I joined fans and foes of Dbanj to await the release of his latest single…the hype was high and the social media was going wild with frenzy. Last week, we were finally hit by the single “Finally” and the lunch of the dance competition that accompanies the song. While I was happy we have a new song, I could not hide by dismay for the release of yet another “ordinary” song by an “extraordinary” Dbanj. The song was at best flat…the beats are danceable alright but there is nothing more to the song…the beats did not sound original…it came across to me as a poor attempt to create a model patterned after a Don Jazzy hybrid with Gangnam style spiced with some African skank…nothing really original.
I have been a long time admirer of Dbanj’s music and I have noticed the change in fortunes that have characterised his career in-between what I call the two phases of his musical life.
Phase 1: Dbanj-Don Jazzy, MoHits Records.
There is no doubt Dbanj is an extremely talented artist and performer. We all fell in love with the Kokomaster and could not wait for his next song to drop and he did not disappoint us as he dropped hit after hit…we went crazier and danced with wanton abandon to hit after hit from ‘Don Jazzy again’. The match between Don Jazzy and Dbanj was almost perfect…like one made in heaven as everything they touched turns to gold. And so rose his fame, and fan base just as his bank account grew fat and shapeless. The world watched in awe at the best art to come out of Africa…African Micheal Jackson…a trail blazer. That was Dbanj of Phase 1.
Phase 2: Dbanj- Kanye West – G.O.O.D Music
Then came the year 2011 and the news filtered in…first as a rumour …Dbanj wanted to part ways with Don Jazy and MoHits…later it was confirmed…Dbanj has left Mohits and is now signed to G.O.O.D Music by Kanye West. This news was met with mixed reactions both for and against the move. Over two years down the line and we really are yet to get any big hit from the kokomaster. What is happening? We don’t know…one thing we know for sure is if he was still with Don Jazzy, we would have heard more from him in-between this time as Don Jazzy has gone on to release more hits with the other members of his New Mavin records. Maybe there is really nothing good about G.O.O.D Music for Dbanj.
Isaac Newton during an interview was referred to as a giant of the time, but he quickly corrected the interviewer that he was no giant but indeed a dwarf who has only seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants. So while he may appear to be head and shoulder above all his peers, Newton was quick to recognize the importance of TEAM in his winning formula. This can be a lesson which Dbanj has failed to learn or maybe he is about to learn.
Talent is important, but talent is not all it takes. Just like a tree alone does not form a forest and a single broom does not sweep a room, we need to learn to identify, acknowledge and keep in place the support structure that enhances our talent.
Messi is the Messi he is today not entirely based on his talent alone but also on his team which played a game patterned to his strength. Torres is one guy I love to hate…his talent is also undeniable and he was at his best when he played for Liverpool. He played in a team that played to his strengths and enhanced his talents which made him grow into the best striker he is. He moved to Chelsea and the rest is history. His talent is still there no doubt (he scored 4 against Tahiti right?J) but Chelsea does not play around his strength.
When we taste success in life, we are tempted to grow and to out do our best. In our efforts to do so, we easily forget the foundation on which we stand, we forget the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We can decide like Dbanj to leave MoHit for G.O.O.D or like Newton to acknowledge the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Take a look around…identify the support structure in your life…your true friends? Family? Hold onto them…I love the quote “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” I think this may not be true in all cases but in this case, it surely does fit.