After the rift between D’banj and Don Jazzy, the duo went their separate ways to look for a level playing ground for their entertainment businesses. Since then, D’banj has continued to work on a lot of songs that many critics have not appreciated. But the release of ‘Emergency’ has shown that the artiste still has what it takes as an entertainer. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on his latest comeback.
He is Nigeria’s first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace. A ONE campaign ambassador; releasing song like “Cocoa Na Chocolate” in support of agriculture investments which featured 18 other African artistes winning Best African Collaboration at the All Africa Music Awards in 2014.
Received accolades from 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.
In 2015 he released the video to Extraordinary to raise awareness on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The World Bank endorsed it as a song for Women awareness.
D’banj is known as one of the greatest entertainers in Africa when it comes to display of talent with the use of his harmonica. When he arrived in UK in 2001, he met Don Jazzy who told him he was a star in the making, and sensing that the music scene in Nigeria was “blossoming”, the pair returned to Lagos in 2004 dropping the single “Tongolo”; which video was paid for by D’Banj’s mother.
As a tribute to his mentor Fela Anikulapo Kuti, D’banj uses a fusion of Afrobeat and Afropop to bring his music to life into the 21st century with breathless enthusiasm as well as a good dose of humour. His songs are based on his life, often hilarious but with a deeper meaning which in Yoruba, English and our own Pidgin English.
D’banj’s debut album, No Long Thing, was released in 2005 and yielded several singles with Tongolo as the lead single. This proved to be his breakthrough single and a hit. It also provided his Koko Master persona, with the term, Koko, taking on a variety of meanings.
In June 2011, D’banj was signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music record label as artiste. Rumours then have it that the two lovers were going their separate ways, later; Don Jazzy confirmed via his Twitter account the break-up of Mo’Hits. After the break-up, Don Jazzy, D’Prince, Dr SID, Wande Coal started Mavin Record, while D’banj founded DB Records and as expected, he signed his younger brother Kayswitch to the label alongside two producers, Jaysleek and Deevee and now Tonto Dikeh.
In December 2012 D’banj signed a mega deal with Sony,
The deal is described as a “Pan African, multi-album deal with Sony Music’s RCA Records. It also involves an exclusive management deal with Sony Music and strategic partner ROCKSTAR4000 for the continent.
Even with all the success recorded, people and fans alike where not really sure if his musical career was still a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian music industry after his separation from Don Jazzy. Featuring Idris Elba, Akon and other top artistes, D’banj was still not really given that accolades he duly deserved.
But after a deep consideration, he returned with the harmonica which many industry watchers believed is symbiotic of him. And the BangaLee Nigerians have been waiting for and knew over the years has regenerated!
The new feel good afro-pop single from ‘DB Records‘ CEO dubbed ‘Emergency‘ has shown that D’Banj is back as a musician again plus nobody saw him coming through with this awesome jam.
The visual is probably considered the most anticipated in 2016 thus far. The video showed how the entertainer proved he still got it inside. The scripting of the video makes it more interesting with the dancers who performed at the Glo Dance with Peter giving it a very interesting taste.
D’banj also returned with his harmonica at the end of the song making people reminiscence when he started off.
The retro-themed visuals was directed by Unlimited L.A and was shot on location at Hard Rock Cafe, Lagos with cameo appearances from Eldee, Olu Maintain, Vector and Samklef who also made it look like a life performance with the artiste singing for an audience who could be seen enjoying every bit of it.
Emergency is a plus and a big revival to D’banj’s musical career and there is no way kudos shouldn’t be given to the best entertainer Nigeria ever had. If you think the “Koko Master’ as he’s popularly called is fading away and has no say in the music industry, please go check “Emergency” and your doubt will surely be cleared!