Signing on to Mavin Records appears to be the dream of every upcoming artist in Nigeria, it is basically their version of Universal. This is Africa’s largest record label, noted for its success in the Afrobeats world with artists like Rema and Tiwa Savage. So for the singer, Johnny Drille who is now signed with the Don Jazzy owned label, this is a pretty big deal.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this incredible artist, let me introduce you to Johnny Drille. Rather than going down the path expected of most African artists, Johnny and his brand of folk music are eliminating stereotypes about what contemporary African artists should sound like. He is a refreshing alternative to the saturated market of afro beats. Johnny Drille songs often come as a discovery: the artist is still very young and new at the Nigerian music stage. He is best known for his singles ‘Wait For Me’ and ‘Hallelujah’, his music has garnered interest from high-profile artists like Coldplay and Jon Bellion which is something some artists could only ever fantasise about.
Don Jazzy admits the singer’s type of music is not popular but is hoping that with time, more Nigerians will get familiar with his sound. This is his first attempt at signing such type of artist. The trend has always been to sign pop and R&B artists such as the likes of D’banj, Tiwa Savage, Di’ja, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Dr Sid to the record label. These artists tend to attract show promoters and command high performing fees. These artists dominated afrobeats back in the day, they pioneered African music! But Don Jazzy has decided to take a calculated risk with Johnny and it will most definitely be a risk worth taking.
In honour of Father’s Day, he released his aptly titled new single ‘Papa’ on June 14th. ‘Papa’ is a poignant ode to fathers everywhere. The folk/acoustic track sees Johnny reflect on all the lessons he’s learned from his father and how his wisdom continues to guide him as he continues to grow and find his own identity. Have a listen and tell us what you think!