Dbanj is a year older today and as the Eja Nla clocks 38, we present 30 essential facts on his life and career.
Born Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, D'banj is one of Nigeria's biggest artists and arguably the ice breaker in delivering Nigerian music to a global audience with his hit single, Oliver Twist.
His contributions to the industry has been immense as we celebrate him on this special day.
1. D’banj was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria to a military officer who commanded an artillery regiment and a church dignitary mother who hailed from Shagamu in Ogun State.
2. At age 11, D’Banj was enrolled to the Nigerian Military School but dis-enrolled from the school after three years. From the Nigerian Military School he proceeded to another military owned institution Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ibara, Abeokuta where he completed his secondary school education.
3. D'banj has been signed to the following labels; DB Records, Mercury Records, GOOD Music, Sony Music Entertainment, ROCKSTAR4000 and RCA.
4. Following the death of his late elder brother, Femi Oyebanjo who tragically died in a plane crash at 17, D’Banj picked up the” Harmonica” at age 14, an instrument introduced to him by his brother.
5. In 1999, D’Banj went on to study Mechanical Engineering at Lagos State University, even though he did not finish his program.
6. He used to work with OJB Jezreel's PointBeatz before his exit from the country and released couple of singles which went unnoticed, including Kiss Me Again featuring Ruggedman.
7. His mentor is Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
8. D'banj used to be the 'mouth organist' for the JJC and 419 Squad.
10. His signature style is his Shades, and he loves to wear 2 wristwatches.
11. D'banj's first major performance was a 15 minutes set at the 2004 edition of the Nigerian Independence day concert in London.
12. Fresh from London, D’banj and his producer and friend, Don Jazzy, broke into the Nigerian music scene with the single ‘Tongolo’ in 2004.
13. His debut album was No Long Thing earned him ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards. The album featured hit singles like ‘Tongolo’, ‘Socor‘ and ‘Mobolowowon‘.
14. On his return to the country, the first car he drove was a fairly used Toyota Previa bus.
15. He released his sophomore album in Rundown Funk U Up in 2006. The Don Jazzy-produced album had massive hits like ‘Why me‘, ‘Tongolo Remix’ ‘Run Down‘ and ‘Loke‘.
16. After two great albums and Mo’Hits launch, D’banj and Don Jazzy with new acts, Dr Sid, Wande Coal, D’Prince and K-Switch released its debut and only compilation album, Curriculum Vitae with hit singles like ‘Pere‘, and ‘Move your body‘.
17. In 2008, he released his third and last studio album with Mo Hits, The Entertainer, which contained hit songs like ‘Gbono Feli Feli, ‘Suddenly‘ and ’Fall in Love'.
18. In August 2009, Dbanj held the maiden edition of his reality show, Koko Mansion.
19. In 2010, D’banj campaigned for then President Goodluck Jonathan and even remixed his 2009 single ‘Scape Goat’ into a presidential campaign song, D'banj alongside Don Jazzy are reported to be the first Nigerian artistes to own a Bentley.
20. In 2011, D’banj signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music and also released ‘Oliver Twist’ which peaked at number 9 on the UK iTunes chart, also reaching #2 on the UK R&B chart.
21. During the 2012 Olympics in London, D'banj's Oliver Twist was performed at a Basketball game between Russia and Brazil.
22. In 2012, He set up his own record label DB Records, signing his brother K Switch alongside two producers, Jaysleek and Deevee.
23. D'banj had a cameo appearance in the G.O.O.D Music video for ‘Mercy‘ and a 12-second stint on ‘The Morning‘, a song off the 2012 G.O.O.D Music compilation album, Cruel Summer.
24. D’Banj who has been linked to a number of women in the past got married to Lineo Didi Kilgrow on June 2, 2016 and the couple welcomed a son, Daniel III in May 2017.
25. D'banj's wife, Lineo Didi Kilgrow is the step sister of Samantha Walsh, the host of MTV's Big Friday show.
26. He has won over 30 awards in his short including, Best Male; MTV Africa Music Awards -2008, Best International Act Africa; BET Awards -2011, and Best African Act MOBO Awards -2012
27. D'banj performed at the closing ceremony of the 2013 African Nations Cup in South Africa and premiered his 2015 hit single, Emergency at the opening ceremony of the Glo CAF Awards.
He has bagged many endorsement deals with many brands like Glo, Power Fist, Chris Aire,Virgin Colour soft drinks, UAC Foods, Africa Union’s One Agric, Nigeria’s Bank Of Industry.
28. The first record ever bought by D'banj was R. Kelly’s “12 Play” album
29. He is Nigeria’s first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace.
30. D’Banj has worked with Snoop Dogg, Kanye, Jay Z, Kid Cudi, LA Reid, Tinie Tempah, Idris Alba, Gucci Mane among others.
Happy Birthday D'banj.