BY Sandra Appiah, 12:00am April 11, 2011,

Africa’s Ladies Man: D’Banj- The Cocomaster

By Shanna Augustin

Photo credit: MTV Africa Music Awards

Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo also known as D’Banj was born June 9, 1980 in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. D’Banj is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and harmonica player. His father was a military officer and his mother was a church dignitary. Due to his fathers profession he moved several times within Nigeria, he also moved to India throughout his life.

D’Banj was expected to follow his fathers military career and was enrolled in the Nigerian Military School at age eleven. He knew this was not his passion so, he resisted the school system and disenrolled from the school after three years. Although he did not want to be involved with the military school while enrolled, he was a member of the elite drum corp of the Nigerian Army. After his years at the Nigerian Military School he was later transferred to another military owned institution called Nigerian Navy Secondary school, where he completed his Secondary school education.

His musical beginning began when he was introduced to the harmonica by his late older brother Femi Oyebanjo, who passed away at age seventeen in a plane crash. D’Banj’s love for music was so much greater than his parents military aspirations so, he struggled for his parents approval. He explains this in one of his album tracks called All Da Way from his debut album.

D’Banj is an artist of Mo’ Hit Records and a member of its collective group Mo’ Hits Allstars. His songs are based on his life which documents the struggle of a young African trying to achieve his dreams. He performs in Yoruba which is a language spoken in West Africa by approximately twenty million speakers. He also, performs in English and Pidgin English which is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. His songs are often hilarious but with a deeper meaning. All of his albums are produced by Don Jazzy and himself.

“No Long Thing” his debut album was released in 2005. Tonglo was his lead single which proved to be his breakthrough single and a hit. It also provided his Koko Master persona, with the term “koko” taking on a variety of meanings. His debut success led him to collaborations with other artists, which include Dare Art-Alade’s album track, “Escalade part 2”, Ikechukwu’s album track, and his most recent collaboration with Snoop Dogg, Mr. Endowed.

D’Banj is Nigerias first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace. This is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. He is a regular performer for the annual ThisDay Africa Rising Music Festival.

He has performed at Femi Kuti’s new Afrikan Shrine in Lagos as well as the Shrine Synchro System’s regular London Night at Cargo. He also 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 has won and has been nominated for many awards such as the winning of Best African Act in 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards, hottest single of the year “Why me” NEA Awards, and many more.

D’Banj was also recently featured on BET International with an exclusive Interview that provides a comprehensice outlook of his life.

Click here to watch video

Last Edited by: Updated: September 12, 2018


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