The duo of Mountain Black and Mad Melon of Danfo Drivers (real names Jimoh Olotu and Omeofa Oghene respectively), better known by hit single ‘I am a Danfo Driver, Suo’ are back after a long absence from the music scene.
The youngsters who sing Ajegunle’s Galala brand of music have been chequered by many challenges and they tell all in this chat with Weekend Groove:
Is it true that two of you have parted ways?
No, we didn’t split, we only quarrelled, but we are still together. And we are still alive, so, no shaking. What actually happened was that we went to school to further our education because we believe education is the key to ultimate success.
Also, we’ve been going round for musical tour; first one was in Mali, followed by another one in Portharcourt. We also performed during the Portharcourt carnival.
Presently, we are fully back to the music scene and very soon we will be dropping our new album and that will be in two months’ time as we are still working on it.
Fans have been worried over your absence on the music scene. What has been happening to you two?
Yeah, what happened was that we had a contract with Cornerstone, our record label and we agreed on a certain percentage as part of the deal. But when we were away in Mali for a Peace concert and in Portharcourt for another show during the last election, someone notified us that our marketter was printing our songs and selling it. That’s piracy, and we weren’t happy about it because we were not told and carried along.
So, when we got back to Lagos we confronted the marketer, who explained to us that it was our record label who gave the go-ahead. We felt cheated and angry, and we decided to break our contract with them. Now, we are coming up with our own record label to be known as ‘Danfo Drivers records’ and hopefully, it will be launched in the next two months or thereabout.
Concerning your misunderstanding with the marketer, what was your conclusion with him?
Of course it was a breach of contract and piracy and we took them to court but later we had to drop the case because we got tired of the case being adjourned every time.
But could this misunderstanding with your record label be another reason why you were away from the music scene?
Yes, it affected us a lot. We were supposed to be paid our royalty but we weren’t getting paid. They were just cheating on us. Another reason we decided to stop recording was because our record label, Cornerstone Entertainment, which was supposed to be promoting us were not doing so at all. They were not promoting our works and we were not getting any measurable exposure. This made some of our songs not to be released. The only song we did that made it was the ‘Danfo Driver’. Apart from ‘Danfo Driver’, none of our other songs was promoted. This got our fans thinking we have quit music.
So now that you are on your own , what should fans expect from you , aside from the usual ‘Danfo Drivers’ we know with Cornerstone Entertainment ?
Presently, we are working on a new song which is coming out in two months’ time and we know we are going to give our fans the best as we have always been doing. It wasn’t as if we purposely went away , if you can remember in our song we said ‘I want to go to UNIBEN’, UNILAG for more education and that was what we did . Our staying away was to acquire education- nothing more. Now, we are back to give the best of what we know how to do.
When did you discover your musical talents?
Actually, our musical talent is from God and ever since we were young we’ve always loved music , we knew that music was part of us, so we decided to follow it up. Some people say that the sky is their limit but to us the sky is not our limit, it is heaven that is our limit.
Which musician inspired you while growing up ?
The musician who inspired us is Don Carlos of Jamaica. While we were growing up we fell in love with some of his songs and along the line we felt the guy had stuff we could imitate. So, we started imitating and infused some of our own style to have what you know as ‘Danfo Drivers’. It was him that inspired us. His music is deep in sound and meaning. Not like the kind being sung in the country today. Most of today’s musicians don’t have message in their songs. The only thing artistes of today do is to sing about women , love and drink . So we are back to give our fans the best.
Base on your kind of music, a lot of people believe that you take something before going on stage, how true is that?
People should understand that it is a different scenerio when one is meditating from when one goes on stage. We don’t know what they mean by we take something. Even if we do it is best known to us. Although we take alcohol but other things we take or not is best known to us.
How do you make your music?
You know a lot of artistes write their songs before singing them out, but Danfo Drivers don’t write out their songs, it’s what we see that we play.
Your most embarrassing moment?
That must be our experience at the airport when we came back from the Peace concept in Mali. Following the rumour that we were dead, that we were shot by the police, we came back to the country to find people running away when they saw us. It was really embarrassing at the airport, because as people spotted us they started running, perhaps, thinking they were seeing ghosts.
Then, a couple of robbers were caught by the police who went with the name ‘Danfo Drivers’. One of them was even using a black head-tie like us and so people confused them to be us. Those armed robbers were eventually shot and people thought it was us.