Rising afrobeats star Dboi is shaking things up with his recent release ‘Bezos‘, and he is just getting started as he announces his debut EP, expected later this year.
Since strategically making the move from his motherland, Nigeria, to South Africa to pursue a music career, Dboi has solidified his place in the industry. He has done so by producing a melodic concoction of afropop and afrobeat excellence. Creatively, Dboi is heavily influenced by his environment, taking inspiration from the traditional music which flowed out of Africa before him and the contemporary African style prevailing today.
Further, the individual behind the Dboi moniker, Ignatius Ehinome Okojie, uses music as a way to express himself and as an audible breakdown of his inner thoughts and feelings. This makes his music revealing of the kind of artist and person he is.
We caught up with Dboi after the hyped release of ‘Bezos‘ on all things; lessons learnt, cultural and religious influences in his music, and a look into what the future holds for him…
How would you sum up the music you create to anyone unfamiliar with your sound?
My music is mainly pop and afrobeats. I will describe my music as afro-fusion, which blends well with genres like hip-hop, R&B, and a little bit of Dancehall.
Can you tell us a bit about your childhood in Nigeria and its influence on you musically?
Nigeria is a country blessed with a lot of culture, and music is basically the core of every cultural event. As a child, I was very intrigued by culture and creativity. I loved the whole entertainment scene to the point I was made social prefect through primary and secondary school. I kind of kept the creative side away from my parents because then parents don’t really want their children pursuing those career paths. But I am guessing that would have changed a little by now, and I’m glad I am making my whole family proud with the gift of music
Growing up, who were the musicians that inspired you to produce the music you do today?
From a very young age, I listened to a lot of Fela (Kuti) because my dad loves his music, and it was always playing on the radio. When I got a bit older my brothers would always play the likes of 2Pac, 50 Cent, DMX, etc. Wizkid was the biggest motivator (of) all because he was young, fresh, and he made it look really easy, not forgetting that his songs were so relatable. I started seeing myself in him, and that was when I knew exactly what sort of music I want to make
Can you tell us a little about the church’s influence on your music?
I come from a very religious home, and I started out participating in church choir competitions and events. This was great because it helped build confidence at a very young age to stand before a large audience. I have been a performer since age 7/8 if I remember correctly.
Congratulations on the release of your latest single ‘Bezos‘. How have you found the response to the track?
Thank you! Reception has been really amazing, safe to say it did beat my imagination. I have received massive support which is very important moving forward.
Can you explain the inspiration behind the Jeff Bezos-inspired track?
‘Bezos‘ sounds like a very playful and easy song to flow with. This was strictly inspired by society and my environment. It’s a simple short story in music form, and this is something I like to do with all my songs. It is important for me to be able to tell a story with every one of my songs, and that’s what I did on ‘Bezos‘. I am glad it was received with great support.
What message do you aim to send to people through your music?
Love and peace is all I am really about. People who are close to me know I avoid conflict at all cost. This is something I want to spread through music.
Who are some afrobeats artists you’d love to work with in your career?
Young Jonn, Davido, Rema, Ayra Starr; Pheelz. This is just to name a few because the list goes on and on.
Was it important for you to bring afrobeats to South Africa? Is there much of an afrobeats scene there?
The afrobeats scene here is massive, and I think it was really important to move away from my origin and bring it here. There is a whole different and untapped fan base over here really.
What was it like working with multi-platinum award-winning afrobeat producer KDDO on ‘Bezos’?
The energy with KDDO is always great. We have a very free-flowing relationship that makes it easy to vibe and create music. Before ‘Bezos‘, we worked on a whole project that’s yet to be released. On ‘Bezos‘, we were having a normal day when he started working on the beats. I got really hyped when (I) heard the sweet melodies, and it was just straightforward from there onwards. He is a fantastic and professional guy to work with.
What is something you’ve learnt about yourself since moving away from home to South Africa and being in the spotlight?
I think moving here helped me discover myself and my purpose in the world we live in. I have learnt so much about how the industry works away from Nigeria and what areas to strategically focus and improve on with regard to my music.
What can you tell us about your upcoming debut EP?
I have been working on this project for at least 2 years now. Hmm! I can’t say too much right now but expect straight-up bangers from track 1-5.
Any plans coming up this summer following the release of the EP?
Plans are still being reviewed. But at the moment, I can confirm a European tour (is) coming up right after the release.
What are a few things you’d love to tick off your music bucket list over the next few years?
I’d like to have a major collaboration with a well-recognised international artist and hopefully get on stage to perform the track with them. Also (I) would love to pick up a major music award.