THIS feeling, it’s so amazing I don’t even know how to describe it. I’m the proudest big brother, friend, and fan right now bro. God bless your hustle. continue to shine! God willing I will always be there to support! DMW for life. Sold out the Indigo 02!” were the words of Davido in November 2019 when Mayorkun sold out his first show at Indigo O2 in the UK.
Be it Banky W and Wizkid, ID Cabasa and Olamide, or Don Jazzy/D’Banj and Wande Coal, several artists in the Nigerian music industry started out with an experienced and trusted adviser that showed them the way.
And such is the story of David ‘Davido’ Adeleke and Adewale ‘Mayorkun’ Mayowa Emmanuel.
In 2016, a 24-year-old Davido took a gamble with a 22-year-old to begin his own imprint, Davido Music Worldwide. At the time, the move was seen as a gamble because Davido, who had made a name for himself and dumped his family record label, HKN, was all out to do everything his way and according to his rules.
Four years down the line and it won’t be wrong to say Mayorkun remains Davido’s best gamble in the last four years.
In 2015, Davido released a hit song, ‘The Money,’ featuring Olamide. The song inspired Mayorkun and he decided to do a cover of the song. The cover song video caught Davido’s attention on Twitter in February 2016. An intrigued Davido decided to follow Mayorkun on the microblogging site after which he made contact with him. Davido asked if the singer, songwriter, and pianist could do more than play the keyboard and that was how the story of a budding singer began. After sending some of his works to Davido and a few details agreed, Davido announced Mayorkun as the first music act on his Davido Music Worldwide.
Making music from a house of movies
It’s no longer news that Mayorkun’s parents are top players on the Nigerian movie scene – the Yoruba speaking arm of the industry.
Mayorkun was born on March 23, 1994, into the household of popular actress, Toyin Adewale and her husband, Sunday Adewale. He is the first child of three children of the entertainers. Mayorkun grew up watching his father and mother on television until his dad decided to take a back seat and concentrate more on production and directing.
His parents were Christian devotees and Mayorkun, alongside his siblings, were nurtured in the way of Christ. At a young age, Mayorkun had joined the choir where he learned the rudiments of music. Despite his brilliance in singing and playing the piano, Mayorkun’s parents insisted he had to complete his education before being given the opportunity to do music professionally. To this end, Mayorkun graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Lagos.
“It makes me proud and I am happy about it. I never knew Mayowa will go into music. He used to be a junior choir master while in the choir, but never knew he would go this far because he has always been a very quiet, easy-going person. He is not a loud guy, but you know God’s ways are not our ways, so when he started, I became very happy and proud of him. Initially, I was very afraid, I didn’t even give him my blessing, I said I have been in the entertainment industry for a long and I know what it entails, so I didn’t support it. It was his father who said Toyin, let’s give him a chance, he studied banking in school. So, I was like why not go and work with your certificate then do music alongside but my husband convinced me. So, we decided to give him our blessings, and today to God be the glory,” Mayorkun’s mum said about her son’s success in an interview.
From counting money to making money
Before grabbing fame and fortune, Mayorkun had a job working with a bank. He was working his 9-5 with the hope of working through the ranks to become a branch director. However, his decision to do a cover of Davido’s song after plans to quit the job and seek another changed his story. After joining the lavish 30 Billion Gang led by Davido, Mayorkun released his first single, ‘Eleko’.
Mayorkun’s first release under Davido’s DMW proved that Davido had hit the jackpot and was in for the long haul. Eleko’s video proved Davido’s belief in Mayorkun was neither a fluke nor one chance. The music video gathered a million views in the first 10 days.
He went on to release singles like Yawa, Sade, Che Che, and Mama. In October 2018, he released singles “Posh” and “Fantasy” featuring Olu Maintain in anticipation of his first studio album titled “The Mayor of Lagos”.
Two years after signing with Davido and releasing over six chart-topping songs, Mayorkun released The Mayor of Lagos on November 16, 2018, to announce his entry. On December 1, 2018, the album debuted on the Billboard World Albums chart, peaking at number 15.
In 2020, while many Nigerian music acts were battling with the adverse effect of COVID-19 and unsure of how or when their works will be released as a result of the lockdown, Mayorkun pulled a surprise on his peers, colleagues, and contemporaries with an Elongated Play entitled ‘The Geng.’
With nine music awards including Headies Next rated, Mayorkun proved to be a brand worth placing a bet on. 2020 saw him release top chatting songs that include Geng, Of Lagos, and Betty Butter.
His recent collaboration on Davido’s The Best proves that Davido is smiling to the bank with Mayorkun on his side four years after signing the dotted lines in their music contract.
Unlike the incidents with his cousins, B-Red and Sina Rambo, which saw him dumping HKN, Davido has continued to count his blessings after signing Mayorkun.