Dammy Krane's career once held a lot of promise, now it is a cautionary tale for upcoming singers.
Then he was touted as the next Wizkid of the music industry. The big ballers and hot chicks in the club knew him. Bouncers begged him for money. It almost seemed he was destined to be the next Wizkid.
In January 2011, I had already left my job at Hip Hop World Magazine to be a partner in talent management company. One of the first acts we came across was Dammy Krane.
His uncle approached us to manage him and mould him into the next superstar. It was the time I first 'met' Dammy Krane. The meeting was at the restaurant of a hotel owned by his uncle's father. By the way, his father was the one who sponsored Sauce Kid's classic mixtape 'Money Long' in 2006.
My first impression of Dammy Krane was that he was a cool kid and 'humble' enough. In the meeting, he clearly disassociated himself with Sauce Kid's lifestyle. This was when Sauce Kid had problems with Storm Records and hadn't scored his comeback hit 'Carolina'.
Anyway, Dammy Krane said he was willing to put in the hard work to be the next big thing. He didn't want any drama around him. He just wanted to have fun while making music.
Unfortunately the deal fell through and I did not see Dammy Krane until months later. Our paths would cross when I was hired to do a fluff piece on a flash-in-the-pan act called Flowssick at his house. Dammy Krane was in the house that day. During this period, Dammy Krane and Flowssick were inseparable.
When Dammy Krane saw me, he gave me the usual Naija greetings of 'chairman', and 'oga'. Instincts never lie. I scanned the house they were living and I didn't like the set-up. It was actually not Flowssick's crib but someone close to him. I heard whispers of Malaysia and I knew that something fishy was going on here.
I wrapped up the interview with his less talented friend and bounced. In January 2012, 2face Idibia had announced he signed Dammy Krane to his record label Hypertek Records. I was happy for him, finally, his talent would get the support it deserves.
Unfortunately, despite getting label support, Dammy Krane failed to showcase his potential. He released his debut album 'Enterkraner' in 2014 and save for the single 'Amin', the album failed to make any mark.
It was clear that Dammy Krane was lost in the sauce. In October of 2013, the energetic singer with the baby face ridiculously accused Davido of stealing his 'Skelewu' dance. Early 2016, he would accuse Wizkid of jacking his songs. The beef came to a bloody head a few days later when both singers had a scuffle at popular nightclub Quilox.
Dammy Krane was distracted from the thing he loved the most, music. Maybe he believed his failure to score it big time was because of Davido and Wizkid or some other factor. The fact that he never blamed himself for his lack of focus highlights how Dammy Krane lost the plot early on.
A childhood friend of his once told me circa 2013 Dammy Krane smokes too much and we are not talking about nicotine. This is an allegation but not fact. What can be stated is that the talented singer got distracted by the flashy lifestyle of many of his contemporaries. Dammy Krane, however, was not ready to roll up his sleeves and grind to get the trappings of wealth.
I can't remember the year, maybe it was in 2013, but I saw him in Lekki driving a black Range Rover with a pretty hot thing by his side. I knew there was no way Dammy Krane could afford a car that expensive (maybe it wasn't his). Some kind of business must be filling the gap.
The truth is that credit card and Internet fraud have been keeping the music industry in Nigeria floated with cash for years. Davido, Wizkid, 2face Idibia, P-Square, D'banj, Falz, Phyno, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and a few others are the music acts in this country.
The others are hungry or are involved in scams to appear that they are rich. Many artists have sold themselves and souls to G-boys and drug dealers. The cars you see them with are not theirs. They flashy clothes you see them with were not bought by them. It's a life of deception and fraud. Your favourite Nigerian artists might just be a criminal.
Dammy Krane left 2face's label shortly after the release of his first album. For a singer who hasn't scored a major hit in his career, it was kind of odd seeing him in private jets in America. He doesn't have the money. He is not Drake or Jay Z.
The news of his arrest wasn't surprising but it was disappointing. Dammy Krane fell for the trap- wealth without hard work, success without the grind. He has gotten into the same mess like his cousin Sauce Kid or Sinzu.
It's sad to see Dammy Krane go from promise to prison.