By Terry Odenigbo
D’banj‘s quest for dominance in the Nigerian music scene won’t stop now; he might have lost out on signing Olamide and Davido – but he has nicked another artiste, this time a familiar friend-foe.
The self-proclaimed ‘African Michael Jacskon‘, we’ve learnt has signed his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Oluwadamilare Okulaja better known to the public as Durella.
The move might however not come as a surprise to everyone, considering that Banger Lee (that’s D’banj’s new nickname by the way) and the ‘King of the Zanga’ Durella recently settled their differences. Some weeks back, D’banj and his DB Records crew released a single ‘Ibadi e‘ off their compilation album (D’ King’s Men) which featured a verse from Durella.
Fans were very excited to see the pair had reunited after a very long and well publicized fall out between the pop acts.
The beef between Durella and D’banj started in late 2006 when the latter accused Banger Lee of jacking his style of singing. Apparently when D’banj and Don Jazzy returned to Nigeria in 2004, they met up with Durella and soon became friends. Sources tell us that D’banj and Durella were quite close and were spotted together in the studio several times.
‘I remember when Durella followed D’banj, Don Jazzy to Jahborne’s music factory studio when D’banj wanted to record ‘Tongolo’ remix’, a source recounts.
Of course D’banj had blown up and had released his second album ‘Rundown’ in 2007 when Durella signed with TC Records and finally launched his career. It didn’t take long for Durella to blow up too with hits like ‘In da Zanga’, ‘Wiskolowiska’ and ‘Shayo’ gaining massive appeal. He also won the MTV and Zain ‘Advance Warning’ reality show in 2008.
Then came the interviews; Durella clearly stated that D’banj had stolen his style. The media of course jumped on it, comparing both artistes. Truthfully, they did sound very similar. And it seemed like D’banj was aware as he switched up the flow on the 2008 Nigerian Pop classic album ‘The Entertainer’. Their fight sort of fizzled out though as Durella later backed off. ‘D’banj is my man, aaah, I like his mo gbono feli feli jam’, Durella told Onome ‘BigTyme’ Oyaide in an interview on urban radio station Rhythm FM 93.7 in late 2008.
BACK TO THE MATTER
We are told that D’banj and DB Records bought out Durella’s contract from his present record labelIKONIC Music where the Pop act’s career has been in limbo since he signed in mid-2011 after ending his three-year contract with TC Records. His upcoming album ‘Back/Better/Bada’ has been pushed back one too many times
‘Durella has signed with D’banj, he (D’banj) bought out the contract, that’s what I can tell you’, a source in Durella’s camp tells us.
A rep for D’banj refused to respond to enquiries after asking us to send text messages to her mobile phone.