For those who may not be familiar with you and your music, tell us a little about yourself and your sound.
My name is David Oluwaferanmi Balogun – DavidB is my stage name! I am a singer, songwriter, and vocal producer. I love music so much and I am committed to making my dream of becoming one of the world’s biggest superstars a reality. My sound has RnB at its core and recently I have fused that RnB core with Afro elements. I recently became a Global Rights Celebrity Ambassador against Sexual Violence. I am a sucker for sweet melodies, intricate harmonies, intellectual conversations and Gizdo (gizzard and plantain).
Having lived in the UK and Nigeria, what music were you influenced by growing up?
Growing up in a Christian home, I was influenced by Gospel Music. There is something so reassuring and comforting about the genre that still has me listening to it to this day – from Kirk Franklin to Sinach. I also grew up with a lot of Motown, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and songs that had music videos that were repeatedly shown on MTV. Being in Nigeria till I was 14 meant that I was also exposed to the likes of Fela and Lagbaja!
What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to the music business?
My biggest challenge has been getting myself known, getting people to hear what I do, getting key industry players to get behind my artistry and help take it to the next level. Also, spending money to continuously release content and not making that money back.
The Nigerian music industry has doubtlessly come a long way, but how do you see it progressing?
I see it getting more structured in a way that creatives’ intellectual properties are adequately protected and rewarded when exploited. I hope that it progresses in a way that more record labels are formed where their ethus leans a lot more to the development of artists with a lot of focus on longevity as supposed to a ‘right now only’ scheme.
What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical journey?
A few come to mind, but one I won’t forget is when Tiwa Savage heard my a capella refix of ‘Kele Kele’ and shared it on her instagram. It got me a lot of attention from fans and industry personnel. But even more than that, it gave me a confidence boost and also reminded me of the type of artist I want to be – one that is very concerned about contributing to the success of talented upcoming artists.
What were some of your main artistic challenges when starting out as an artist and in which way have they changed over the years?
The main one for me was not knowing how to start! I think there is a lot more information now; people who are succesfully doing music are more accessible.
What projects are you working on currently? Do you have any upcoming albums?
I am currently working on songs; meeting different producers and just creating music. These might end up being a project (EP or album). I am just going with the flow at the moment.
What current artists inspire you to make music?
Beyonce – her work ethic and ability to re-invent herself and stay relevant.
Wizkid – conquered one territory and is venturing into bigger and more challenging ones.
How is your recording process? Do you write the music first, or do the lyrics come to you first and the music after?
Most times, the lyrics and melodies come sort of together and I love it when that happens. I also record myself so I have the freedom to mess about with harmonies and arrangements till I feel it’s perfect.
Guilty pleasure (music-wise) – everyone’s got one, who’s yours?
I’m pleasantly intrigued by Vic O! *covers face*
How important do you find social media and engaging with your fans to be? Are you active on social media?
Social Media is a blessing to those of us in the industry right now. The ability to steadily grow a fan base and directly communicate with your consumers is phenomenal! It’s extremely important for me to engage with the people that have got me to where I am now and keep them informed about what I am doing. I believe I am active on social media. I try to find that balance – social media activity that’s just right (not too little; not too much). I think I do a pretty good job bar Snapchat!
How do you define success? Is it a sold out show, an award, or recognition from a particular publication? What does it for you when it comes to success?
For me success is being able to do music however I want to, inspire a wide audience in the process, and money not being a constraint to achieving whatever ideas I have. Success is also me helping others actualise their dreams.
What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion and what’s your approach to performing on stage?
Confidence! Being comfortable with your art! Connecting with the audience in a way that’s true to you! Having fun! I try my best to make sure these are in play when I am performing.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Adekunle Gold’s album has not left the CD player in the car for like a month, so everytime I’m on the road I’m listening to ‘Gold’.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2016 into 2017?
I have my very first headline showcase (in Lagos) on the 16th of October at Fuse Lounge. The music video for my single ‘Iwo Nikan’ will be released the day after the showcase. I have also got the music video for my latest single ‘Titi Lai Lai’ coming out towards the end of this year. I am expecting 2017 to be a year of bigger things – collaborations, more concerts, more songs, and more videos.
Lastly which Nigerian artistes would you love to collaborate with?
I will love to work with Cobhams, Tiwa Savage, and Falz.
Thank you for taking time out to chat with us
It’s my pleasure! Thank you for a great interview.