D'Banj & The Fedz talk new music & changing the image of Africa

RnB/Hip Hop | Thursday 31st August 2017 | Patience

Global superstar D'Banj teams up with up & coming London based collective The Fedz on his latest track 'Comment Ca Va'. The track is an upbeat number ranging from soul, R&B to D'Banj's more well-known sound of Afropop. Speaking on the single D'Banj says, "I like the spin Bluey Robinson put on the track."

Commonly known as Mr Blue within The Fedz, members Q, Commander & King make it clear this is just the beginning for the collective.

Handpicked by the General in the Mi7 studio in West London, where they all individually came together to work on their own sound, you could argue The Fedz's endless stream of members were fated to be what they are now.

Made up collectively of Bambi, Major, The Hun, Ace, KGB, Money, Dr No and with even more names in the background, the group are bringing something new to the world of music.

"For the Fedz, we have got an album coming," says the Commander. "We have got some more singles coming, definitely some big bangers that we are going to drop, we are going to take over the world!"

The Fedz are staying true to their word, with their latest collab with a man who has won numerous MTV, MOBO & BET awards and sold over 5 million albums worldwide, D'Banj's relaxed and easy going attitude is unlike what you would expect from an international star.

Born in Zaria in Northern Nigeria, D'Banj grew up in the North of Lagos, staying true to his roots the artist hopes to change the current perception of how people see Africa "cause they always see Africa, especially in Nigeria as having just crude oil as a natural resource, as the biggest thing, but we always knew that the biggest thing that we have, just like Hollywood is the content."

"Today is the age of the content world and content is the new crude oil. I have always said that if we can refine our content just like you refine crude oil and sell it as petrol, kerosene or diesel you can always refine the content as ringtones, streaming, live events, even movies."

"Nollywood which is the movie industry in Nigeria, is probably the largest in the world after Hollywood and the Indian one, we have what it takes but it has not been monetised properly, so while we are striving in the entertainment industry, my goal is to make the world notice content which is the entertainment industry. It is the value, it is the natural resource. And I believe that we are on our way there, and that is why we have the whole of UK now even playing Afrobeats and you even have Netflix investing a lot of money, into buying movies such as Beasts of No Nation."

Achieving greater international success with Don Jazzy in 2010, when the duo released 'Mr Endowed' off their label Mo Hits, the single saw them working with the likes of Snoop Dogg on the remix. It was the perfect track to push off their next one, 'Oliver Twist' which saw them cracking the UK effortlessly. The song reached no. 2 on the British R&B charts and was top 10 in the UK singles chart in 2012.

Unfortunately Don Jazzy & D'Banj disbanded in the same year along with their popular label Mo Hits, despite the setbacks D'Banj has stayed focused. Creating the CREAM platform which stands for Creative Reality Entertainment Art & Music, a business that aims to empower African artists.

"The CREAM is a platform that I taught myself which was launched last year on August 1st, with Africa's biggest mobile telecommunication MTN, and the reason we did that is because we realised that there are so many youths across Africa that have content with them that need help, in distribution, need help in marketing, that need help in sponsorship, and need all this help but cannot get it."

"So we will be partnering in the future with more of the global publishing companies, the record labels the distribution companies movie industry, just to make sure that we can bring that visibility to my people, it's a call thing for me, and that's what the Cream Platforms stands for."

"But that will be working side by side with my album, because of course the album, which is the music, is still the foundation of the reason why people love D'Banj," he adds.

"So I have put in a lot to making sure that once we drop the album we will be going on tour, we will be going everywhere in the world, but more importantly I will be going with winners from the CREAM platform, artists from the CREAM Platform, people that can showcase their talent, I can use what I have to help what they want so that is the future for me, just being that visible hope that I have always wanted to be."

Similar to D'Banj The Fedz are also looking to make a difference in their own way, and one of the ways they are doing this is bringing a little bit of joy to the streets of London with spontaneous live performances.

 "I think one that sticks out in my mind, probably is when we first ever went to Oxford street," says the Commander.  "Because in my mind Oxford Circus is like a forbidden place. It's like Buckingham Palace you can't just go there start trouble and do what you want. And we went there, played the music loud, threw a party, it was the best feeling man, to do something that I have never seen in my life and also I have never heard of anyone doing in my life it was just the best feeling for me. 

However for King, there have been too many incredible moments to pick from, " I don't really have a favourite one, they were all really awesome but in different places. Every time it's amazing when you see the General speaking to the police, he's kind of like a Jedi, he says 'there is no problem' and there is no problem, and they don't arrest us, it's unbelievable!"

"I mean as King said they were all incredible. But on the first one I DJed, I got called up to DJ on the back of this truck," Q confesses.

"I got told, 'come get on the back of this track and just DJ', I go on and there is another DJ there and there is nobody around, it is a dead neighbourhood and I am thinking, ' Oh wow.' So me and the other DJ had to flip a coin and of course I lose, so I have gotta start now. Literally, two seconds in the tune some woman comes out screaming, 'Put the sound down, put the sound down!' She's screaming and I am like, God, this going to be a bad day."

"Then we moved on to Shepherd's Bush, Camden and it started to get really wild and by the time we got to Oxford Circus it's just magical. To see how many people come together and how many people unite just for music and just the pureness of good times, and the energy that people have when that happens. It is the fact that it is unsuspected that people just really go crazy."

Laughing as they recount their stories it now seems like the perfect moment to load the boys with the killer question, what would they fill a swimming pool with if it could be anything?

"I would fill it up with a bunch of lamps, and when you rub those lamps a gene comes out and it gives you three wishes, but then I would have like internet 3 wishes," says King.

"You got a swimming pool, ah, this is from Africa, you got a swimming pool and you want to fill it with all the patience's in the world in the pool, let us be there, in the bikini and let us start the swimming, and we are loving the life, please make sure it is summer, summer, time," D'Banj adds excitedly.

But Q, isn't swayed he wants a pool, "full of champagne, I like that, keep it like that."

"Okay, so basically, if I was going to collaborate our pools, I would have D'Banji's pool, with the women and the chocolates," says Commander. "And I would have Q's pool with champagne, for everyone, the chocolates, and then in my pool, I would have cake, so we can all have cake, champagne and be happy, and have a nice time. And then if King wants to help out with his lamps..."

King interrupts laughing, "Actually I want a pool filled with cutlery and glasses so we can all drink champagne and eat the cake."

All the boys laugh together as Commander settles it, "And there you go that's our pool party."

Make sure to follow the Fedz on Twitter - Facebook -  Instagram & D'Banj on Twitter - Facebook - Instagram