Thursday, October 18, 2012

To My Unborn Child...

To my Unborn Child...

I pray that you go farther
I pray you, or one of your siblings, go to Harvard
I pray me and your Momma found true love
And that we showed by example what it’s made of

I pray that we made you rich
But if we didn’t give you all you want, I pray we gave you all you need
I pray you get the best of me
I pray you’ll strive to be all that you can be

I pray that you find the one
And that you never let her go, don’t be like me son
Or babygirl, yes I pray that you find him,
And that you never let a man treat you like I treated some girlfriends

I pray God makes this clearer:
The only person standing in your way is the one in the mirror
And Most of all, I pray that you win
And that you never ever pay for any one of my sins

... To My Unborn Child.

~ B.W.

PS: This is an excerpt from a poem/song that will appear on my forthcoming "R&BW" album. I'm almost done completing the record; New singles will drop in November 2012, while the album is due to be released on Valentine's day, 2013. Stay tuned please :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ANOTHER Writer makes a fool of himself...

Hey Folks,

Pls read this link before you read my response below:

This story is almost entirely false. I will never understand why some press people take it upon themselves to unfairly slander and bring down the reputation that someone has worked extremely hard to build. Ladies and gentlemen, PLEASE do not believe everything you read. With this kind of "reporting", it's quite clear that some writers and publications are not worth the paper/website space they use.

This show was organized by Pilot NewsPapers, in December 2011 (not November). The "headliners" were the Legendary Bongus Ikwue, Omawumi, and myself.. as well as a couple of other acts. What actually happened, was that once we saw Mr Ikwue on the bill, I insisted and pleaded (along with Omawumi's Manager Mr Sunday Aare) with the Organizers that in no way will I agree for him to open for us. In my opinion, he was too much of a legend, and it would not be right for him NOT to close the show. Omawumi, myself and our respective bands made our way down to the backstage area to get ready to perform. It was then that it was told to us, that a lot of the dignitaries in the audience would soon have to leave to tend to other matters... in which case, it was important and only fair, that we let Mr Ikwue perform first, so that the dignitaries present, including Mr Vice President, and many of the Governors, and their entourages, would see him perform before they left.

In all honesty, it was BECAUSE Mr Ikwue IS such a legend, and someone we have the utmost respect, love and admiration for, that we insisted on performing FIRST. When it was revealed that a huge number of the most significant/important Guests were going to leave early, we humbly and rightfully stepped down for Mr Ikwue to perform for the full house. Shortly afterwards, a lot of the dignitaries did leave as we had been told; but as professionals, Omawumi and I still performed for those that did not have to leave so early. Infact, Omawumi was the last performer of the night. These facts will be backed up 100% by Omawumi, her manager Mr. Sunday Are, Mr. Bongus Ikwue, and the Organizers of the show, Pilot Newspapers headed by Mr. Daniel Sanni; a man that was extremely kind and courteous to all of us, and who we are all grateful to. I also strongly believe that it doesn’t matter where you are on the bill of a show; wherever you’re put, you should perform like you’re headlining; whether it’s for 5 people or 5 million people.

I'm honestly sick and tired of people being falsely represented by reporters who are too lazy to look for a real story; if this is the best you can do, please be careful of the targets you pick. I'm not the one. I will now proceed to sue this website, the writer, and everyone involved with propagating such nonsense until they delete this poor excuse for an article and post a full apology, or until a court of Law closes this business down; And for the rest of us... don’t believe everything you read. It’s sad that people already assumed this article was true and started posting all kinds of negative comments... what if I never saw it and/or didn’t have the chance to defend myself against allegations that are, infact, 100% false? To make matters worse, other websites (like, and other blogs) have rushed to further propagate this rubbish.

Dear Mr. Akinnagbe Akintomide & ... I will continue to try and do the best I can for myself, my company, and my country regardless of how much you try to spoil my name. I truly, TRULY, have much bigger fish to fry. A word should be enough for the wise. It’s either that or a lawsuit. The choice is yours.

- Banky W.

PS: I do appreciate the comments, but if it's not asking too much, I'd appreciate comments on the sites that posted the original article; some of the people there may not know that my blog exists, and so may never see my response. Well.. that is.. unless I go through with my lawsuit and then it makes the news everywhere.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Song That Nigeria Wrote...

"Every Country has the Government that it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre (French Philosopher)

Despite the fact that more than seventy percent of Nigerians live on less than $2 per day; the first thing the Government did in 2012 was to make life harder by almost tripling the price of fuel. Invariably, the cost of food, transportation, etc.. all went up, and yet the basic income/salary of the average Nigerian stayed the same. No matter how you look at it, it's unfair. If the Govt took steps to make life a little better for its citizens; if we had electricity, or Security, etc.. it wouldn't be so bad. If they invested in refineries, so that we could refine/produce our own oil products, we wouldn't be buying our own oil back at exorbitant prices, and there would be no need to subsidize fuel.

