SPOTLIGHT: Interesting Facts About 39-Year-Old ‘Kokomaster’, DBanj


Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as D’banj was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria to a father who was a military officer and commanded an artillery regiment and a church dignitary mother who hailed from Shagamu in Ogun State.

The singer was enrolled to the Nigerian Military School at 11, where he spent three years.

He further proceeded to the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ibara, Abeokuta where he completed his secondary school education.

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During his music career, D’banj had been signed to the following labels; DB Records, Mercury Records, GOOD Music, Sony Music Entertainment, ROCKSTAR4000 and RCA.

The singer’s love for the ‘Harmonica’, a musical instrument grew at 14, following the death of his elder brother, Femi Oyebanjo who tragically died in a plane crash at 17. His late brother had introduced him to the instrument.

D’Banj went on to study Mechanical Engineering at Lagos State University, in 1999 but failed to finish his program.

Interestingly, the singer used to work with the late music producer, OJB Jezreel’s PointBeatz before he left the country and released a couple of singles which went unnoticed, including Kiss Me Again featuring Ruggedman.

Dbanj has never hidden his love for late Afrobeat singer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and says he is his mentor.

D’banj used to be the ‘mouth organist’ for the JJC and 419 Squad and his CREAM platform set up in 2016 was instrumental in the 100% shooting of the hit single, Legbegbe by Mr Real and the platform has over 3.5 million subscribers.

The singer’s first major performance was a 15-minute set at the 2004 edition of the Nigerian Independence day concert in London.

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Upon arriving Nigeria, D’banj and his producer and friend, Don Jazzy, broke into the Nigerian music scene with the single ‘Tongolo’ in 2004.

Then came his debut album ‘No Long Thing’, with which he earned ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards. The album featured hit singles like ‘Tongolo’, ‘Socor‘ and ‘Mobolowowon‘.

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‘.

Then the duo launched the record label,  Mo’Hits which had acts such as Dr Sid, Wande Coal, D’Prince and K-Switch — together released its debut and an only compilation album, Curriculum Vitae with hit singles like ‘Pere‘, and ‘Move your body‘.

The singer in 2008, 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’.

In August 2009, Dbanj held the maiden edition of his reality show, Koko Mansion.

When President Goodluck Jonathan was to contest in 2010, the Dbanj was one of his campaigners as he even remixed his 2009 single ‘Scape Goat’ into a presidential campaign song.

D’banj alongside Don Jazzy is reported to be the first Nigerian artistes to own a Bentley.

A bigger break came for him In 2011, when he was 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.

Another remarkable time in his career was during the 2012 Olympics in London, when his sing, Oliver Twist was performed at a Basketball game between Russia and Brazil.

He moved on from Mo’hits to set up his record label DB Records, in 2016 wherein he signed his brother K Switch alongside two producers, Jaysleek and Deevee.

Apart from his music, Dbanj seems to have it together in his private life. He married to Lineo Didi Kilgrow on June 2, 2016, and the couple welcomed a son, Daniel III in May 2017 but unfortunately lost him in a tragic swimming pool accident.

Dbanj has over 30 awards in the bag, some of whom are; Best Male; MTV Africa Music Awards -2008, Best International Act Africa; BET Awards -2011, and Best African Act MOBO Awards -2012

The singer made his fans super proud when he 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 endorsements 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.

The singer has worked with many international acts like Snoop Dogg, Kanye, Jay Z, Kid Cudi, LA Reid, Tinie Tempah, Idris Alba, Gucci Mane among others.