Afrobeats artist D’Banj has admitted that he hopes his international success is proof to the rest of the world that his home country of Nigeria has a lot more to offer than oil and natural resources.
In a recent interview with The Observer, the 32-year-old opened up about how he wishes to bring his music to the mainstream and wants to see it achieve the same recognition and popularity in the US and UK that it has in Africa.
Yes, we have MTV, yes, we sell millions of records and have endorsement deals, but we’ve never felt as if we’re part of the same music industry as the rest of the world – the Kanye Wests, the Adeles and Tinie Tempahs.
I see what I’m doing now as the bridge that we’ve been looking for from Africa to the mainstream world. I want others to see the potential in my country, other than our oil and natural resources. That’s what’s making me move. I feel like a new artist.
D’Banj has reached superstar status after entering the UK iTunes Top 10 with his hit single Oliver Twist (which also appeared on an episode of Eastenders) and signing to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music record label. However, he still intends to stay true to his Nigerian roots and help other Nigerian artists follow in his footsteps.
I can’t wait for the world to see what we have in Africa. I tell Kanye and everyone, I’ve got rappers back home who can really rap…I had a vision that I want to be global, but I don’t want to change my Nigerian identity, I don’t want to change my style.
So maybe we’ll be hearing more tracks by Nigerian artists appearing in an episode of Eastenders in the future. We can’t wait!