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Chronicling the return of Duncan Mighty in 5 songs

Duncan Mighty is everywhere.

Duncan Mighty entered the Nigerian music space in 2008 with “Koliwater”. Before then, he has been singing in church. “Koliwater” was mildly celebrated, the leading tracks Ijeoma, Ako Na Uche and Scatter My Dada enjoyed radio plays in the eastern part of Nigeria. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that he became a sort of mini-celebrity with the release of his sophomore album “Ahamefuna (Legacy)”, with hit tracks like Obianuju and Port Harcourt Son pushing his fanbase and winning him the “Indigenous Artist of the Year” at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards. He followed up with  “Footprints” (2012), “Grace & Talent” (2014) and “The Certificate” (2016).

Mighty’s influence in that pop era was hugely limited by his decision to remain in and make songs from his home base, Porthacourt. While contemporaries like 2Face, P Square and D’banj were making waves, signing deals and headlining shows in Lagos, Duncan Mighty remained exclusively available to his fanbase in Port Harcourt. He, however, wasn’t isolated, he collaborated with mainstream artists like Timaya, Wande Coal, and Phyno while maintaining his status as ‘Port Harcourt’s First Son’.

The rise and voice of new artists in the industry sidelined Duncan’s efforts over time. New acts like Yemi Alade, Reekado Banks, Kizz Daniel and Niniola took the centre stage that Duncan Mighty has consciously ignored, his fan base in the South trickled and new Lagos hits replaced his voice on the playlists. His decline was so smooth that by the end of 2016, we’ve all forgotten about Ducan Mighty. Even his Port Harcourt fanbase was busy jamming to Phyno’s Fada Fada.

This year, while Wizkid’s Soco and Davido’s Assurance were making viral hits, the name, Duncan Mighty and his wonderful voice reappeared again on our charts and playlists. This time, he came down to Lagos to team up with the faces of Afrobeats to make back-to-back hits. His return is being widely celebrated on radio plays, social space and the best of 2018 playlists. The message was clear, Duncan Mighty is still game, not only that, he is breaking into the mainstream via the highlife influenced Afropop he engineered and lost to the Lagos hustle sometimes around 2011.

In these five songs, we try to look at Duncan’s rendezvous in 2018. His first appearance was in February, with Wizkid and in that short while, he has collaborated with some of the best names in Nigerian popular music.

Fake Love – Wizkid x Duncan Mighty

Wizkid is one of Nigeria’s biggest stars. His fame stretches beyond the country and the continent. It wasn’t coincidental that Duncan Mighty bounced back with a collaboration with Wizkid. The argument, whether Mighty outshines Wizkid in this track led to interesting threads on Nigerian Twitter. The song is about false romance and love with Duncan Mighty providing the African elements. His voice is vibrant and melodious as usual.

Gimme Love – DJ Xclusive x Duncan Mighty

Gimme Love is a song for Duncan Mighty core fans. Produced by Maestro D, the mid-tempo guitar riffs thrives on Mighty’s familiar voice. DJ Xclusive’s reputation augments Duncan Mighty ’s rebound and the reception was lit.

Bio Bio – Reekado x Duncan Mighty

Reekado is one of those artists that smartly crept into the vacuum left by Mighty. Bio Bio is a confessional love tale perfect for the Nigerian wedding playlist. The BabyFresh produced beats compliments Reekado Banks and Duncan Mighty’s romantic vocals.

Lova Lova – Tiwa Savage x Duncan Mighty

Currently one of the best songs of the year. Duncan’s effort stands out graciously in this track and in a good way, that differentiates it from other works he has done this year. Tiwa and Duncan are melodiously compatible pairs, the duo’s vocal energy and lightheaded lyrics heighten the vibe of the song. It is produced by Tiwa’s regular, Spellz.

Aza – Davido x Duncan Mighty x Peruzzi

Produced by FreshVDM, the brain behind Davido’s 2017 hit. In the song, the three stars shade on providing financially for their woman. “All the girls got their eyes on me/But I got my eyes on you/I go buy you diamond ring”, Davido promises. The song is Duncan’s gloomiest collaboration but his voice still shines through.

Listen to our Afrobeats playlist on Spotify and Deezer.

Read next: Best of the Moment: ‘Gbona’ by Burna Boy