For some of us, the Fuel Subsidy Removal was just the straw that broke the camel's back. In a Country already plagued with decades of unresolved problems, the Government, in one fell swoop, made a decision, that at least in the short term, made life harder for the majority of its citizens; most of whom already had it hard to begin with. There's still nothing close to constant electricity for most of Nigeria; nothing close to quality basic education for all, healthcare, clean water, good roads, etc. In a country already dealing with tribal strife and armed robbery raining terror on citizens, we entered a new year now also having to deal with organized Terrorist Groups like Boko Haram claiming the lives of so many innocent citizens on an almost weekly basis, with the Government showing no signs of slowing them down.

But the blame should not go to the government alone. If Nigeria’s leaders are guilty of consistently providing failed, corrupt leadership, the citizens, on their own part, are guilty of consistently supplying apathy. We vote our leaders into power (or we sit at home and let others decide who should lead us). We see them inflating budget numbers, stealing, disrespecting the offices they hold, trampling on the citizens they are supposed to protect, and blatantly refusing to do the jobs we elected them for; yet we respond by saying "God dey" and "its Naija". And every election cycle comes and goes, yet the story remains the same.

We can no longer accept this of ourselves. We are to blame for the leaders we put in office. We are to blame for the state of Nigeria. We owe it to future generations, not to hand them the same Nigeria we are seeing today, or one that has deteriorated further. Change comes when we decide it should. We have two powers as citizens; the power to vote, and the power to protest. I was encouraged by the thousands of Nigerians that FINALLY took to the streets to speak up for what they believe in. This is just the beginning. We must continue to protest, non-violently, in every medium possible, until the Government starts to do a decent job, or until we are angry enough at their actions, that by the next election cycle, we change the Country by voting for the kind of people who actually deserve it, and not the status quo.

It is with this in mind, that I'm teaming up with fellow associates of the October 2011 Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI), to create a song and music video, that will hopefully inspire Nigerians worldwide to be a part of the Change they want to see in the country. The song is supposed to express the expectations we have of our Leaders, as well as what we expect of ourselves; the hope is to create a song that inspires each person to believe in the dream of a brighter future for Nigeria, and to play whatever role necessary to make that dream a reality.

However, instead of just creating a song to preach to Nigerians, we've decided to give every Nigerian a chance to be a part of it, by allowing everyone to contribute lyrics to the song. The idea is for this to be the song created "by Nigerians for Nigerians about Nigeria". We will upload an incomplete draft of the chorus idea for the song, so that everyone gets a feel for where the song is going musically. We'll then open up online mediums (Twitter, Facebook, email etc) to Nigerians all over the world to send in suggestions for lyrics. The lyrics will be collected and vetted by members of the NLI class; the final lyrics will be used to craft the verses and the final chorus for the song... and the hope is that this song, created by Nigerians for Nigeria, will travel far and wide; and the message will be communicated to every leader and citizen of this great country...

We will continue to protest by speaking up; we will continue to stand up for ourselves and for our country. And if our issues continue to be ignored, when the time comes, we will Vote for Change on EVERY level. We must, because Nigeria must change. Nigeria WILL change.

~ B.W.

PS: Step-by-Step Instructions as to how you can submit lyrics to be a part of this project will follow shortly... please join us and be involved. Thanks!!

P.P.S: Special Thanks to Segun Demuren and Tolu Ogunlesi for their guidance, suggestions, and editing in this write up.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Thoughts: The Rebirth

Hey BlogWorld...

Lonnnnnnnnng time no see/post :o)

It seems like I start off every new blog with an apology now, because I just get so caught up being busy that these days, I rarely take the time to sit down and write full blogs. I blame twitter. Seriously. I've become addicted to tweeting instead of blogging... so instead of writing full articles/posts, I've become used to cramming my thoughts and expressions into 140 Characters or less. Somewhere in his office, My HighSchool English Teacher Mr. Oke is cringing in shame. Heheheh.

Anyway, I intend to blog a little more this 2nd half of the 2011 year. I figure what better way to kick start this by bringing back the "Random Thoughts" feature I used to do. These are all essentially little thoughts/topics I want to share, which may not be of any real significance to anyone, but you may find them entertaining. These may also end up as tweets on my Twitter Timeline (@BankyW) at some point.

