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Davido Makes Another Dazzling Return with “Unavailable” Music Video 

Davido Makes Another Dazzling Return with “Unavailable” Music Video 

Davido Makes Another Dazzling Return with “Unavailable” Music Video 

The “Unavailable” music video has put things in proper perspective. There is no doubt that the fans are in for a better time…

By Emmanuel Daraloye

Right now, Davido remains the African king of comebacks. Groundbreaking comebacks, I mean. Days after returning with his critically-acclaimed latest album, Timeless, the superstar makes another comeback. This time around, it comes in the form of a visual, his first music video since the May 2022 release of “Stand Strong.”

“Unavailable,” the fifth track off Timeless, finally has a video to concretise its current giant stride. Davido’s regular collaborator, Dammy Twitch, was on hand to do the magic. The song currently ranks as Davido most streamed song on digital platforms. On Spotify, the record has more than four million streams. The audio version of the record has been played over one million times on YouTube.

Thematically, “Unavailable” is Davido’s way of telling his fans that he is not accessible. The message is clear. South African DJ, singer, and producer, Musa Keys, brings his vocal dexterity to bear on this song. For those who likened Keys’ vocals to a female voice, they are not alone. I  once held that view, too.

“Unavailable” swirls from Davido excitedly informing listeners he is not available if money isn’t involved, to him singing about his enemies, and his desire to party. 

The music video opens with a radio voice over artiste presenting Davido as the “King of Afrobeats,” and asking where he has been. This female voice announces the latest developments Davido has been up to. The narrator makes it known that Davido just dropped his new album, and they end by thanking the singer. From there, the visuals take us on a journey that is both engaging and captivating.

In the opening five to ten seconds of the video, some Zulu men dressed in warrior attires are in a forest. The radio signals seem to be weak, and they strain their ears to understand what the radio presenter is saying. By the time the announcement ends, they are energised and excited about what Davido brings.

(Read also: Luxury meets Art on Wizkid’s Dazzling “Money & Love” Music Video )

The opening scenes feature two distinct groups: a rural setting and an urban one; they both serve as Davido’s motivators in this music video. They urge him to dance, and in a way they brighten his mood. While the former group waits to listen to the radio for news about Davido, the latter is eager to party with Davido. 

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At the twenty-three second mark, the video kicks off when a young Zulu boy runs to Davido’s hut to alert him of his soon-to-arrive guests, and an excited Davido appreciates him. We see an entourage of cars approaching. At the forty-two second mark, Davido pours from a bottle of Martell. Davido has been an ambassador with the liquor brand since 2022, and they have also been a great supporter of his art. This product placement is too glaring to ignore. It signifies the importance of Martell in social gatherings. Davido’s energy increases as he goes out of his room, first to meet the traditional Zulu men dancing outside his door.

We see the Zulu men all excited to see Davido in the next scene. He clasps hands with some, and he smiles at others. The next frames switch between choreography by the Zulu men, and young women adorned in all-white dresses.

At one minute and eleven seconds, Davido enters one of the cars, still visibly energised for what is to come. The next scene features a helicopter with a banner that reads “Welcome back Davido.” The aerial shot of this scene is lovely.

The next scene finds Davido in a colourful and artsy area. The crowd here is minimal. He looks free in the attire he wears: a red singlet, black shorts, and a big, bold pendant to match. The two girls who flank him dance to the rhythm of the song.

Musa Keys’ scene begins at almost the ninety second mark. Draped in a green jacket, a white turtleneck, and a necklace, we find him at a barber shop, where he just had a nice haircut. He thanks the barber, and is shortly joined by the choreographers with whom he dances mildly before his verse ends.

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The final laps of the video begin at the two minute, twenty second mark. This scene seems to be the most popular on social media. The choreographed steps for the song are shown here, with Davido leading the pack of models with the signature “Unavailable” moves.  

The last scene is a delicate mix of cuts from different frames in the video. Most of them depict models dancing, showing off body moves. The members of Davido’s entourage are not left out of these dance moves. DJ Ecool, Davido’s official DJ, makes a cameo appearance towards the end of the video. 

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After months of hiatus due to the death of his son, Davido is back now, and better. For the fans, his comeback is with some sweet news: an assurance that they would dance and merry. This is what the video epitomises. The title might be confusing and ironic. While Davido claims to be unavailable, he also looks set to seize the nearest party around.

As expected, there was backlash from critics about the setting of the video. The question of why Davido chose to shoot some scenes in a forest or bush, as it has been called, has been contentious. Is it one of those Grammy moves, bearing in mind that Burna Boy explored those features in the music video of “Wonderful”?

The release of Timeless is a ‘Grammy move’ for Davido. He is the only one out of the top trio, including Burna Boy and Wizkid, without a Grammy nomination or win. Since his recent return, he has been ticking all the relevant boxes for that win: from making a superb album to his well-planned media appearances, and right now the aesthetics of his music video.

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The “Unavailable” music video explores some cultural aspects of the Zulu people to whom Davido pays homage. This decision shows his range as a creative, his innate ability to explore other people’s cultures, and sometimes marry it with his own.

In his announcement of the release of this video, Davido promised to release more videos from the Timeless album. The “Unavailable” music video has put things in proper perspective. There is no doubt that the fans are in for a better time.

Video rating: 7/10

Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s Most Prolific Freelance Music Critic. He has over 500 album reviews in his archive.

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