Reekado Banks’ voice was the first we heard on the most disruptive jam of 2014. To borrow from Will Ferrell’s lines in the movie -Blade of Glory, nobody still knows what Dorobucci means but it was provocative and it genuinely kept the people going. Everywhere you turned, it was doro this,doro that.
When that song was released, it was really Don Jazzy’s way of sharing the blueprint of his new Mavin Formation. Tiwa, Dr Sid and D’Prince would continue to cater to the grumpy Mohits audience while winking Korede and bubbly D’ija were perfectly positioned for a less biased younger audience.
Reekado Banks, however, was the obvious multi-functional asset with the ability to cut across both target markets seamlessly. He was very capable of creating juvenile bangers like he did with Chop am, just as much as he could make lyrically substantial music like Katapot, and still be taken seriously.
‘If you do not redefine yourself, if you’re not exciting, nobody will to listen to you.’
January 2018 has been one looooooong boring stretch. A day after my meet up with Reekado Banks, I nearly passed out laughing from a Lasisi inspired video he posted on his IG, talking about how 5 months had gone by without January being anywhere close to over.
He didn’t really enter the new year with any unrealistic resolutions except to continuously preserve and protect his happiness. So far, his happiness seemed genuinely funded, bearing in mind that his 2017 had ended on a pure high. His annual concert sold out to a mammoth crowd of fans from in and around Ibadan but just before that, he’d tapped Mavin Queen -Tiwa Savage and celebrity guitarist Fiokee to assist him with the delivery of one last single for the year, which was released on the same day as his birthday.
For this Del’B produced release, Reekado Banks creatively strung the titles of all the year’s biggest hits into a very easy and catchy hook that declared the song an instant earworm on arrival.
Like Wizzy baby I Manya o, manya o manya o,
Like Davido, you get Fia o, fia o, fia o
Like Tiwa baby Malo o malo o, malo o
Like Reeky Do me Jeje o, Jeje o …
un fact: Like has joined all the songs mentioned above in various reputable charts across the sector for this month but an even “funner” fact is that Reekado was only supposed to be a featured act on the jam. Fiokee – whose name doubles as magic fingers in the entertainment parlour because of his fire strumming talent- had called Banks to collaborate with him on a song. They linked up to work on another project and when they were done within good time, they decided to do some work on their own personal collaboration.
‘So the back story is, Fiokee called me to feature me on a song which was that beat. The day he came to the studio he was supposed to play the guitar on another song I was supposed to drop featuring Davido- and when we were done, I said “I still have time. Let’s work on this beat that you said you want to feature me on”. So I started recording and it was just getting too nice then I had to drag him out like ” Bro, na me get my song o.”
Curious to know if this new arrangement sat well with his collaborator, he informed me that they instantly worked out a proper win:win revenue share agreement and that Fiokee was “sooooo happy”.
‘Who music epp? See, if they say I should not whistle again, I will not whistle.’
Sometime last year, I woke up to a song on which he featured Tanzanian sweetheart Vanessa Mdee. I’d heard it before and I knew it was a jam but there was something about how the song resonated that morning.
Coincidentally, the song is also one of his personal best records yet. ‘I think my best verse so far that I have ever written was the one on Move. I think that was sick…’
It was indeed sick to the point of me drowsily reaching for my laptop to draft an impromptu Vibe Quickie piece titled “Fear Not, Mavin has a Wande Coal in Reekado Banks”.
He has heard this Wande Coal issue many times but in partial modesty and total respect for his predecessor, he always, shuts this comparison down. As I brought the matter up again, he was quick to ward it off.
‘Wande is king please. Leave me alone where I am. Free me please (and) do not spoil my career.’
Speaking of Mohits; one of the biggest highlights of last year was when Davido brought the former members on stage to reunite over a performance of the classic Booty Call. Just to mess with his mind I asked if he was a fan of Mohits back in the day and he nearly choked on his drink.
‘Iru question wo ni yen? Who wasn’t?’ He called the attention of everyone present at his interview to really settle the matter. ‘Please is there anyone here who wasn’t a Mohits fan?’
‘I’m not crazy. I’m not trying to lose fans. I’m not trying to make people hate me on purpose but sometimes it just happens. I guess we’re humans.’
The Next Rated Award palava at the 2015 Headies was a classic case of elephants fighting and the grass suffering. After breaking the internet, the bosses got mediated by the wealthiest Nigerian, shook hands and things returned to business as usual but what no one really talked or cared about, was how it emotionally affected the younger artistes cocooned at the heart of the drama.
That night, in a space of minutes, Reekado Banks went from high spirited award recipient to feeling absolutely undeserving of the recognition. In his words, he felt less of himself… Like he was not good enough…Like Don Jazzy had picked a wrong one.
To the hearing of over 11 thousand Reekaddicts present at the 2017 Thank You concert in Ibadan, Reekado seized the moment to spew out all that he had kept in for nearly 2 years. Though he now agrees that he did go overboard, who knows if the outburst may have been essential to helping him find healing and peace?
In a commendable display of maturity, He admitted to his overreaction and tendered an exclusive open apology through Vibe.ng.
‘All that I said at my concert was everything that has been bottled up over the years and it (felt) like the right time …There were so many bants that day (at the Headies) and I felt really bad.