* The Home to your boys WizKid, Skales, and I, as well as a few other people (Managers, PA's, Friends, etc) who would CLAIM they don't live here (*side eye*) has some serious issues to tackle. One of which is Caffeine Addiction. The Caffeine Dependency in my house is alarming. U name it, they drink it... like its going out of style. Coffee. Redbull and/or all energy Drinks. Cocacola/Pepsi/etc. They're so hooked on it, you'd think it was crack. Mind you, I don't drink coffee. I also only drink Coke/Redbull when I'm mixing it with Hennessy (but that's a different addiction story for another time). One evening, I sent for a few thousand Naira worth of coke and redbull. By Noon the next day, it was totally finished. And I didn't touch ONE can. I'm just saying.

* The other issue we have is that... how do I even start to say this... There's a rat that gets high off of Cooking Gas in our crib. I shit you not. We've done everything to kill/capture/paralyze this rat, but it's not working. And the only thing it seems to actually enjoy is eating a hole in the pipe that connects the gas cylinder to the stove and then just get high off the gas. At least 4 or 5 times we've had to replace this pipe; so much so now that we've started inserting the pipe inside a metal rod to keep the rat from having its way. Sooner or later, I vow that this rat will meet its demise. The last time I woke up to find the kitchen filled with gas fumes I just started randomly screaming "COME OUT AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN!!!!" with rat poison in my hands. We've tried rat gum, poison etc. At this point my only hope is that it one day dies from a drug overdose. I wish I was joking about this.

* One fun thing about the house is that we have pet monkeys. Technically, they don't really belong to us. We live in a very nice estate, but on the backside of the estate is a swampy/forest-type land where the monkeys live. So they take the liberty of walking on top of the fences/walls of all the houses without a care in the world. I guess they feel like they own the place. Anyway, the people in my house started occasionally feeding the main Monkey in charge (whom we named Emma, short for Emmanuel, after our cook). One night, Cook Emma hooked up Monkey Emma with some correct dinner before locking up and going home. The next morning, Monkey Emma showed up at the back of my house with SEVEN other monkeys of different shapes and sizes. Literally, their whole clan was there talking 'bout "aiyyo whats up with breakfast..". They still pop by every once in a while for food. I keep warning the house that one day they'll just decide to break into the house and take off with our fridge but nobody listens to me.

* I'm going to Miami with my partners in crime, Tunde & Kunle Demuren. This is our 2nd Annual, "TheHangOverMovie-aint-got-shit-on-Us-Vacation". Last Year was Las Vegas. This year, we'll be in Miami rocking from July 21st to July 25th, along with some other friends. I'm REALLY looking forward to this; been working really hard lately so I can't wait to let loose.

* I'm on a mission to find a city that rocks as hard as Lagos. When I sang "Ain't no Party like a Lagos Party", I was speaking the gospel truth. There's absolutely nothing like partying in Lagos Nigeria. It's Legendary. Ask around you'll find it's true. Vegas came close, but that's cuz of the crazy factor; we were partying with pornstars and Micheal jackson Impersonators... hard to top that. But Lagos is out of control. If you've never partied here, put it on your list before you get too old to keep up.

*Whatever happened to Hotmail?

*Whatever happened to AOL Instant Messenger?

* Thanks to everyone that has supported the WizKid project, and EME as a whole. We're very grateful. Wiz is blowing up so fast and I'm so proud of him and the work he put in; this is only the beginning. The album Launch in Lagos was a tremendous success so I gotta give it up to everyone that worked to pull it off. IF you still don't have his "Superstar" album, do yourself a favor and stop dulling. Stay tuned for our next Superstar-in-the-making "Skales". We're working on his record now so you'll see his new videos in a few weeks. And then you'll get new music from yours truly at some point in 2011; probably in the 4th quarter.

* While we're on the topic of music, I gotta let y'all know that I'm really feeling this Frank Ocean guy's songs. There's something incredibly soulful-yet-laidback-and-deep about what he does with his music and its great. Right now I have songs like Swim Good, Novacane, and Strawberry Swirl on repeat. Look him up if you haven't already. I strongly recommend it.

* My schedule is as insane as ever.. which is weird seeing as I haven't put out a new album in like 2 years. I leave for Joburg in 2 days to shoot a Video for the Samsung Theme Song, then back to Lagos for less than 24 hours, then off to NYC again, then Washington DC, then Miami, then NYC again. And all this is in the span of 11 days AND before our Empire World Order Tour starts. All I can say is, love y'all very much, thanks for the support and for believing in us. We'll continue to try our best to never let you down...

Till the Next Time I blog...
Peace, Love & Chicken Grease.
~ B.W.

Monday, February 28, 2011

BB Rules of Engagement...


