Durella in a phone interview with tooxclusive.com

Can this be real? Can the singer of a one-time 13 most downloaded song in the world (Oliver Twist), and the winner of a house-load of awards and honours stoop so low to steal a song from a friend? Whatever happened to creativity and the quest for originality? Where did all the dignity and loyalty of the bond of friendship go? Holidaying in hell, perhaps.

Reports coming in from all over the industry allege that CEO DB Records, D’Banj stole his latest song, Blame It On The Money, in which he featured Snoop Lion & Big Sean, from forgotten man and friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Oluwadamilare Okulaja better known to the public as Durella. Shocking it sounds, but lest we become subject to sympathy and the danger of sensationalism, let the facts speak. Let’s dig into the past to a time when these two, D’Banj and Durella .


The beef between Durella and D’banj started in late 2006 when the latter accused Banger Lee of jacking his style of singing. Apparently when D’banj and Don Jazzy returned to Nigeria in 2004, they met up with Durella and soon became friends. Sources tell us that D’banj and Durella were quite close and were spotted together in the studio several times.

‘I remember when Durella followed D’banj, Don Jazzy to Jahborne’s music factory studio when D’banj wanted to record ‘Tongolo’ remix’, a source recounts.

Of course D’banj had blown up and had released his second album ‘Rundown’ in 2007 when Durella signed with TC Records and finally launched his career. It didn’t take long for Durella to blow up too with hits like ‘In da Zanga’, ‘Wiskolowiska’ and ‘Shayo’ gaining massive appeal. He also won the MTV and Zain ‘Advance Warning’ reality show in 2008.

Then came the interviews; Durella clearly stated that D’banj had stolen his style. The media of course jumped on it, comparing both artistes. Truthfully, they did sound very similar. And it seemed like D’banj was aware as he switched up the flow on the 2008 Nigerian Pop classic album ‘The Entertainer’. Their fight sort of fizzled out though as Durella later backed off. ‘D’banj is my man, aaah, I like his mo gbono feli feli jam’, Durella told Onome ‘BigTyme’ Oyaide in an interview on urban radio station Rhythm FM 93.7 in late 2008.

The Reconciliation

Last month, a story broke out, which claimed that D’banj and DB records made a deal to buy out Durella’s contract from his present record label IKONIC Music where the Pop act’s career has been in limbo since he signed in mid-2011 after ending his three-year contract with TC Records. His upcoming album ‘Back/Better/Bada’ has been pushed back one too many times

‘Durella has signed with D’banj, he (D’banj) bought out the contract, that’s what I can tell you’, a source in Durella’s camp told us.

Durella even moved into Dbanj’s house, enjoying favors from a past enemy, and hoping to revive a career so sunken. Bet he felt like his messiah had come.

New War

And we all thought they were back for real. But apparently that is not to be as D’banj is in the news again because 6 days ago, D'Banj released a new single 'Blame It on The Money' in which he featured Snoop Lion and label mate Big Sean. But, Durella at the moment is claiming the song is his and that D'Banj jacked it from him. Story has it that Durella recorded “Blame It On The Money” but his previous label Ikonic Music didn’t release it. Then when they were ready to release it, Ikonic records claimed Durella sold “Blame It On The Money” to D’banj. Durella has denied selling his song to D'Banj. In a phone interview with Durella here is what transpired.

“I didnt sell my song to Dbanj I only played the song to his hearing once and the next thing i saw was Dbanj ft Snoop Lion, Big sean; he didnt even change the title of the song maybe cuz i told him i dont know if I should release the song or not no wonder he told me I should not release it”

Possible Motives

A thousand motives spring to mind, the first is revenge. Revenge served cold is sweet. Old wounds die hard, and forgiveness is a quality for angels. D’banj isn’t exactly an aspirant for sainthood, and there is no power in the art of mortal man to discover the mind’s working on the face. We all are creatures of emotions, always with an impulse to avenge a wrong.

Next is the popular opinion that D’banj is backed in a corner, desperate for renewed success after his latest album D King’s Men, has failed to capture the hearts of the Nigerian audience. He’s seeking to revive the magic, and if it happens with a jacked song, then who cares. Win clean, win dirty, a win is a win.

This might sound far-fetched, but nothing goes for nothing. Durella gets a new deal, a career resurrection, and some money in the bag. D’banj gets to dole out his money, share his apartment, and risk funds in a deal where the odds do not favour him. What does he get? He probably helped himself to Durella’s intellectual property as temporary payment.

Finally, this might be a stunt to get them both in the news. D’banj has a mega concert in the works, Durella is a man in need of media space, D Kings Men album need a marketing shot in the arm to boost its sales. What better way to trend than a ‘coordinated’ beef to get us all talking about them.

Whatever it is, the facts remain the same. A song was released, 2 parties lay claim to it, and the drama has captured us. Interesting saga it is. Pull up the chairs, get popcorns, order a chilled soda. D’banj and Durella really do put up a good show!