board is great with a consistent sound typical of Davido’s past projects, but distinct enough to offer a new vibe to his already stacked catalogue of music. Timeless sees Davido work with producers like Blaisebeatz who’s collaborated with other Nigerian artists like Fireboy DML and Tekno and previously worked on Davido’s last project A Better Time’. With other producers like Damie and Rore, the album combines many different elements from genres other than afrobeats including African house, amapiano, EDM and techno; creating a blend and blurring the lines between genres. Between the features, producers and Davido himself; we are treated to a project that gives us a taste of different sounds while still keeping true to Davido’s roots sonically.

All in all, Davido returns to form on this album, displaying different feelings like longing, joy, love and wanting to protect one’s peace seamlessly. Enjoyment and vibes truly sum up the project with Davido going for a feel-good atmosphere that makes you want to just relax and take in life. On the flip side the album is also full of tracks that aim to get you moving like “Bop” and “No Competition” which features rising afrobeats star Asake. The replay value of the project mustn’t be understated either. Davido manages to create a plethora of tracks on the project that will definitely be on repeat whether it be due to the catchy choruses, head-bopping instrumentals or the great features, all of which just add to the replayability of Timeless.