by Tolu Orekoya
The Koko Master’s UK invasion and media blitz is moving into high gear.
His radio invasion, and Cannes appearance was only the first taste of the D’Banj’s push in the British media. He now has an interview in the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, The Observer sister newspaper to the daily, the Guardian. He is featured on the cover of its supplement The Observer Magazine and Casper Llewellyn Smith explores D’Banj’s monumental success in the context of Nigeria’s booming economy music industry, the partnership with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music and touches on the Mo’Hits dissolution. It is not an especially revelatory interview, and but as a picture of D’Banj in this time and at this moment, it really does give you a sense of how driven Dapo Oyebanjo really is.
D’Banj is his usual self; confident, slick and ready to take on the world.
It quickly becomes apparent that the 32-year-old, acclaimed by his peers back home in Lagos for his relentless drive, is difficult to stop once he’s on a roll. “I’m so excited – not just for me, but for the whole of Africa,” he says. “Two years ago I said it’s time for me to take my music global because I’ve won all the awards back home.” With his mentor, the producer Don Jazzy, he created the biggest record label in Nigeria, but “now I want to win a Brit award, a Grammy”.
“Yes, we have MTV, yes, we sell millions of records and have endorsement deals, but we’ve never felt as if we’re part of the same music industry as the rest of the world – the Kanye Wests, the Adeles and Tinie Tempahs,” he continues. “I see what I’m doing now as the bridge that we’ve been looking for from Africa to the mainstream world. I want others to see the potential in my country, other than our oil and natural resources. That’s what’s making me move. I feel like a new artist.
Smith also interviews Don Jazzy, and writes (unflatteringly):
The story of D’Banj’s split with Don Jazzy has dominated the Nigerian entertainment press all year. The week after I leave Lagos there are even (false) rumours that D’Banj has been shot by three gunmen near Kanye’s Atlanta residence, then rushed to the city’s St Joseph’s hospital and is dying from his wounds. There doesn’t seem to be much substance to the idea of hostilities, although Don Jazzy did cut a slightly forlorn figure when I met him in his half-built mansion in a gated compound on the outskirts of Lekki. “Every day I’d wake up, I’d be scared to look at the newspaper or go to the internet to see what people are saying now,” he said. “It’s been blown out of all proportion.”
Source: The UK Guardian