Nigerian Afro star D'Banj emerged in 2005 with his debut album, No Long Thing, which he released in conjunction with business partner/producer Don Jazzy on their Mo'Hits label. Born Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo in 1980 in the Nigerian city of Zaria, D'Banj learned how to play the harmonica as a teenager in honor of his older brother, who died in a plane crash at the age of 17. His love for music eventually led him into a partnership with Don Jazzy, a producer he met in London with whom he would later return to Lagos and begin his recording career. Led by the single "Tongolo," No Long Thing presented a slick mix of urban dance pop and Afropop with which D'Banj would find great success over the next several years. As an entrepreneur, he and Jazzy signed other up-and-coming Nigerian pop acts to their label and, in 2007, formed the collective Mo'Hits All-Stars, releasing a handful of hit singles featuring D'Banj as its star act.
In 2010, D'Banj began collaborating with American artists like Snoop Dogg and, in 2011, signed a deal with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. That same year, D'Banj scored a major hit with his single "Oliver Twist," which topped a number of African charts and fared well in the U.K. and Europe as well. Prior to dissolving his partnership with Jazzy, D'Banj began working on a massive compilation album which would eventually come out on his new venture, DB Records. Titled D'Kings Men, the album was not a proper D'Banj solo release though he was heavily featured on numerous singles alongside numerous African artists and American guests like Big Sean and Kanye West. A pair of 2015 singles -- "Feeling the Nigga" and "Frosh" -- found D'Banj collaborating with Akon as his music continued to veer more toward an urban hip-hop sound. The songs were also featured on the visual EP, An Epic Journey, which D'Banj released song-by-song as a series of videos. Two years later, he returned with the album, King Don Come. ~ Timothy Monger
- Zaria, Nigeria
- June 9, 1980