Seven weeks after its release, the single ‘Fake Love’, a KillerTunes produced duet between Duncan Mighty and Wizkid, has become a contender for the hottest song of 2018. Wizkid has already declared the song a classic on his social media account. His fans are probably in agreement. Ditto for the fans of the renowned Port-Harcourt based crooner, Duncan Mighty, who has not cut a mainstream hit in at least four years.
Yet, there are sceptics who are not entirely sold on the song. The song has a tidy whinny groove to it, of course. In spite of its low to mid-tempo, it is Shaku-Shaku compliant. It also seals gaps in the range of Nigerian songs, as it strives to be slightly different from the zeitgeist. And, yes, it brings the most unlikely collaborating creatives into the studio booth, Wizkid and Duncan Mighty.
Wizkid is arguably Nigeria’s biggest new star. He has found considerable success in the international music markets of the UK and US. He has sold out big venue shows and has been decorated with awards. Only last week, he walked the runway at the Dolce and Gabana’s Spring/Summer 2019 show at the Milan Men’s Fashion Week. Without a doubt, seven years ago when he released his heavily percussive single ‘Don’t Dull’ and name-checked D&G, he had no inkling as to the prophetic nature of his lyrics.
On the other hand, Duncan Mighty came into prominence at least half a decade before Wizkid’s arrival with his 2011 ‘Superstar’. His wave of success coinciding with Timaya, Duncan Mighty and Timaya were a delightful addition to Nigerian music from the Niger Delta part of Nigeria. With a solid home-grown fan base, their music was assured steady regional airplay at the very least. Duncan Mighty, with his distinct voice, released praise songs with a dancehall feel.
Over the years, it would seem Duncan Mighty’s career had begun its decrescendo, but his sound hasn’t. Recall that 2017 was Davido’s biggest year yet? The OBO crooner’s coterie of back-to-back hits borrowed quite significantly from Duncan Mighty’s phrasing, song-writing as well as melodies. Davido’s ‘If’ and ‘Fall’ are masterclasses on how to re-jig that Duncan Mighty sound.
It is also important to note that at this time in 2017, while Davido delivered hits and captured the Nigerian and African market with his borrowed Duncan Mighty appeal, Wizkid was promoting his EP ‘Sounds from the Other Side’ in faraway America. The Nigerian jury is still out on Wizkid’s Soca-inflected, Dance-hall influenced and America-courting third studio experiment. But Davido’s trajectory has been on a meteoric incline with the local fan base.
It may seem frivolous to chalk up the motive behind ‘Fake Love’ to the Davido-Wizkid rivalry except that Wizkid’s creative strategy for 2018 is to recapture the Nigerian scene from the clutches of Davido and his sassy DMW boys. We are anticipating the release of Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ EP Wizkid has been dropping song after song released from his Star Boy label.
‘Fake Love’ is not the DJ Spinall assisted ‘Soco’ but it has its own appeal which might be its absurdity. A tepid dance song about fake love seems paradoxical especially because it is done by Wizkid who name-checks luxury goods on the regular.
On the song-writing technique however, ‘Fake love’ does not have a substantive chorus. What it has is a reflective bridge that bemoans girls who care for material wealth. Perhaps this is the problem with this song. It has a bridge that leads up to no chorus. Resting entirely on the melody of verses and the slightly groovy beat, the song thrives solely on the novelty of the Wizkid and Duncan Mighty match-up.
So, is it yay or nay? Take a listen.