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D’Banj is the newest member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. 

Reigning from the motherland of Africa, this Nigerian singer is bringing African music to the American mainstream. 

Born Dapo Oyebanjo, D’Banj has already received recognition from his musical peers.

In 2009, D’Banj took home “Artist Of The Year” award during the MTV African Music Awards and Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2007.

GlobalGrind caught up with D’Banj during the 2011 BET Awards to ask him about signing with Kanye, advice from Jay-Z, and of course, his music.

Check out the exclsuive interview below! 

GlobalGrind: How long have you been doing music?

D’banj: For six to seven years. It’s the same thing, but this time around we’re expanding globally with Kanye West. G.O.O.D. music is on the field. I think you’re going to see a mixture of Africa and America. I’m full African.

How would you describe that mixture of Africa meets America? What would you say that you bring to the table that’s different?

I bring Africa. Originality, we have greetings, we have sound. I’m not just a musician. I play the instruments, I play the harmonica. So we’ll be working together. I have a original stuff, I must say.

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Do you have an album release date and title yet?

Not yet. I’m working on it right now.

How has it been to work with Kanye?

Great! I met him in November when I was in Dubai, I had a concert in Dubai. He invited me down to New York. Six months later and now we’re signed and already, I like the vibe. I like everything. Kanye is so creative. For me, coming from Africa, coming from Nigeria, I’m watching a lot of people, trying to see, because it’s such a great thing. I believe we’re ready.

So we watched the video of you getting signed with Kanye.

Oh, you did?

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Yes, Kanye, Jay-Z and Kid Cudi were in the room. What’s been the most surprising thing about Kanye you found out since working with him?

Actually, I found out my birthday was the day after his birthday. So his birthday is June 8th, mine is June 9th. That’s crazy.

You’re a Gemini.

Yes I am.

So what should we expect from you? What is your second side?

Oh, man.

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Go ahead and say whatever you’d like.

No, no. I’m just me, I think. Just me.

Can you talk about how being from Africa is going to influence your music?

The fact that I’m from Africa and I’ve been doing music in Africa, we already have this culture, have this sound. You already know music, sounds and melodies. We have it all. Then also with this lifestyle, my music is more like a real life story of everything that I go through, so coming to this part I see myself … not like Tupac, not like Biggie, more like people that are saying the truth about what’s happening. Even when we party, we party with the truth.

Have you had the chance to go in the studio with Jay?

No, not yet.

He just was there in the studio when you got signed. Did he give you any words of advice?

Always. Even him being there was enough for me.

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D’Banj at the MTV Africa Music Awards.