With yet another single by D’banj titled “Be with you”, lovers of Nigerian music who have been following from time wouldn’t miss the familiarity in the voice when compared to Durella. Now that calls for the question, where is Durella?
Self-titled King of The Zanga, Oluwadamilare Okulaja, popularly known as Durella is a Nigerian recording artist and song writer, performer and businessman. He kicked off as an artist while he resided at Mushin, a quite popular and rugged part of Lagos at the time.
You may remember his notable hit singles like “Enu Ose”, “Shayo”, “Wizkolo Wiska”, “Club Rock” and “Gaga” featuring Wizkid. Those songs blew minds and with his features, it was almost impossible for DJs to spin without his tracks.
Durella is beyond question a part of the Nigerian music industry. He’s also featured with prominent stars like Dbanj, Femi Kuti, Duncan Mighty, Terry G, Olamide, and Dammy Krane, and has shared stages with legendary performers not exempting his performance live with Wyclef Jean in South Africa. Durella began receiving awards in 2008 from MTV Base.
Durella was originally signed to TC Records in 2006 after its executives witnessed his performance at an event. Under this record, he released his first debut album “King of The Zanga” which includes tracks like- In the Zanga, SHAYO, Gunner’s Anthem, Queen of My Zanga and Wizkolo Wiska and later on, he dropped his second album, Reconfigurated.
With “Life in The Zanga”, Durella emerged winner at a competition organised by Airtel (then, Zain)/MTV where he won 50,000 dollars.
He collaborated with various stars when he was visibly in the music scene. With the likes of his sound-identical, D’banj in “Ibadi E” Featuring Olamide, Durella and Kay Switch, “Nkiruka” featuring Duncan Mighty, “Buddy Hanging featuring Olamide”, “My Life” featuring Terry G, “Gaga”
Featuring Wizkid, Jahbless – “Joor Oh” Remix Featuring Ice Prince, Reminisce, Ruggedman & Eldee ,”Don’t Go Funny” Featuring Timaya, “2 Casket” by Quest Featuring Durella, HCode “Monster” (Remix) Featuring Olamide, Durella, Dammy Krane & Shobzy.
You may remember Durella as the dude who is always on Dark shades. D’banj is a man of shades as well. One major difference between D’banj and Durella is their mode of presentation. Durella, who now resides in Lekki featured in songs of individuals with street credibility.
Men of the street! The likes of Olamide, HCode, Terry G and Wizkid who reps Surulere anytime, any day, to mention a few. Now how many street credible artists has D’banj had in his singles? D’banj is definitely a solo kind of entertainer.
While all that was happening, the Koko Master was doing his own thing. Every follower of Nigerian music will agree that Durella sounds very much D’banj.
Although Durella doesn’t think it is right to think that as he stated some years ago that their elements and manner of delivery is very different.
But how true is that? We still hear D’banj say “I’m D’banj”, “Or Skibanj”, then the Koko Master thingy comes in. Of course, that’s the brand. Durella on the other hand also uses catch phrases like “Omo Yapayaski”, “Durella Mistyasky”.
Virtually all performers have slangs and catch phrases but what makes this similar is majorly the tone and rhythm.
Since his last major hit, Durella hasn’t been on the limelight for several months. You may blame it on lavish spending as some of his fans accused him of or bad management from his former record label, Iconic Music or maybe he probably just ran out of songs which is almost impossible for a song writer.
Durella was signed to Iconic Music who made some of his hits. He probably became irrelevant in the industry when rumours passed that he was D’banj’s back-up singer which seemed true but only a sound guru can separate the voices anyway.
Durella recently came back to the music scene with “Otipe” in the first quarter of 2017. “Otipe” is a love song that sees Durella longing after his lover.
Although he may not have received the welcome back he deserved, it counts as an effort that shows he has plans to stay in the industry.
To Durella, if he is reading this, your fans await another hit single or any wave rocking come back at all as we remember he is also the first Nigerian artiste to own a shoe line: Durellasneakers, named after his popular slogan “2Gbaski”. How many stores or persons have them now?