It's safe to say that almost everyone reading this is familiar with what that word above means... and if you aren’t… welcome to Earth! The Blackberry is one of the most common and most used communication devices today among young people. I love Apple as much as anyone, but let's not even get into the #teamiPhone versus #teamBlackberry debate. Until you can BBM with an iPhone, we're not hearing it.
This post is mainly directed at current BB users across the globe. I think the time has come for us to establish a simple set of rules for people who choose to use this device (I'm sure some of these rules will not work only for BB's. Feel free to use where applicable for any other smartphones).

1) Broadcast Messages - I figure we should start here because this might be the singular MOST ABUSED feature on the Blackberry device. Ladies and gentlemen, there's an occasional need to Broadcast a message to some or all of your contacts... however I must stress the word OCCASIONAL. It is supposed to be used sparingly, and only when it is important; infact, let's break broadcast messages into three permission-categories. Yes, No and Maybe.

YES: Broadcast Messages that are permissible SPARINGLY, include (but are not limited to) the following contexts: “Please check out my business/website/Product”, “Vote for someone for this competition”, and the occasional Breaking News Fact that you need to share (but which you have verified) e.g. the Deaths of Michael Jackson and Da Grin. RIP.

Spam –
You should have to be smart to own a smart phone. For goodness sake, I beseech you to realize once and for all, that you pay a certain amount of money for BB service every month. Please note, this is ALL you will EVER have to do to show the Blackberry server you are active. I must emphasize that THERE WILL NEVER BE A MESSAGE THAT YOU MUST SEND TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS OR RISK DELETION. EVER. EVER. EVER. Every couple of months, the same stupid spam resurfaces, and the same people fall for it over and over again. This nonsense must stop.

Religious (or superstitious) Threats – “Forward this message to 10 people or else blah blah blah”.

Random greetings like “happy Sunday”, “happy New Month”, “Happy Monday”, “Goodmorning everyone”, etc. While we can appreciate that most of these have good intentions, they generally just come across as annoying. You don’t walk into a building and yell Happy Sunday/Goodmorning/etc on a loudspeaker to every occupant. The same principles should be applied the next time you have that urge to broadcast this.

Random facts about your day like “I’m about to board a plane”, “Just waiting for take off”, “Just Landed”, “About to have lunch”, “what Movie should I watch?”, etc. I shouldn’t have to explain this. Just stop.

SERIAL BROADCASTING: please note that sending one broadcast per day is too much, even if it falls under the YES category. A couple per week is plenty. No matter how important the message is to you, the chances that we want a broadcast from you every hour, or every day, are slim to none. Again, you just come off as annoying. Failure to adhere to this can and will result in your being deleted.

Musicians, Managers and their Entourages: It’s okay to send a broadcast message every once in a while about your new single/album/video. It’s NOT okay to send one every time the song is playing on Radio, or the Video is on TV. It’s also not okay to abuse the privilege by sending the same messages repeatedly in a short amount of time. One or two is enough. Trust me we saw it the first time.

The occasional Joke that is REALLY funny. The danger with Jokes is that these days, many people have MANY contacts. So when you get the same joke 5 or 10 or 50 times, it’s annoying. So whatever joke you choose to share, please make sure it’s original, relatively new, or so damn hilarious that we won’t mind seeing it repeatedly.

Traffic or Emergency Alerts: These are always sent with good intentions, so we appreciate the thoughts behind them. However, too many times, there are no quantifiable measures in the messages, so they become spam. For instance, if there is a major roadblock (or an emergency situation), please also include the DATE AND TIME that this is occurring. I’ve gotten the same traffic/armed-robbery alerts for a week from different contacts… it’s either people are just resending the same messages days after the unfortunate incident occurred, or we’re witnessing record breaking traffic/robbery times. No armed robbery lasts for a week. Even Anini wasn’t that brave (inside joke to my Nigerian Friends).

2) Display Names
Your display name is totally under your control; feel free to call yourself whatever you like; it is your right as a blackberry owner. However, please be considerate of some of us who are trying to get a hold of you, but do not realize you’ve now spelt your name in Arabian or Greek Symbols. Some of us have a lot of contacts, and it’s really annoying when we’re trying to find you, only to discover you’ve changed your display name from.. say… Jane… to Jane spelt in Chinese, or “My luvlies”, or “a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets – Mexico – madly in luv”. Henceforth, please try to ensure that your display name at least contains the name we know you by, in some form that is type-able when we try to search for you. Please note that the examples I listed above are actually 100% real, I did not make them up. Also, we realize that everyone can re-name contacts; but we shouldn’t have to do it just to keep track of you. Afterall, it’s just easier to delete your over-expressive self.

3) BBM Add Requests
The BBMessenger should not be mistaken for Facebook/Myspace/Twitter. Your BB Pin is actually specific to your phone, and thus should be viewed more like a phone number. It is private and should only be given out with your consent. You also probably shouldn’t attempt to add people who don’t know you and haven’t directly given you permission to. If you’re interested in someone, it’s always better to get their phone number directly from said-person, rather than to stumble on it somehow and call them out of the blue. The same principles should be applied with Pin Sharing.

