Afrobeats has quickly become a global phenomenon. Artists like Ckay, Tems, and Rema currently have some impressive numbers on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Sold-out venues around the world to shows by Burnaboy, Adekunle Gold, Ruger and others who are currently on their respective tours, also reinforce how far afrobeats has come in the last few years.
For a long time, fans were wondering when Davido, who recently performed at a sold-out O2 arena just months ago, would go on a tour of his own. Prayers were answered when Davido announced his highly anticipated WRBLO (We Rise By Lifting Others) tour on April 19.
Although the tour is only for his North American audience, Davido has been working hard to be his best on a tour that promises to be exciting. Giving us a little preview of what’s to come, Davido teased BTS footage of rehearsals with his band through his Instagram stories.
The 5-city tour follows the release of Stand Strong, the new single off Davido’s new album, featuring the Kanye West-led American gospel group The Sunday Service Choir (The Samples).
Ahead of the tour’s kick-off stop in NY on Thursday June 16th, we share a Culture Custodian exclusive that looks at the different players who will be supporting Davido on the tour.
Meet The Music Company
As the WRBLO tour kicks off, The Music Company will be his most important group of people outside Davido and the fans. The leading afrobeat band in the US will help Davido deliver the live performances he wants this tour to be about.
Founded by Wale Afolabi aka Lelo in 2017, TMC are no newcomers and have an extensive history working with Davido across 12 locations on his Locked Up tour, as well as for televised special performances such as the BBC1 Xtra and Jimmy Kimmel shows and other music festivals in the US and other countries.
In addition, 2021 saw TMC headline their own shows with Teni and Mayorkun while extending a platform to a number of rising African artists in the DMV.
DC-based Faruq Salami, more commonly known as Lamii will be one of a few opening acts on the WRBLO tour.
With an uncanny intuition for matching melodies and cadences to instrumentals, which he combines with masterful control of vocal tone, Lamii was thrust onto the scene with 2021 hit single Jomijo and is currently promoting his new single Mi Nuh Crack.
As difficult as it is for Africans in the diaspora to reconcile conservative and communalist African roots with the expressiveness and individuality of Western culture, Lamii has done just that and it is evident upon listening to his catalog.
Earlier this year, he toured the UK with Davido.
Born and raised in Lagos State, record producer, singer, and songwriter Phillip Kayode Moses, better known as Pheelz, will also be joining Davido’s WRBLO tour this month. The music producer known for his unforgettable ‘Ridimakulayo’ or ‘Pheelz Mr Producer’ signature lines has worked with several artists and musicians, such as Olamide and Tiwa Savage. Pheelz is credited to have produced all but one song on Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth album.
Two months ago things took the most amazing turn for Pheelz when his hit song Finesse, a collaboration with BNXN (formerly known as Buju) broke down the floodgates of fame for him.
The song has since made history as one of the most shazamed songs in the world, dominating local radio in Nigeria and streaming charts, in a matter of days. The viral success of Pheelz’s Finesse led to him performing at Davido’s sold-out O2 Arena show. Pheelz was also announced by Warner UK as their newest artist.
Atlanta-based rapper dndSection will also be one of the openers as Davido hits the road on the WRBLO tour.
Recently crowning himself, the Best Rapper in Africa, dnd reeks of supreme self-confidence and it shows on records like bad things will not happen again stand-out Villain.
Rumor has it that he and Davido also have music together but in the meantime you can catch him on the road with OBO.