Although, I can’t lie. What I said was quite too much and I’m really sorry Lil Kesh…
I’m sorry to everybody that feels offended about it. I just had to express myself. I’m sorry I did it this late. I mean, the matter don go since… ‘
‘I can’t lie. What I said was quite too much and I’m really sorry Lil Kesh…’
For Reekado Banks, the toughest aspect of this music job lies in rebranding. He said to me, ‘staying new is the most difficult part and that’s the part that actually kills. If you like sing more than Michael Jackson. For your head. If you do not redefine yourself, if you’re not exciting, nobody will listen to you.’
I should have really asked if this had anything to do with the absence of his signature dreads but I was much too focused on getting deeper details about other salient and highly interesting matters.
Vibe: We appreciate that you apologized to the fan whose tweet you misread. What exactly would you say triggers apprehension in celebrities on social media?
Reekado Banks: Everybody feels like they have an opinion. Most people are really angry. That’s why you will say you are 24 years old and somebody will say “if you are 24, I’m 10.” And I’m like, can’t someone make it early? Why do you have to oppose everything?
I felt really bad that it wasn’t what I thought so I had to go back and apologize to the guy. I even went into his dm. “Bro, sorry I didn’t know this was what you meant, thank you for coming out, I hope we can even link up sometime.” I’m not crazy. I’m not trying to lose fans. I’m not trying to make people hate me on purpose but sometimes it just happens. I guess we’re humans.
Proudest moment so far? I’m proud everyday. I cannot highlight one day because you probably expect me to say because I won an award somewhere. I mean that’s just a plaque. My proudest moment would be every time the crowd sings back.
What’s that one thing that you can give music up for?
Plenty money. What else?
How much are we talking? Not too much. I am not greedy. Let me just begin humble. Say, 500 million dollars.
So you’re saying you will sell out and leave your fans without Reekado music for 500 million Dollars? Did you know me four years ago? You can do without me o biko lol. If you no happy for me na im be say you hate me. I mean, that’s like putting Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross and Rihanna’s net worth together. Who music epp? See, if they say I should not whistle again, I will not whistle. Trust.
‘…Can’t someone make it early? Why do you have to oppose everything?’
Are you a tax paying musician? Yes, I am. We are obliged to do it. if I had a choice thinking about what the government has really done for me, I won’t pay but trust, it’s just a normal thing to do. That’s how the government gets money to do the work they do. Since you’re making money, you’re giving your bit back to help everyone who’s not making as much as you, to help the country and to help the next generation.
Your thoughts on the forthcoming elections? God guide us. Everyone needs to vote, vote, vote…. Don’t wait till after one year to start criticizing whoever gets elected when you could have avoided the situation with your vote.
So what do you think woke up one morning to the news of 800k sex dolls…Well, the sample girl is hot and thick and I like thick things but common… A doll? Western people are going crazy. It’s just confirming that the world is about to end. The doll is bad though. It looks well-built and the body looks soft but nah, no sex dolls for me.
Still on the sex issue, why did you advise men on Twitter to never start from “behind”?
Like I said, dear Kings, never start from the back. On this fateful day, I invited this girl that I had been talking to for a while… Her body was so soft and her booty was a problem. As soon as she took position, I disgraced myself Loool. I disgraced myself I cannot lie. I lost my championship belt but we thank God we are alive. A rematch is going to happen.
Are you likely to join the baby father club anytime soon? Loool! Nobody plans to join the baby father club. So far, nobody has sent me the ‘we need to talk’ text.
You once had a very celebrated relationship on social media. What’s up with that?
E don end…
Anybody on board now? No (but someone out there won’t agree with this)
So what would you say is the headache with romantic relationships?
Everything in romantic relationships is a headache.
What would you do if for some reason, social media is no more?
They can take away our normal pages but they should leave the dms please Looool!
‘My proudest moment would be every time the crowd sings back’
Mobile Technology has crushed quite a number of things in its way. Of course, there is no contesting how it has miraculously aided the wealth system in the music profession but, if adored industry classics like “Mushin 2 Mohits” or “Superstar” were digitally focused releases as is mostly practiced nowadays, would they be as unanimously certified as they are today? In this short attention span generation and era? With mobile networks raping up all our behinds with data cost?
When Reekado blatantly admitted to sticking to singles in the interim, he was really speaking from a place of experience.
‘Ask anybody who has dropped an album in the past four years. You work so hard to compile an amazing album, amazing singles, amazing tracks, and people are not patient enough to look into these tracks and listen to them. They just want you to say this is the one I am pushing now. Nobody is that patient to get into the album and listen and get the actual hard work. After sometime, you can’t keep dwelling on the album. It’s not like you can keep dropping all the videos of 16 tracks. They’ll tell you to move on. So what happens to all the other sweat? There’s no point. We go drop am one by one.’
He doesn’t in anyway regret that he put out the Spotlight album though, especially because it was a thoughtfully crafted piece that will forever stay as testimony to his fine artistry. Maybe one day, all factors will be fair and favourable for both albums and singles to thrive in all markets and maybe not- but, should Reekado Banks change his mind soon for a sophomore project,he would be in his best form, and his fans will be unwaveringly here for it.
Cover Story: Cynthia Atagbuzia
Photography: Amazing Klef