Music Is Not Enough To Sustain The Luxury Lifestyle That Nigerian Musicians Love-Dbanj



INTERVIEW: Going into business has been my best decision -- Dbanj | Premium  Times Nigeria

Dbanj was interviewed by PremiumTimes and he said so much about himself, family and business.

The interview is as follows:

This is your first time judging a popular music reality show. How does this make you feel?

As an artiste on the move, I’ve had different offers through the years, but it’s the first time I’m on a reality show as a judge, so that’s interesting.

”It’s my sixth year in marriage, and ever since then, I’ve looked for different platforms that would keep my fame and family intact. So if you were to Google Jay Z or the wealthiest musicians in the world, you would see that only 10 per cent of their wealth is probably from music.

He was asked, if doing music is secondary, he said:

No. I’m just trying to say that if you look at Kanye as a billionaire, Jay Z is a billionaire, and maybe he got like 100 million from music. The rest are from business and that is what Nigeria needs.

I was telling someone we need such a structure and the right merchandise. And then, of course, you can always make music. Music will forever be in me; I’m always going to release music.

Sometimes my people say you don’t release music, but I attend shows, and when I do, they give me one hour to perform. I can’t even perform all my songs in one hour. I cannot, even for three hours myself, but what can you do to give people to look up to.

We grew up not having anybody to look up to, but now the industry has us to look up to. These young crops of Nigerian musicians have so many role models. That’s why we can tell them that ‘if you are at your prime, it’s high time you stopped doing stuff that you get paid peanuts for, you can partner with a brand that gives you a room where you can even begin to sponsor the next Nigeria Idol or Big Brother.”

If you’ve had different offers, why Nigerian Idol? Why did you decide to choose this?

It’s Nigerian Idol for me because first I’m Nigerian, and secondly, I think there’s no better time than now because of the industry’s growth. The industry’s growth is such that we have to embrace what God has given us. This is a journey that some of us have been on for over a decade and have produced the kind of accolades the world recognizes today. It’s so important to grow the younger ones, to let them know that they are a part, and that’s why there’s no perfect platform other than the Nigerian Idol.

Earlier, you said it’s so hard for you to say ‘no’ when people come to you with a request, now you would have a lot of people who would be physically begging you to pick them as a contestant during the audition, how do you intend to wiggle through that?

I know I said it’s hard sometimes to say no, that’s why if you know yourself, you will adapt to it. The reason is this, I believe that everyone has a chance in life, and if you don’t encourage people, they will not get to the next phase. So even though we know we are looking for only one winner, at least there are creative ways you can turn people down that even while they are going home, they are happy, they are looking out to say ‘okay I no win oh, but I do better next time, and that’s what I want to bring to the table. The truth is that I can’t pass everybody but those that have to go through my vote. So I think there are crazy ways to pass your message that still leaves that visible hope, which I stand for.

PT: Do You see yourself taking any contestants under your wings since a fellow judge, Obi Asika, would be working with the eventual winner?

D’banj: I’ve already, actually in this season that’s not sure for Obi Asika. We’ve already had those conversations, and we said that the best would be for us to have a joint venture, and I say this without any sugarcoating it. The current crop of contestants is one of the best talents I’ve seen, from not even Nigerian alone, globally. I’ve been listening to their voices, the way they swag, and most of them just come like, ‘I’ve been waiting for this, and I will be waiting for you, even him, he knows he can’t do it alone.

PT: What, in your opinion, is an essential quality a star must have to emerge tops at the Nigerian Idol?

Dbanj, wife to explain son's death - Police - Punch Newspapers

D’banj: I would like to say two things because, when you said what’s the essential thing, firstly, people are coming to listen to you sing. It is essential to know how to sing to the best of your ability, but for the show, and you will know that when the judges are giving them advice, they would say, ‘I don’t think this song you chose works well with your voice.’ So, I think it’s essential for you to have a voice, but it’s beyond the voice for you to be an idol. We are talking about your confidence, you have to believe in yourself, and that’s what you will be selling to us because you cannot give what you don’t have, and that’s what I will be looking out for.

I stand to correct those who say,’ I’m looking for how great your voice is.’ I’m looking for the next entertainer, and I’m looking for the next everything.

PT: Away from Nigerian Idol, let’s talk about your music career. What’s new?

