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1da Banton: Ready To Take The Bull By The Horns

In 2016, 1da Banton arrived on the block, with a huge prospect and ready to prove his star power. Launched into the music scene as an independent act, the singer was bolstered to new levels of recognition in Adasa Cookey-headed label — Squareball Entertainment after dishing out the eulogizing tune “African Woman.” Since then, he has proved…

In 2016, 1da Banton arrived on the block, with a huge prospect and ready to prove his star power. Launched into the music scene as an independent act, the singer was bolstered to new levels of recognition in Adasa Cookey-headed label — Squareball Entertainment after dishing out the eulogizing tune “African Woman.” Since then, he has proved his salt, earning a spot in wider Afro-pop and Afro-dancehall conversations and transforming into a force to be reckoned with.

According to Peter OKH (Peter Okhide), 1da Banton who is a singer, songwriter and record producer, is one of the next rated artistes in the Nigerian music sphere. He found his beat when he was discovered by high-profile video director Adasa Cookey who had nothing but consistent belief in him and his abilities. The multi-talented act is not new to the music industry, he’s been putting in the work for quite some time. Although he has previously churned a series of mellifluous tunes, 1da Banton scored his biggest break in 2021 with “No Wahala,” a track housed under his debut album, Original Vibe Machine.

With a singing style characterized by brilliant vocal display and purity of Reggae-infused tone (Bel Canto) which sounds like an excellent mash-up of unique artists like Shank, Timaya, Solidstar, 1da Banton’s music is totally eargasmic. Listening to his latest output “No Wahala Remix” featuring high-profile Nigerian singers Tiwa Savage, Kizz Daniel, and previous songs like “African Woman,” the Kranium-assisted “Whine Fi Mi,” it would be absolutely spot on if one concluded that he’s the new hybrid.

Born Godson Ominibie Epelle, 1da Banton is an indigene of Opobo town in Rivers State, Nigeria. He was raised in the city of Port Harcourt, the capital of River State. Growing up, he listened to the likes of 50 Cent, 2baba (2face Idibia), D’banj, the Mo’Hits crew, M.I. Abaga and these people inspired him to make music. He made a foray into music with his mellifluous debut single “Love Her Daily” in 2016 which captured the attention of many music lovers. On the 14th of July, 2017 he released his debut EP “The Banton EP” under Squareball Entertainment.

According to the singer, “I grew up listening to my father’s old records like Bob Marley, Fela, Rex Lawson among other greats. My corner of PH city was rough but it gave me the street experience needed as well as the background for the vibe you hear in my music. After sending a demo to Squareball Entertainment CEO, Adasa Cookey, he picked me up and began to help me define my sound. I eventually moved over to Lagos where I have been dishing out tunes ever since. I have put out a lot of music so far, I started with a mixtape titled INMB (If Na My Beat), where I dropped verses on some classic Reggae and Afrobeats tunes I liked.”

His debut single “Love Her Daily” was followed by a remix featuring Skales and Solidstar. He would later drop a few other singles including Activate, Joy, and Concentrate. He revealed that he began experimenting with new sounds. It was a great learning curve for the singer; an experience that changed his sound.

He released a project The Banton EP — a ten-track body of work that supposedly reflects his musical journey. The extended play received a lot of attention from music fans across the country. One of the singles Way Up from the EP was selected as the Big Brother Naija theme song in 2018. This further pushed his brand as an artist to a wider audience. Sometime around 2018, he released another melodious single Jowo. At this point, his following had grown organically.

Towards the end of 2018, he dropped African Woman. It appeared to be the singer’s most acclaimed record at that point. The music video to the song was shot in his hometown, Opobo, Rivers state and It was quite artistic. In 2019, he released a follow-up single dubbed Farabale.

Fast forward to 2021, 1da has rolled out his debut album, “Original Vibe Machine,” with features from Duncan Mighty, Stonebwoy, Seyi Shay and Zlatan. He delivers a stellar 43-minute run across 15 tracks, cutting across matters affiliated with enjoyment, wealth, hustle, love and being a major part of the conversation. With the release of the lead single “No Wahala” which arrived prior to the project, 1da gave an insight as to what the LP is to sound like. He brought to the ears of listeners a soothing yet energetic track offering up lyrics such as, “problem e no dey finish make you try dey enjoy,” a reminder to everyone to take life easy.

“Sekkle Down” opens the tape with a rhythmic and groovy flow, delighting listeners with rich production infused with trumpets, giving a rather warm and welcoming introduction to 1da’s world. Produced by himself, 1da sings sensually about his love interest — “and if you want my love ey, me I dey for you oh ah.” He offers a love rendition on the second track “Your Body” as he speaks about the beauty of his love interest. 1da churned out lyrics such as “If I see your mama I go dash her money, cos she too try, she too try.”

On other tracks such as “Over,” 1da Banton expresses sadness, delivering an impressive performance on a Michontheproducer-produced instrumental, as he belch lyrics like “Omotena me I no do again, because everything you do, e dey scatter my brain, like the other day when I caught you cheating right inside my kitchen.” He closes the tape with a spirit-lifting track, “Way Up Remix” featuring Ghanaian dancehall act Stonebwoy, where they spoke about being on top despite the hurdles they came across on the way, on the bouncy Dokta Shots-produced beat. 1da sings “I’m way up I’m way up, 1da never come down , even if them throw me juju oh, even if them cut my dada,” declaring his relevance to transcend limits.

Thus far, “No Wahala” has been the singer’s biggest hit. Released in July 2021, it is one of the biggest Nigerian songs of the year. When people hear the song, it just does something unexplainable to them. 1da Banton takes over people’s hearts with the exciting tune which sends an uplifting message to live life stress-free. Like some of our favourites, ‘No Wahala’ took flight on the TikTok platform after the song was used for a TikTok challenge in France. From there, the song took off and has now amassed over 16 million youtube views, 20 million streams on Spotify, and 1 million Shazams.

“No Wahala” now has a remix, where 1da collaborated with Flyboi frontier Kizz Daniel, alongside Tiwa Savage. The song also has a French remix, assisted by DJ Leska and Naza.

1da Banton is ready to take the bull by the horns in 2022, plans to unveil the best side of his artistry, having earned a spot in the Afro-pop and Afro-dancehall conversations and transformed into a force to be reckoned with.