4) Contact Deletion
People delete contacts for a bunch of reasons. Maybe they have too many contacts and are trying to clear space by removing people they don’t keep in touch with. Maybe they are tired of the 5,000 broadcast messages you send per week. Maybe they just don’t want too many people, or just you specifically, on their BB anymore. It’s okay to delete, and to be deleted. Times change; contact lists do as well. NO harm, no foul. There are many more people to chat with.

5) PING’s!!!
A conversation should NEVER be started with a PING!!! It is supposed to be used as a tool to gain attention when someone is not reading his/her messages. The proper protocol is to send one or two messages and THEN PING when your messages have not been read. Not the other way around. I realize this might not be a big deal to everyone, but it’s just… chat courtesy… if you will. It’s like typing in CAPS LOCK. It just feels like you’re shouting on line. Not necessary, and annoying.

There are many more rules we can add, and we may choose to revise this list as time goes on, but hopefully this is a good start to a more pleasurable experience for us all. Please spread the word. And Delete a Serial Broadcaster today.


Banky W. and other like-minds.

PS: Sooner or later, we’ll have to do a “Rules of Engagement” for Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned. :o)~

PPS: Please never take me too seriously in these matters. I'm kinda just kidding. Kinda. But it's food for BBthought. I didn't mean to get anyone upset or offended. Just having fun AND trying to reduce the number of broadcasts I get everyday. Love y'all!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Keep The Change (A PMAN Tale)

"When you're finished changing, you're finished" - Benjamin Franklin

PMAN (The Performing Musicians' Employers Association of Nigeria) had their Annual Delegates Conference to Elect New Leadership for the next two years on Wednesday the 26th of January. The Conference was held in Osogbo, Osun State and hosted Delegates, Members and Representatives of PMAN from all over Nigeria who were present to decide the future of the Union. The conference also saw the brief attendance of PMAN's founding President, the Legendary King Sunny Ade, current Governor of Osun State Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, as well as Former President Chief Tony Okoroji.

The truth of the matter is that, over the years, there has been a major disconnect between PMAN and the very professionals it is supposed to represent and/or protect. At its inception, this is a snapshot of who the founding members were: Chief (Mrs.) Christy Essien Igbokwe, King Sunny Ade (KSA), Evang. Sunny Okosuns (late), Chief Ebenezer Obey, Lemmy Jackson, Tee-Mac Omatshola Iseli, Emma Ogosi, Laolu Akins, Funmi Adams, Oby Onyioha, Maliki Showman, Harry Mosco, King Pago, Bobby Benson etc. Anyone remotely familiar with Nigerian Music History will agree that this was in the very least, an excellent representation of who were the significant PERFORMING MUSICIANS of that era. Part of the Union's Constitution that these great artistes put together can be found online at

Fast forward to today; PMAN is now a shadow of what it used to be, and essentially a disgrace to the legacy those that came before us put forth. Nigerian Musicians are achieving worldwide success in leaps and bounds, yet a snapshot of today's union shows that absolutely NONE of the significant musicians representing Nigeria are involved in the runnings of PMAN. Nigerian Musicians have accomplished great things in spite of a Union that no longer cares or caters to their needs; in spite of a Union that has been run down by greed, poor leadership and an archaic mentality; in spite of a Union that has alienated the very Professionals it is supposed to care for.

They say you should "be the change you want to see in the world". It was with this in mind, that today's crop of Nigerian Musicians attempted to rejoin PMAN en masse, and get involved in its leadership. We heard through the grapevine that the current administration's leadership term had come to end, and that the Organization was as frustrated as we the artistes were about the state of things. There were tales of offices shutting down, of staff salaries being unpaid, of rundown or nonexistent studios around the country and a total lack of organization; and so the artistes held a series of meetings. We all came up with a team of executives amongst ourselves, that we felt represented a cross section of Nigerian Music today. A team that did not necessarily comprise of the most popular musicians, but a team that on the one hand represented a solid cross section of Nigerian Music, as well as one that would be willing and able to put in the work necessary to right a sinking ship. The team included names like: eLDee The Don, Mr Cool, KSB, M.I., Sound Sultan, Ed Jatto, Efe Omoruegbe of Now Music etc.

