Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo by his real name, was born 9 June 1980 in Zaria, the northern part of Nigeria to a military officer who commanded an artillery regiment and a devout church dignitary businesswoman who hailed from Shagamu in Ogun State.
Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo known by his stage name D’banj, is a Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and television personality.
D’banj, also known as the Kokomaster or Bangalee, used the advantageof his father’s profession to move to several places within Nigeria and later moved to England. History had it that D’banj was expected to follow his father’s military career and was enrolled to the Nigerian Military School at age eleven.
However, D’banj, we learnt went to another school after three years. While at the Military school he was a member of the elite drum corp of the Nigerian Army. From the Nigerian Military School he proceeded to another military owned institution Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ibara, Abeokuta where he was a church worker and there had completion of his secondary school education.
D’banj then proceeded to the Lagos State University to study mechanical engineering, but due to the constant strikes and several irregularities in the school system, he withdrew. Plans to continue his studies as a mechanical engineer in London were derailed when he arrived in the UK in 2001 and met Don Jazzy who was trying to make it as a songwriter and producer.
D’banj songs are based on his life, often hilarious but with a deeper meaning which documents the struggle of a young Nigerian trying to achieve his dreams. He performs in Yoruba, English and Pidgin English.
He has won several music awards, including:
- The awards for Best African Actat the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007,
- Artist of the Yearat the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009,
- Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards,
- Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards,
- Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.
He adopted the stage name D’banj, a combination of his first name, Dapo, and his surname, Oyebanjo. D’banj is currently best known internationally for his 2012 summer hit “Oliver Twist”, an uptempo dance fusion of Afrobeat and electronic dance music that topped the African charts 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012 reaching No. 2 on the UK R&B chart.
D’banj is the founder of Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development. He is also Nigeria’s first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace. Dbanj is a ONE campaign ambassador; he released the song “Cocoa Na Chocolate” in support of agriculture investments. ‘Cocoa Na Chocolate’ featured 18 other African artists and won Best African Collaboration at the All Africa Music Awards in 2014.
In 2015, he was applauded by 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.
Sony Entertainment Deal
In December 2012 D’banj signed a mega deal with Sony.
Sean Watson, Managing Director of Sony, summing his love and praise for D’banj said: “Partnering with D’Banj is a seminal event for us at Sony Music Entertainment Africa. We’ve always admired his talent and to be able to assist with bringing D’Banj’s music to millions of fans, established and new, across the continent is an honour for us. We are very excited about being a part of it”.
- He has performed at Femi Kuti’s new Afrikan Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos as well as the Shrine Synchro System’s regular London Night at Cargo.
- He performed at the Black President Concert in memory of Fela’s art and legacy at the Barbican in London, and also alongside many international artists in Nigeria like Kelly Rowland at the 1st Edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria. D’banj is a regular performer for the annual ThisDay Africa Rising Music Festival.
- He was involved in one of the most anticipated events of the season, ‘Koko Concert’. This concert consisted of D’Banj, Don Jazzy, Dr SID, Wande Coal, D’Prince plus a few guest appearances including May7ven and comedian Tunde Ednut.
D’banj’s Net Worth
As of 2016, D’banj is ranked to be the richest solo musician in Nigeria according to T.I.N Magazine. Dbanj is now among the richest Hip-Hop artists in Nigeria and Africa at large. His net worth is placed at over $10 million dollars. He is blessed with exotic cars, Jeeps and mansions both within Nigeria and abroad.