Biography of D’Banj, a Nigerian Musician
D’banj is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and entrepreneur whose genres of music cut across afropop, R&B and pop dexterous in playing harmonica. He was born to a military officer of a father and church dignitary of a mother on the 9th of June, 1980 in the city of Zaria, Kaduna state. His mother is a descent of Shagamu in Ogun State, Nigeria. D’banj was raised in different places within Nigeria owing to his father’s career as a military officer.
D’banj was born as Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo. D’banj stage name is coined from his real name, Daniel Oyebanjo. His father had want D’banj to pursue a military career like he did but D’banj’s flair for music was in discord with his idea. At the age of eleven, he was enrolled into the Nigerian Military School. However, the military aspiration did not go down well with him, so he disenrolled after three years. During the time he was at the military school, D’banj could not hide his enthusiasm for music. He joined the elite drum corp of the Nigerian Army to belt out good music in accordance with his capacity.
The “Koko” singer completed his secondary school education at Nigerian Navy Secondary School which is another military owned institution in Ibara, Abeokuta, Ogun state. D’banj proceeded to the Lagos state university to study mechanical engineering. While as an undergraduate, D’banj withdrew from school due to persistent strike and other several irregularities that overwhelmed the school. He departed to London with his hope high to continue his mechanical engineering course only to meet Don Jazzy in United Kingdom in 2001, his entirely changed. They both became friends and planned to carve a niche in music to grab the entertainment scene of Nigeria. They formed Mo’Hits record.
In 2004 when they returned to Nigeria, D’banj released his single “Tongolo”. In 2005, D’banj ‘s debut album, “No Long Thing” with several singles stormed the Nigeria’s music scene with Tongolo retaining the lead single. His song, Tongolo paved way for his first endorsement with Power Fist, an energy drink. His other hit single, “Koko” in his debut album earned him the named Koko Master. After his first album, D’banj has remained resolute in his music career. D’banj was an artist and a co-founder of Mo’Hits records. Also, he was a member of its collective group called Mo’Hits Allstars which consisted Dr. SID, Wande Coal, D’Prince and his younger brother, KaySwitch. They released a collective album titled “Curriculum Vitae” in December, 2007.
In 2011, rumours and speculations of irreconcilable differences between him and co-founder of Mo’Hits, Don Jazzy started filtering in. Finally, they split up and the pair dispersed to pursue their separate music career. While Don Jazzy went and established Mavin Records with D’Prince, Dr SID and Wande Coal, D’banj set up his record label and introduced KaySwitch, Tonto Dikeh and Kriss brothers, Moss and Ralph.
Owing to his exceptional music performances, D’banj has earned a degree of both national and international recognition. He has collaborated with both a number of superstar musicians within and outside Nigeria. D’banj has enjoyed quite a number of ambassadorial acknowledgement including Bank of Industry ambassador, Official African ambassador for Ciror Nigeria, Brand ambassador of SLOT, a popular mobile phone and electronic gadget retail outfit. He is the first Nigerian to become United Nations Youth Ambassador of Peace. D’Banj is a One Campaign ambassador. The song “ Cocoa and Chocolate” which he featured eighteen African artists in support of agricultural investments won the Best Afican Collaboration at the All African Music Awards in 2004.