The team made the journey to Osogbo along with other people including D'banj, Don Jazzy, Jesse Jagz, Wande Coal, 2Shotz, Dr Sid, D'Prince, Ice Prince, Baba Dee, and yours truly Banky W. Other artistes who were part of the meetings but did not make the trip included P'Square, 9ice, Tuface Idibia, WizKid and Skales. That we were able to assemble such an incredible cast of people under such short notice was a miracle in and of itself, but it also goes to show the frustration with the way things are and the willingness to work to bring about change. The purpose of our making the trip was to appeal to the powers that be at PMAN to vote for and put in the new team of leaders, and give them (us) a chance at resuscitating a failed Union; a chance at restoring PMAN to its glory days; a chance at restoring it to a place of relevance and a chance at Uniting the Body with the very members its supposed to comprise of. Safe to say I believe even the founders would have been proud at the Contingent of Artistes behind this movement, as I'm sure that's what they envisioned when they started this years ago.

What we found when we arrived in Osogbo was heart breaking. A system that is in rot and decay; a mindset that is so stuck in the ways of the past and an unwillingness to accept the realities of the present, much less step into the future. One would think that PMAN officials and delegates would accept the appeals coming from its Musicians; if they had accepted us, PMAN would automatically become a force to be reckoned with overnight as it would now TRULY represent all Nigerian Musicians, young and old; those in the limelight and those in the twilight of their careers.

Sadly, this was not to be. We came with respect on our minds, appealing to those that had been in the rundown system for years, to let us help rebuild it. We came "dobale-ing"; we pleaded, begged, offered all kinds of opportunities and the resources at our disposal. We offered to lead but to do so by serving. We offered to help restore relevance; to empower PMAN Nationally and at the State levels and so much more.

We were met with resistance, bitterness, slander and ignorance. People so afraid of any kind of change that they would rather cling on to a sinking ship than reach out and get on to a helicopter. And those that were apparently willing to accept the change, expected us to play the same old ignorant tactics that our corrupt Politicians play to get there. Ironically, what we saw yesterday was reflective of what is wrong with Nigeria as a whole.

We have one message to PMAN, and to Nigeria as a whole. Change will come. It will. They say the only thing that remains constant in Life is Change. The fact that Change will come is inevitable; we can choose to embrace it or evade it, but it will be to our progress or peril.. our development or demise. History is rife with instances where people were given an opportunity to choose either of these options, and the consequences that followed. PMAN was given an opportunity to choose to make History and to choose to change the failed ways of the past, and it declined, because we refused to stoop to reducing our standards. Dear PMAN Delegates (and Nigerian Politicians), please understand that we will NOT buy (or sell) Votes. What we are working for is so much more long term and the payout is infinitely greater than the here and now.
What they refused to realize is this: the ACTUAL Performing Musicians and Recording Artistes in Nigeria are determined to right the wrongs of our industry, with or without PMAN. That they declined is inconsequential to us. Our journey continues, but we strongly believe that they will remember and regret this day.

Our message to PMAN is as Benjamin Franklin once said “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished”.

- Banky W.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Banky on Bella...

It's been a little hectic lately because I have so much to do in terms of collaborations in the studio and a host of videos we're about to start shooting, so I haven't had much time to do any writing. In any case, I recently did an interview with Bella Naija that turned out quite nice. Shoutouts to their reporter Glory Edozien who did the interview and the entire Bella Naija team. I've decided to copy + paste the interview here for your reading pleasure until I return with more random rants. Hope u enjoy it. (The original link can be found at ) Lemme know what you think... cheers!!

My Banky W Experience: The Interview! (by Glory Edozien)

I personally believe I was the envy of most women as Olubankole Wellington, aka Banky W and I sat down for a quick repartee at Sway bar. In my mind, I imagined it was a blind date that would somehow end up with Banky going down on one knee, confessing undying love for me and eventually proposing marriage. Alas it was not to be! This was strictly a BN correspondent/musical artist relationship. So there I sat beside one of the hottest men, both musically and physically, ever to grace the Nigerian entertainment scene behaving like butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, while my mind focused on other things not entirely print worthy☺.

With 3 albums under his belt there is no doubt in our minds that Banky is Nigeria’s, and perhaps even Africa’s answer to RnB. From sultry songs like Ay Mami and Strong Thing to party stoppers like Lagos Party, we can categorically say that Banky has mastered an art that some people have been struggling to achieve for years.

The Interview itself lasted about 50minutes. Banky and I chatted freely about his love for music and even shared some stories on the challenges he’d overcome so far. Without doubt he was easy to talk to, confident and incredibly knowledgable about his craft, definitely one of the best interviews I have done…..

The music in the man…..

We would then go to hair and nail salons in the neigbourhood, and beg the owners to let me sing for their costumers and if they let us we would do a little acapella.

BN: How did you get into music?

