D’Banj talks beginnings, African music scene + Kanye West w/ OkayAfricaTV [Video]

Nigerian artist and G.O.O.D. Music signee D’Banj (left) recently sat down with OkayAfricaTV to discuss how he got into the music business, the struggle African acts have with getting their music heard in other countries, and how the hell he managed to hook up with Kanye West.

D’Banj is an award-winning Afrobeat artist and vice president of Nigerian indie imprint Mo’Hits Records, a well-known and respected label on the African dance/party scene. Last year, after meeting D’Banj and his partner, producer and Mo’Hits CEO Don Jazzy, at a D’Banj show in Dubai, West set up a meeting with the duo and subsequently invited them to meet with him again in New York. This was in January; by June, the deal was done and Mo’Hits Records had officially become a part of G.O.O.D. Music.

The move, D’Banj says, is one that his continent definitely needed, as he feels its music scene is isolated from most of the rest of the world.

“There’s no bridge. There’s no Universal Africa, there’s no Def Jam Africa, there’s no Interscope — it’s like they’ve forgotten us,” an exasperated D’Banj explains. “But then Kanye West saw me and said ‘let’s go.’

“If Kanye West came picking talent from Africa there must be something there,” he continued before adding that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if P. Diddy was next to come looking for talent.

D’banj also spoke on how his linking with G.O.O.D. Music — whose name is an acronym for “Getting Out Our Dreams” — will literally allow him to see his goals realized. “My vision was to carry my gospel, my vision from Africa and take it to the rest of the world — and believe you me, in my country that has been hard to do. … Who better to introduce you to the global world than Kanye West?”

The interview also features comments from other Mo’Hits artists like Dr. Sid, K-Switch and Wande Coal. Peep it below, and be on the lookout for more hits and good music from Mo’Hits and G.O.O.D. Music.


[Props: NJOK]