After several years away from the limelight, Duncan Mighty has re-emerged as one of the genuine stars of 2018.
The singer’s stock rose sharply with the success of “Fake Love” (his collaboration with Wizkid).
Duncan is now one of the most booked artists in the country, and has featured on over a dozen songs in only a few months — talk about self-fulfilling prophecies.
A lot of Duncan’s recent success can be attributed to that cosign from Wizkid, but there have been debates as to exactly how much.
While it is true that “Fake Love” is Duncan’s first nationwide hit in six to seven years, Wizkid too was at a point in his career where he could have done with a new inspiration.
After spending the better part of two years chasing international success, Wizzy needed to reconnect with home base.
The singer was busy touring the globe, working with foreign artists, and experimenting with worldly sounds, but his music wasn’t making its usual impact locally.
In fact, in the thick of their most recent feud, Davido blabbed that Wizzy was out of touch with the pon pon sound that had gripped the nation for several months last year.
Even though both artists have since buried the hatchet, Davido had a point.
Wizkid’s international excursions left a lot of the singer’s local fans disillusioned about his artistic direction.
It also didn’t help that Wizkid’s major label debut Sounds From the Other Side (2017) catered mainly to the singer’s growing international audience.
Since then, however, Wizkid has recovered his place on the local charts.
Working with a handful of Starboy affiliates, the singer lent out his talents and unquestionable star power, while his collaborators weighed in with fresh ideas.
In addition to “Fake Love”, those studio sessions produced hit collaborations like “Manya”, “Malo” and “Soco”.
Duncan’s contribution to “Fake Love” in particular is undeniable.
The singer brought his trademark nasal, high-pitch singing, and infectious melodies to richen the song, while his native wisdom communicated through a mixture of English and Ikwerre added depth to the song’s lyrics.
All of a sudden, Wene Mighty became the most wanted man in the Niger Delta, after Tompolo. There’s arguably no feature in Nigeria more coveted at the moment than Duncan Mighty’s.
However, lightning truly never strikes the same place twice, even in rainy Port Harcourt, and Duncan hasn’t been able to deliver any record even close to “Fake Love” in dimension, yet.
That said, there are two songs that might serve as strong follow-ups: the first is Tiwa Savage’s “Lova Lova” where Duncan regurgitates an old verse that Tiwa still boasts is “the best verse” of the year, the second is DMW’s “Aza” which has the potential to perform well, at least regionally, where Port Harcourt’s first son is still considered a music demigod.
A young Duncan started off as a drummer in his local church.
He would go on to study Audio Engineering in school and complete his NYSC in Lagos as a sound instructor. Duncan returned to PH in 2006 after youth service, and worked with a number of local recording studios.
It was around that time he began to transition from behind the boards to in front of the microphone. Duncan released his debut album Koliwater in 2008; the album produced popular hits like “Ijeoma”, “Scatter My Dada”, “Dance For Me” and “Ako Na Uche”. Duncan produced, mixed and mastered the entire project, as he has done on every album since.
Duncan’s singing career had taken off. His second album Ahamefuna (Legacy) came out in 2010 and delivered even bigger nationwide hits like “Isimgbaka”, “I Don’t Give A Shot”, “Port Harcourt Son” and the evergreen wedding song: “Obianuju”. Ahamefuna is considered by many to be a classic.
At this point in their careers, most artists would have moved back to Lagos to fully maximize their potential, but Duncan is unlike most artists.
Even though his follow-up albums Footprints (2012), Grace & Talent (2014) and The Certificate (2016) weren’t able to match the commercial or critical acclaim of Ahamefuna, the singer continued to build his legacy at home.
Away from the limelight, Duncan got married in 2015, a marriage which, sadly, has now been rocked by allegations of domestic abuse.
He also set up a construction company that has reportedly been thriving, at times when his music career hasn’t always been.
But the one thing the self-styled Eze Pitakwa has maintained other than hometown love is respect among his peers.
Through the years, the singer’s unique style has continued to inspire his fellow artists.
No less a superstar than Davido confessed that his hit song “If” was inspired by Wene Mighty.
The song was Davido’s own attempt to make a U-turn and reconnect with his Nigerian audience, after his first attempt at international success went left.
Davido promised to feature Duncan on the “If” (Remix).
That never materialized, but by remaining in his lane, the maverick singer still found a way back to the mainstream without it.
Duncan’s long and storied career presents the blueprint on how artists can remain lions in their jungles, rather than settling to become dogs in Lagos city.