Banky W: I’d been flirting with music all of my life. I don’t remember exactly how old, but I know I was incredible young when I knew that I wanted to be a singer. What tends to happen is, as a child, you have dreams of what you want to do whether its being a policeman or a fire man but you take care of life. You go to school, work but you don’t do anything about the dream. Everybody who knew me knew that I sang because I was always singing in school or church. When I was in university in New York, I got together with a friend of mine and was like, ‘we are always joking about this music thing, if we don’t put money towards it, it will pass us by’. So at that point I hit the studio, I probably started recording seriously around 2002 and it built it from there.

BN: You’ve achieved so much in your career already, but what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Banky W: For anyone in this line of work, there will always be rough roads. Everyone you see with a certain level of success has had times when they paid their dues. My story is no different. There are some years when you put in a lot more than you get out. The biggest challenge when you are starting is getting people to stop and listen to what you have to say because there are so many people doing music.
When I started, we started selling my CDs out the trunks of our cars. In NY, my two friends and I would put our money together and print a couple hundred CDs. We would then go to hair and nail salons in the neighborhood, and beg the owners to let me sing for their costumers and if they let us we would do a little acapella. My friends couldn’t sing so they would be in the background snapping their fingers and I would sing for the ladies and then we’d sell our CDs five dollars a piece. That’s really where my first income from music came from. Those are some of the challenges and they never really go away, they just get bigger and different.

BN: But that must take an incredible amount of Self confidence to do that

Banky W: Yes, absolutely. It definitely takes a lot of self confidence but it also takes having a support system no matter how small. There is no question, I wouldn’t have come this far if I didn’t have one or two or three friends who where like ‘Yo! This my guy can do this thing’! They kind of tap into the dream at an early stage when there is no payout from it whatsoever. And we were all spending our savings and drinking garri together.

I'll tell you this funny story, there was this time in Yankee in school that we were so broke! I used to go with my friend to his church in Brooklyn because they served food after the service. There were a couple of Sundays when we would just go there and pack enough food to last us a few days. God puts you through all of that, so you become a stronger person and you learn how to deal with not having everything. Shout out to my guys that really held me down. They know who they are. There are always moments of self doubt but when you see your guy put in his own hard earned money, you are like well, if I don’t believe it for myself , I better believe for this guy. So shout out to Tunde, Tino and Segun and everyone else.

BN: If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?

Banky W: There are quite a few things that I have always been interested in and might have been good at. I studied industrial engineering, so when I graduated I was working for an engineering company and at that point I was doing pretty well. I could have continued and would still be doing okay. So I actually took a risk quitting that. I have always been interested in teaching. My only problem with teaching is that I feel they don’t make enough money for the incredible job they do. I am very success driven so that was the draw back. But you never know when I am done with all this I might decide to go and start teaching somewhere. I was also pretty good at drawing, so I could have been an artist. I am also very much an entrepreneur. So anyone of those things could have been my other job but I am glad that music has worked out so far.

BN: SO are we! Your love for music is evident but are there things in your life that have suffered because of that love?

Banky W: I think there are positive and negatives in everything you do. Now I thank God for the success that I have and I am very grateful for it. But you end up in a situation where your relationships suffer and not just with your girlfriend but really with family members and friends. You are always on the road and when you are not on the road you are so tired. Eventually you are not as in touch with people as you should be. It comes with the territory, you try not to let too many people down along the way and you pray for the wisdom to balance it; Because at the end of the day you don’t want to be old and successful yet unhappy. My family is the most important thing in my life, so for anyone to loose that or never have anyone to love it’s really sad. If you have everything in the world and you don’t have that it doesn’t mean much.

BN: The Nigerian music industry has doubtlessly come a long way, but how do you see it progressing?

Banky W: I think the BET nominations are yet another testament to how far Nigerian music has come. To see two of our home acts nominated with best international acts around the world and you still have Shade and Wale who both have Nigerian roots. I think it’s a beautiful thing and I am proud of where we are.

But I think what we need is to really bring the music industry up as a whole. We need to enforce certain laws and put certain things into effect, it would automatically elevate our music. That is what is holding us back. When you can start paying royalties you will see a significant number of investments from record companies around the world and from those of us that have record companies locally too. The whole infrastructure would make more sense and you will be able to do more and achieve more musically. It will no longer be an industry based on shows.

He does the Ladies Strong Thing

I am the kind of person that would surprise a girl with flowers at work, pull a spontaneous trip out of no where or the quiet dinner on the beach. For me romance is spontaneity.

BN: Are you single?

Banky W: Yes. It’s tough. It is a question of time. I literally have very little time on my hands. This has been the busiest year so far in my career. Within the next 30days I will need to travel to Benin, Abuja, Yola, the States, Dublin and South Africa. My schedule is hectic and to be able to build a relationship you need to commit a certain amount of time and energy. I’d like to think that I will eventually make a great boyfriend and husband. I try to be a romantic guy. I am very spontaneous. I like to enjoy my relationships. When the time is right I will be able to do all of that.

