Bongo music sensation Diamond Platnumz has revealed that he was on the verge of bankruptcy about seven years ago just before his music career was about to blow up beyond the East African region.
The year was 2013; a budding Diamond had already ruled over the airwaves in East and Central Africa.
His record label Wasafi (WCB) was still in its infancy and had soaked up a significant amount of his cash reverses but nothing much was happening businesswise to even break-even.
At the time, September to be precise, Diamond had just released ‘Number One’ but Nigerian music was taking over the continent and threatening to dim his shine.
With the talent to match the high-flying likes of Davido and Wizkid, Diamond was not going to let the Nigerian music wave leave him by the East African shores.
“Before doing the first video version of Number One at Ogopa Djs in Nairobi, my video cost used to be about US$ 3,000 (Sh326, 000) per video. With Number One, I went 10 times higher and spent US$30,000 (Sh3.3 million) or thereabout to fly Ogopa Djs video crew to Cape Town, South Africa, and shoot my video. The outcome was amazing, and that gave me the green light to approach Davido for a remix,” Diamond narrated.
As you would expect, working with Davido on the remix of ‘Number One’ cost Diamond a pretty penny. He said the collabo nearly left him broke and he was forced to take loans.
“I took loans from Tanzania banks to finance my video and collaboration with Davido in Lagos because I had to travel there with my crew,” he said.
It turned out to be a risky investment that paid off and one that Diamond does not regret.
Four months after he released the original version of ‘Number One’, the remix came out and opened him to a larger continental market and opportunities that enabled him to jump-start Wasafi in 2014.
As of Thursday, February 11, ‘Number One’ original has been viewed over 7.8 million times; a paltry amount by Diamond’s standards. While the remix with Davido boats 43 million views and counting.
Seven years later, Diamond is the Number One star in Africa with the most YouTube subscribers(4.83 million), more than double the number of Davido’s subscribers(2.28 million).
Diamond is also the only African star with more than 1 billion views(1,302,975,040), while Davido, whom he used to look up to, is second with 802,667,123 views.
Some things are written in the stars.