Dapo Oyebanji, aka D’banj, speaks with JAYNE
AUGOYE about his career and relationship with the
popular Nollywood actress
Singer, Dapo Oyebanji, aka D’banj, finally opened up
on his love life in a rare meeting with journalists in
Lagos on Wednesday.
The self-styled Kokomaster was clearly in his
elements as he talked at length, amid occasional
bouts of laughter, about his career and other issues
that were important to him. One of the subjects was
about his rumoured relationship with Nollywood
actress, Genevieve Nnaji.
Judging by the manner in which the actress’ name
kept popping off his lips, it was obvious that D’banj
had a very soft spot for her.
Aware that the grapevine had bristled with the
rumour that he was romantically involved with
Genevieve, ever since she appeared in the 2010 video
of his hit song, ‘Fall in Love’, the singer said the
actress had played a role in his success.
“Apart from the fact that she is my friend, she has
been a part of my success. There is no way you are
going to tell my story that Genevieve’s name will not
come up because she featured in my biggest song of
all time, Fall in Love. So if E True Story comes to
Nigeria to interview me, she will definitely be called
upon to tell my story,” he said.
As if to confirm that there was more to his
relationship with the actress than he had always
admitted, D’banj added, “I would love to have
Genevieve as my wife. We never can tell what God
plans for us in the future. I have studied her and I
realised that anyone that has her as his woman has
found himself a treasure. Just like the Bible says, any
man who finds a wife, finds a good thing.”
Perhaps the fans and admirers of the ‘love birds’ will
have to brace themselves for a symbolic wedding of
two of the most celebrated artistes on this side of the
globe in the nearest future.
Meanwhile, D’banj plans to celebrate the 10th
anniversary of his music career anytime in 2014. As
expected, the singer aims to roll out the proverbial
drums to celebrate in style what he describes as the
overwhelming success of his foray into the Nigerian
The one-time harmonica wielding artiste has, indeed,
made tremendous progress in his career since his
monster hit, ‘Tongolo’ was released in 2004.
The artiste, who wormed his way into the highly
competitive international music market after signing
on to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music in 2011, no doubt,
has finally found his bearing as an entertainer since
he parted ways with Mo’Hits.
“So much has happened in the last 18 months and I
am very thankful to God. By the Grace of God, I have
remained relevant for nearly a decade in the music
industry and I have released hit songs every year.
Also, I am glad that I have been chosen to headline
the Hennessy Artistry this year. This is one brand
that understands the importance of aligning with the
“My career is barely 10 years old. But with
the success I have achieved so far, it feels like three
decades already. Within my first 10 years as a
musician, I have recorded the biggest song and shot
the most viewed music video of all time, ‘Oliver
Twist’. I must say I am humbled and getting ready to
take over,” he said.
Without mincing words, D’banj noted that the
history of his career and the resulting
accomplishments will be incomplete without
mentioning his humble beginning with the defunct
Mo’Hits Records. The mere mention of his erstwhile
colleagues, including Don Jazzy, seemed to awaken
nostalgic feelings in him.
“If I say I don’t miss Don Jazzy, I am lying. I have
spent the better part of my career with him. I was
married to him in a way (laughs). So I miss
everything about Mo’Hits: the family, the movement,
and the vibe of being in the studio with him. I miss
the jokes and the arguments, but I have since keyed
into the notion that nothing can stop a moving train.
“Nevertheless we can always do music together. The
track, ‘Top of the World’ was produced by a Grammy
Award Winner. The songs ‘Finally’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me
Nonsense’ was produced by my producer while ‘Oliver
Twist’ was produced by Don Jazzy. So, why won’t I
have him on my 10 years anniversary album?
“I have never said I am a musician; I am an
entertainer. Some people say I can p!ck up a
microphone and become a comedian. Therefore
nobody should come and ask if I want to go into
acting because they should know I am already an
actor. It depends on when the right script and
concept lands in my hands.
“For now, I am concerned about achieving new things
and breaking new grounds. By the time I enter
Hollywood, I believe that I’ll become as successful as I
have been as a singer. The movie titled ‘I am Banga
Lee’, starring Genevieve, to be released in 2014, won’t
be a bad idea,” He said.
It seems that the world is at the Kokomaster’s feet.
Yet, he is not in denial of the fact that his fans in
Nigeria are his greatest assets.
“The Hennessey Artistry Tour afforded me the
opportunity to meet my fans here in Nigeria. I have
not travelled across the country in a long while
because I am abroad all the time. Most of my fans
complained that they have not seen me since 2007
and I reallised that I need to be in constant touch
with my fans down here.”
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