Also, apart from time, there’s the question of trying to find the right person which is the million dollar question. Because in my line of work you tend to meet with either real big fans or people that you just don’t really identify with. There is always the question of whether this person will love the real me. Everything is so jumbled together because my music personality and my real personality are kind of the same... So I don’t want them to hate the fact that I do music but then I don’t want them to be consumed by it either. There are so many uncertainties that having a relationship becomes so much harder. Also being in a relationship with me will definitely take a toll on whoever is with me because my job comes with a lot of female attention and that is hard for anyone to deal with. But I believe that God still loves me enough to give me the right person to settle down with.

BN: What sort of girls do you find attractive?

Banky W: Physical beauty is important to a certain extent because you have to be attracted to someone to want to get to know more. I like girls that are independent and ambitious, that I can have a real conversation with. Because if you are beautiful and dumb when we get past the physical intimacy there is nothing more to be said. I like fun girls; girls who love music and can dance because I love to dance. If you can cook it’s a huge plus because I am a sucker for good food. I am not a sweet tooth; I don’t eat cakes, candy, chocolate etc. I will eat ice cream once in a blue moon but if you give me goat meat, rice, chicken or beef, I am VERY happy. I also like friendly, go-getter girls that have their own thing going on. So I can be inspired by what they do as well.

BN: What Physical attributes do you find attractive?

Banky W: I’m not into ridiculously skinny or ridiculously overweight. I like the grey area in the middle where they is ample supply of everything. In terms of height I could go either way I have dated girls that are taller or shorter than me. I am attracted by girls who have a semblance of the whole package. You carry your self well, you know how to dress, and there’s a kind of x factor kind of thing. I have been attracted to all kinds of women, it’s difficult to explain but I know that thing I like when I see it.

BN: Would you describe yourself as romantic?

Banky W: I am the kind of person that would surprise a girl with flowers at work, pull a spontaneous trip out of no where or the quiet dinner on the beach. For me, a big part of romance is spontaneity. For example, there was a time over Valentines Day where instead of just celebrating it the one day, I did like a three-day thing just to vary it up otherwise it gets boring. I think one of the keys to having a good relationship is to keep it interesting.

Keeping it Grown and Sexy

I am a grown man, so I decided to keep it sexy grown and sophisticated.

BN: How would you describe your sense of style?

Banky W: I don’t know how I would define it. I think it is very much who I am and how I feel at that particular moment. When I moved back from New York, it was that point in time when it was fashionable to wear the Arabian scarf around your neck, So I had a lot of that; but then I went to a show and it seemed like 95% of the Nigerian music industry was in that show, dressed alike. It was like we were in some huge boy band. Just crazy! It looks nice, but we can’t all be on stage in a t-shirt and jeans and an Arabian scarf. At that point I realized I had to do something different.

I am a grown man, so I decided to switch it up and keep it grown and sophisticated. From that time I switched to ties and suits consciously. I mean shout out to everyone that dresses that way, there is nothing wrong with it. I just wanted something different. Nowadays I vary it up between dressy and casual, but it depends on my mood and what’s going on at the time. In any case it’s the same issue with music; if you make the same music everyone is making you won’t differentiate yourself and you could get lost in the crowd.

BN: Who are your favorite designers?

Banky W: Mai Atafo, Okunoren Twins, Muyiwa Oshindero and Babs Familusi. I rarely buy suits from outside the country now. Those are the people I patronize.

BN: You’ve done so much already this year, but what’s next on your agenda?

Banky W: Right now I am doing a lot of shows and on some tours but I am also going to be shooting a few more videos for some songs off the W experience album. The ‘Thief My Kele’ video is next on the list. I have two new artists, which I am incredibly excited about. I think they are two of the most talented young Nigerian men I have seen in a long time-Wizkid and Skales. So I am executive producing both their albums. We should be shooting WizKid’s ‘Holla At Your Boy’ and “Tease Me” videos anytime now. The same goes for Skales with ‘Heading for a Grammy’ and ‘Be Mine’.

I have a charity organization, which provides university scholarships to Nigerian universities called The “I am capable” Scholarship Fund. I am also involved with the Light Up Nigeria and Enough is Enough Nigeria campaigns. In addition, I have an initiative with MI and Eldee to get young people to go out and register to vote. It aims to get young people involved in the future of Nigeria. At the moment the initiative is called ‘ready for change’, but that name might change. Its kind of like a vote or die thing because you see people like Barack Obama become president and you know that was possible because the young people were interested in the future of America and I think young people should be interested in the future of Nigeria.