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May 29, 2017

Man Crush Monday: The Extraordinary D’Banj

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Written by: Quebex
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Adedapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj, is a Nigerian singer, entertainer, and business man. He is the CEO of DB Records, the label under which popular acts, Kay Switch, Tonto Dikeh, etc, are signed.

D’banj was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Due to his father’s profession as a soldier, his family usually had to move to different locations within the country. D’banj was enrolled into the Nigerian Military School at age 11, with hopes that he may grow up in his father’s footsteps. However, D’Banj was not so sold on the idea, and pulled out of the school after 3 years.  He later completed his secondary education at Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ibara, Abeokuta.

After dropping out of Lagos State University where he was studying mechanical engineering, he travelled to the UK to continue his studies as a mechanical engineer, but the plans were derailed again, this time by his own pursuit of a Music career.

While in UK, he met Don Jazzy, who later became his very good friend and partner, with the pair returning to Nigeria as a pair to form Mo’Hitz Records in the year 2004.

Upon his return to the country, he released the single ‘Tongolo’; with the fee for the music video paid by his mother.

Dbanj’s signature musical instrument is the Harmonica, which he picked interest in as a form of honour to the memory of his late late older brother, Femi Oyebanjo, who died in a plane crash at age 17.

D’banj has gone on to have several hit songs, and some albums, “No Long Thing”  (2005), “RunDown Funk U Up” (2006), “The Entertainer” (2008), huge hit singles ‘Tongolo’, ‘Fall in Love’, ‘Emergency’, ‘Gbono Felifeli’, ‘Suddenly’, ‘Scapegoat’, ‘Oliver Twist’, and ‘Mr. Endowed’, among many others. He has also landed multiple endorsement deals and his own business brands including Koko Garri and DB records.. He even nicknamed himself, ‘The Kokomaster’, ‘Mr. Endowed’ and most recently, Ejanla which means Big Fish.

In 2011, American hip-hop artiste, Kanye West signed D’banj on to his G.O.O.D Music record label as an artiste, a catalyst for his breakup with friend and partner, Don Jazzy, in 2012. D’banj went on to form DB Records and as expected, he signed his younger brother Kayswitch to the label alongside two producers, Jaysleek and Deevee.

As of 2016, D’banj is ranked to be the richest solo musician in Nigeria according to T.I.N Magazine, having been involved in several business ventures, and enjoying good endorsement deals since he broke out with his very first Album in 2007. The Koko master has been an ambassador for Powerfist, an energy drink. He was announced as the official African ambassador for Beats by Dre in 2015, he secured a deal with Heritage Bank in October 2014, he was also named  the official African ambassador for Ciroc Nigeria, alongside Banky W. He also has an active endorsement deal with SLOT Nigeria, mobile phone, and electronic gadget retail company.

It will be an understatement to say that the Koko Master has made quite a name for himself both as an entertainer and a business man.

Also published on Medium.



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