Saturday, March 25, 2023

Celeb Style Profile: The Dapper-Dressing Koko Master, D’Banj

You can’t talk well-dressed African celebrities without mentioning Afropop singer, D’Banj – one of Africa’s most loved stars, not only because of his music but due to his sense of style.

With a wardrobe that has matured well since he debuted on the scene in 2005 – from his energetic Fela Kuti-inspired style performances to his recent controversial ThisDay cover and many red carpet appearances – we at SPICE have taken note, and incase you’ve missed his evolution in fashion, we’re exploring it here, below;

With his best friend and producer, Donjazzy in 2007
It’s been a long journey since Dbanj debuted his first single “Tongolo” in 2004, and in 2005, together with his then partner, Don Jazzy (pictured here with Dbanj in 2007), the No Long Thing album was released, announcing the star as the Koko Master – the term ‘koko’ taking on a variety of meanings and today being one of the most used slang words in Nigeria.

dbanj 6
His first album quickly earned him the Best Newcomer award at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards, to which he showed up looking flash in all white, to match his white limousine…

Performing at the 2007 Hip Hop World Awards
By 2007, the newcomer became a star and D’Banj took his performances to a whole new level, as well as his style, performing shirtless and in towels – drawing huge inspiration from the legendary Fela Kuti. Here he is performing at the 2007 Hip Hop World Awards, which went down a storm.

That year, it became clear D’Banj wasn’t just a flash in the pan – he and Don Jazzy launched their record label, MoHits Records, signing Wande Coal, Dr Sid, D’Prince and his brother Kay Switch, and releasing a sophomore album, Curiiculum Vitae. Together with his colleagues, their style represented all things young, hip and fresh.

In 2008, D’Banj released his third album The Entertainer, defying critics who said he couldn’t sing and that he was purely an entertainer. By 2009, D’Banj – with his popular songs “Gbono Feli Feli,” “Suddenly,” “Fall in Love” and “Igwe” had also started a reality show, took the position as the Fela-figure of Afro Beats and became a friend to the President. His wardrobe had also moved onto bigger and better things…

Interviewing President Goodluck Jonathan during his 2009 presidential campaign
Interviewing President Goodluck Jonathan during his 2009 presidential campaign, D’Banj rocks a tailored look, proving that he polished up well.

His style went from Hip to gentleman dapper but one thing was consistent over the years - his love for sunglasses, neck chain and statement wristwatches became his signature.
His style had gone from hip to mature and D’Banj was regularly seen dressed gentlemanly in dapper garms. The one thing that remained consistent was his love for sunglasses, chains and statement wristwatches, which are now signature to his style.

At the 2011 BET Awards wearing a Christian Louboutin shoes
At the 2011 BET Awards, the star was seen wearing a risk-taking green velvet blazer with white tailored pants, together with Christian Louboutin shoes. And, of course D’Banj accessorised with a pair of shades and a standout watch.

That same year, D’Banj and his longtime partner Don Jazzy did not only release the remix of his hit single “Mr Endowed ft. Snoop Dogg,” but they signed a record deal with Kanye West. Of course, D’Banj’s wardrobe was about to change again.

Spotted with Kanye West at the Kanye West Fashion, Paris Fashion Week 2011
Spotted with Kanye West at Paris Fashion Week in 2011.

This association with one of hip hop’s most trendy stars welcomed back D’Banj’s days of urban dressing, and he started his own trend of wearing two wristwatches at once, which he claimed was inspired by Kanye West.

Spotted wearing two wristwatches at a press conference
D’Banj is pictured here at a press conference rocking the two-watch trend.

wearing two wristwatches
…And her he is again in double watches, at the 7th annual Luda Day Weekend in 2011.

His love for luxury though is also expressed in things other than his wardrobe…

Dban'j with his new Aston Martin Vantage in 2011. An international music deal, an international top charting single, and D’banj was on course to become a world star.
D’Banj with his new Aston Martin Vantage in 2011.

With an international music deal and an international top charting single, D’Banj was on course to become a world renowned star. But by 2012, D’Banj and his longtime best friend and partner announced they were parting ways. Ultimately though, this would be the fall of the Mohits empire and the rise of D’Banj (and his look).

At rapper, Naeto C's wedding in 2012
At rapper, Naeto C’s wedding in 2012, D’Banj turned up ridiculously well-dressed in a suit and bow tie.

Hosting the second edition of Music Meets Runway in 2012
A look he also rocked while hosting the second edition of Music Meets Runway in 2012.

The star may have become a lone ranger, but that didn’t stop the entertainer from evolving into not only a trend-setter, but a statement-maker; a more man with the confidence to do (and wear) whatever he wants!

Rocking two different Guiseppe Zanotti pair of sneakers at the MTV Awards in South Africa
Rocking two different Guiseppe Zanotti sneakers at once, D’Banj performed at the MTV Awards in South Africa, and started another risky trend.

up in his $25,000 - N4m Suit Of Money.
But the star has maintained his suited and booted look, stepping out in an Okunoren Twins “Dollar Bills” suit for the DKM concert in June, 2013.

wearing a uniquely designed glittering sequined jacket. Sources hinted that the two-piece black outfit cost over one million naira and was sent in from the United States.... For the Hennesy Artistry finale in October 2013, D’Banj was spotted wearing a uniquely designed glittering sequinned jacket, which sources hinted cost over 1m Naira, and had been sent in especially from the United States. His love for fine things certainly hasn’t been forgotten…

Today, Dbanj might have lost his crown and his industry to young acts that are springing up by the day as he seemed to have failed in his quest to conquer America after he quit G.O.O.D Music but he is still a star to be reckoned with and a personality Africa still loves and adore.
Today, the star might compete for his crown within the industry alongside newer, younger acts that are springing up by the day, but D’Banj is still a musician to be reckoned with and a personality Africa loves and adores – not just because of his music and performances, but for his flashy, memorable style.

With his award at the just concluded 2014 World Music Awards in Monaco wearing the Okunoren Twins
And proving his worth, here’s D’Banj pictured with his award at the 2014 World Music Awards held in May in Monaco, where the star rocks another Okunoren Twins suit together with the shoe style of the moment, the skater shoe.

With his consistently stylish appearances, it is safe to say D’Banj is Africa’s most stylish Male artist, but do you agree? Share your thoughts via the comments box or on Twitter via @SPICETVAFRICA.


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the Hennessy Artistry finale 2013 at Federal Palace Hotel …

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