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My new album may be called The Entertainer Repackaged Dbanj

Nonny interviews D'banj on MV The Wrap up MTV The Wrap Up resident Afrobeats columnist, Nonny Orakwue, had a chat with Dbanj. The pop star talked about how he feels

05-18-2012, 09:57 PM
: Apr 2012
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My new album may be called The Entertainer Repackaged Dbanj

Nonny interviews D'banj on MV The Wrap up

MTV The Wrap Up resident Afrobeats columnist, Nonny Orakwue, had a chat with Dbanj.

The pop star talked about how he feels to be the first African artist to headline mainstream festivals like Wireless and the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend.

He also hinted his new album may be called The Entertainer Repackagebecause he is trying to introduce the western world to hit singles like fall in love which might get a remix from rihanna or other star and also suddenly.

The Wrap Up: Hi DBanj! Lets get straight into it. How would you describe your sound to someone who hasnt yet heard your music?

DBanj: My sound is Afro-pop, meaning an African sound. I know a lot of people have heard of Afrobeat, but I like to say that Afrobeat was in the time of the late legend Fela Kuti. Just the way that music has evolved around the world, you cant compare rap from the 90s with the rap we have now, you cant even compare R&B from the 90s with the R&B we have now. So the Afrobeat of today, with my generation, I would call it Afro-pop. Oliver Twist is Afro, but the sound is pop. Other colleagues of mine who are making music back home, you cant call their music Afrobeat but its Afro-rap, Afro-hip hop, Afro-jazz, Afro-soul and some still do Afrobeat.

TWU: Youve performed numerous times in the UK to sold-out arenas, but how does it feel to be the first African artist to headline mainstream festivals like Wireless and the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend?

DBanj: I feel very honoured, I feel very privileged but I also feel very scared. I think I have to beg all of my fans to come out because, usually, Im used to headlining major festivals but with my African people. Im looking forward to it and Im begging all of my fans to come out and support because this is a big moment for everybody, not just for me. I just hope the UK fans will be pleased with the kind of sound that theyre going to hear and those whove never heard us before, I hope theyll be won over.

TWU: Is there anyone on the line-up that youre looking forward to hearing?

DBanj: Definitely! Well, Ive watched most of them but just in a different continent, like when theyve come to Africa to perform. Id like to see Nicki MInaj on stage, Tinie Tempah and Id like to see Rihanna everyone knows that I like Rihanna! (Laughs) Obviously, Id like to see Jay-Z and even people whose sound I havent heard, like Chase & Status. Id like to hear some drum & bass! I know Ill look odd, but music is so universal and speaks to everybody.

TWU: Youre known for your love of the ladies, so what does it take to be a kokolet?

DBanj: A kokolet is a well-endowed woman with good intellect, I believe. That means not just a pretty face and someone who knows what they want and has a mind of their own. Growing up, people asked me, Whats your definition of an ideal woman? Ive seen that has changed with time, and now Im more affected by what someone has got up there to offer.

TWU: Your current single, Oliver Twist, is out now. Why do you think the West is now taking interest in African artists?

DBanj: I think the world is interested in Africans in general now, not just on the music side of things. For the last five years, from the oil and gas industry to the capital and banking industry, you see a lot of banks that are in Africa now coming here and to America to open because the world is bigger than just continents, its now one. Its the same thing with the music. After meeting Kanye West in Dubai, with him inviting me over, a lot of people started coming over to Nigeria to come and pick acts. The world likes something different and new, weve been left out of the scene for a long time but whats good about it is that now that everybody has gone everywhere, Africa looks like its doing something brand new. I remember when I first found out that they wanted to release Oliver Twist again; I was like, Ah! Ah! That came out last year in Africa and it did over 330,000 downloads in the first three days. Ive had people even tell me that I should bring out my last album, The Entertainer, all over again and call it The Entertainer Repackaged. The Western world can hear and know the tunes like Fall In Love and Suddenly because they were massive songs and have someone like Rihanna or Cheryl Cole sing on Fall In Love. The fact that people already think that its possible shows that it can be a big thing. Im just begging for people to have an open mind and accept us.

TWU: What three items cant you live without?

DBanj: I can live without anything. The only thing I cant live without is God, and thats the honest truth. Recently, Ive been travelling so much that I even forget my phone and my shades. When I was in Africa for nine years, no one saw my eyes and recently Ive gone into meetings and forgotten my glasses. I wear them because I wanted to have something separate to hold for myself. Performing on stage for me is very radical, I take off my shirt so thats like me already taking off a lot of things, so I was like, What can I keep that people wont see? In Nigeria, if I walk around without my glasses, people dont recognise me until maybe when I open my mouth and talk, but if Im just eating in a restaurant or theres no security around me, people dont realise. Its my superman look! DBanj was the first black superhero till Hancock came (laughs).

TWU: (Laughs) If we were to have a cheeky look in your iPod, what music could we expect to find in there?

DBanj: Youd be so surprised, because I have everything! Ive got Adele and right after her, youll see N****s In Paris by Jay and Kanye (laughs). For me, music is universal. Last summer, my favourite song was by Martin Solveig with Hello, and Id listen to it before Id go on stage. Ive opened my eyes and my mind to listen to different things in the last two years. I was somewhere recently and the driver was playing hip-hop. The driver told me that because I was with Kid Cudi and my people, he thought that we wanted to hear hip-hop I asked him to turn it to a local radio station. In 2008, one of my people even showed me on the net that theyd sampled one of my songs all the way from India, which meant a lot to me. It shows that were not bound by our continent or our region, music is so huge that it can speak to anybody.

TWU: And lastly, what can we expect to hear from your forthcoming album which is rumoured to be called Mr Endowed?

DBanj: No, things have changed now. Mr Endowed, which is the single, came out last year and Oliver Twist has taken over now so I dont know what the album is going to be called now. Im caught in between reintroducing my last album, because my new album is going to have some songs from my last album to reintroduce people and let them know this is how I am. Maybe its going to be called The Entertainer Repackaged but its not my field, I let the professionals choose. Maybe it could be called Entertainer X or something like that, and then I could have five songs from the last album and then five new songs. Im not sure yet, but just make sure youre ready for it!


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