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EDITORIAL : D’Banj, CREAM & Grace: The Entertainer With Nine Lives

D’Banj, CREAM & Grace: The Entertainer With Nine Lives


D'Banj On stage

One question one everyone’s lip is: ‘how is D’banj still dominating the conversations around pop music, the culture and generally anything in the music industry?

Dapo Oyebanjo, globally known as the Kokomaster, has combined talent with a series of incredibly savvy moves over the years. Perhaps,we can say that the biggest secret to his success is the anticipation of failure that looms right across the room, if he fails to act.
D’banj is definitely a force to reckon with in the music industry as he keeps surprising everyone with his consistency and determination. Therefore, we can categorically say that D’banj is an entertainer with nine lives. 

He started his music professionally in 2004 with the hit single, ‘Tongolo’ and ever since he has been on our screens. Look across the music industry towards many of the artists who started out with him, and you can point out only few who still enjoy any sort of attention, or command the relevance that D’banj has right now.
On September, 2016, D’banj announced the launch of a new musical platform “Creative, Reality, Entertainment, Arts, Music (CREAM)”. CREAM which is supported by the Bank of Industry, MTN and D’Kings Men Media Ltd is a project that is out to reward young creative minds in the Nigerian entertainment industry. It will provide creative minds the opportunity to live their dreams of showcasing their talent to the world. It will help those in need of it find their feet and put their best foot forward in the entertainment industry. It’s a way to give back to the industry which made him.
The competition which is run monthly and lucky winners of the competition will win exciting opportunities including a recording deal which consists of recording a track, shooting a state of the art Video, a collaboration with any artiste of their choice (music or video collaboration), talent showcase, talent branding, promotion and marketing, among many others.
The platform which has recorded five winners so far which includes; the popular Rayce, Tk Swag, MKJ, Leke Benson and Legendary Courage recently celebrated its one year anniversary. As part of the celebration of D’banj CREAM Platform, the artiste put together a press conference to present winners on the platform and to further reiterate it’s commitment at giving back to the creative industry irrespective of location of its subscribers.
The media turnout was massive as veteran journalists, online bloggers, TV and other media personalities came to celebrate with the Kokomaster.
Despite all these glories, D’banj has had his own fair share of challenges and doubt from his fans especially after he left Mo’hits record label co-owned by Donjazzy. We all know the D’banj story and how he built Mo’Hits records with Don Jazzy. All the stories surrounding their rise, success and eventual breakup has been covered.
More questions come to play in our minds; Isn’t this the D’banj that everyone says is finished musically? How he continues to dominate the music scene is a mystery to all of us.
There are many ways in which he has gone about it. Public opinion on D’banj has it that he’s musically past his peak. And there’s some truth in that. Bangalee is far from the chart-topper who reigned at the top of the charts. That position is left for the kids (Wizkid and Davido) to occupy these days.
Musically, where he has failed to attract the ears of the public, he had maintained interest with gimmicks and big collaborations. Big Sean, Snoop Dog, Idris Elba, and Kanye West have records with D’banj since he left Mo’Hits. He has also brought Amber Rose to party in Lagos. By doing this he has maintained his press presence and kept his name flying in the highest circles.
When D’banj left Mo’Hits and accepted a deal with Kanye West and GOOD Music, he was extremely relevant musically. ‘Oliver Twist’ had just hit its international peak, and everyone was connected to the music. Kanye West, (yes, Kanye West showed up in the video). The deal later fell through, and D’banj was released by the label, but he has found new ways to work around that.
D’banj & Kanye West / Source: Pluseng

He also had hits. He dined out many nights on ‘Feeling the nigga’, which had a remix with Akon. D’banj asked himself into the remix of ‘Oritsefemi’s ‘Double wahala’. ‘Top of the world’ was performed at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations closing ceremony. While ‘Emergency’ gave him a renewed vigor which attracted tech Retail Company, SLOT.
Since his departure from Mo’Hits, he has had one compilation album “D’Kings Men,” an EP titled “An Epic Journey” and an album ‘King Don Come’ which had few hit tracks such as, ‘It’s Not A Lie’, ‘Be With You’, ‘El Chapo’ and others. As a business man, D’banj has leveraged on the strength of his brand to work with Beats, Ciroc, Bank Of Industry, GLO and many others.
D’Banj as Glo Ambassador

He also hasn’t left out humanitarian causes. He owns an NGO, Koko Foundation For Youth and Peace Development. He is also Nigeria’s first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace. Dbanj is a ONE campaign ambassador; he released the song “Cocoa Na Chocolate” in support of agriculture investments. ‘Cocoa Na Chocolate’ featured 18 other African artists and won Best African Collaboration at the All Africa Music Awards in 2014.
Dbanj ONE January 2014/Source: Zen Magazine Africa

In 2015, he was applauded by World Bank Chief, Jim Yong Kim for using his music power and high celebrity status to bringing attention to serious and critical issues in Africa with special focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation.
Perceived as a controversial entertainer, D’banj has managed to stay away from the baby mama scandal. That’s a good one we must say. The internationally recognized artiste got married secretly to South African, Nigerian, and American woman,LineoDidiKilgrow in July 2016.
No matter the odds, D’banj has managed has managed to prove that he is still the ‘‘Igwe’ a perfect ‘entertainer’, watching him perform will ‘suddenly’ makes you ‘fall in love’, because no doubt he is hotter than fire.
D’banj, the kokomaster, the trail blazer, the el chapo is indeed a dope entertainer with nine lives.

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