D’banj: Well, let’s say business, I love that. I tell people this, music brings you into the room but what you do in that room is entirely up to you. So if you’ve read, which I know you have, you see that I’ve been more focused, especially when I became a family man. It’s my sixth year in marriage, and ever since then, I’ve looked for different platforms that would keep my fame and family intact. So if you were to Google Jay Z or the wealthiest musicians in the world, you would see that only 10 per cent of their wealth is probably from music.

PT: Does this mean the music will be secondary for you now?

D’banj: No. I’m just trying to say that if you look at Kanye as a billionaire, Jay Z is a billionaire, and maybe he got like 100 million from music. The rest are from business and that is what Nigeria needs.

I was telling someone we need such a structure and the right merchandise. And then, of course, you can always make music. Music will forever be in me; I’m always going to release music.

Sometimes my people say you don’t release music, but I attend shows, and when I do, they give me one hour to perform. I can’t even perform all my songs in one hour. I cannot, even for three hours myself, but what can you do to give people to look up to.

We grew up not having anybody to look up to, but now the industry has us to look up to. These young crops of Nigerian musicians have so many role models. That’s why we can tell them that ‘if you are at your prime, it’s high time you stopped doing stuff that you get paid peanuts for, you can partner with a brand that gives you a room where you can even begin to sponsor the next Nigeria Idol or Big Brother.

PT: Does that mean that music is not as profitable?

D’banj: No, I won’t say that music is not as profitable, but music alone is not enough to attain that luxury lifestyle that musicians love.

PT: You have your merchandise perfume line; recently you ventured into agriculture. How profitable are these ventures?Advertisements

D’banj: That’s what it is all about. Having studied supermarket chains in Nigeria, I think we need to encourage more management in the industry. Nowadays, everybody wants to be famous, but the people behind that would help you manage things and say, ‘Oh, you have a trending song now, but you can also have your merchandise.’

PT: How affordable is your perfume line?

D’banj: This retails for $250 globally now.

PT: Where do you stock it?

D’banj: it’s everywhere, gobuymore.com, you can buy it. My partners are from the UAE, and we will be doing a lot of promotions this year. We are partnering with Dubai tourism. In March, we would go and visit the factory, check the fragrances, meet the partners, to have that impact on the people.

And I know you will say $250 is expensive, but trust me, for Gucci and all the rest that we already pay so much, it’s the same thing we pay. So that’s why I am saying that it is about time to start encouraging our products, because they have already accepted us, from the food, clothing, lifestyle, and even your clothes. So I’m looking forward to when an indigenous wine brand would endorse me.

PT: You have been married for six years. What is the secret?

D’banj: It is vital to me when I say that I got married when I got married, and also for the reason I got married. There are reasons people do stuff, and if you do it for the wrong reasons, it will affect you. For me, I thought I had reached that stage where I needed to form an empire, and for you to do this, you have to be stable, and then you have to be true to yourself, and all pulled all these together. And I prayed to God a lot because the Bible says he who finds a wife finds a good thing, so I got myself my best friend, my best partner who understands and knows everything about me. So, yes, once in a while, you do miss all those days, but that’s why I’m so happy that there’s a difference between Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo and Dbanj the Koko master, but when I get on stage anywhere, it’s still the Koko master, it has not reduced. It (marriage) has not reduced the number of kokolets (ladies) that flock around me and rush to the stage. However, one has to be committed to one person, and that is what life is.”

PT: Would you allow your son to go into music?

D’banj: Of course, my son if he wants to be a musician he is permitted, my daughter, on the other hand, I think she might already be a singer, you know I just celebrated her birthday, and she was dancing throughout, I think there is something there.

PT: Are you challenged by the new crop of artistes we have now?

D’banj: I love every one of them, and I think the industry is growing to such a level, which we’ve always prayed to have. And the issue is that they keep popping out, and they are all perfect so I won’t say the word challenge. I’m not in competition with anyone. None of them will stand today and say I’m not a source of inspiration to their grace.

PT: Is there any collaboration in the works?

D’banj: Definitely

PT: Is there any chance of you getting back with Don Jazzy or making music together?

D’banj: If we are paid ‘big’ money. Somebody wanted to pay us last year (2021), but Don Jazzy moved it. He won’t like that I said it was him, but that is the truth. We are all connected in a group, and they said we would do Mo’Hits Reunion, but I was out of the country then. But, Don Jazzy later said we should move it to 2022 to make it bigger. So, it is Don Jazzy you should ask. We are (still) friends.

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