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Koko master, Dapo Olabanji better known as D'Banj, created sensation with his rave song, Why Me? He recently spoke with Correspondent, Richard Eghaghe, on the challenges of staying at the top of the local music scene. He also said that his pay-off, No Long Thing, has nothing to do with sex, but revealed that he had lost count of the number of girls that cling to him wherever he performs just as he finds it difficult to accept whether or not he should be seen as a sex symbol. Excerpts:

What does it take to be up there?

First of all, I would not say I am up there yet. But if you say I am up there, I would say a big 'thank you' to God. Then, I must also say it's a bit scary and demanding because to whom much is given much is expected. Now that you are saying I am up there, I never want to be down here. Moreover, I have realised that getting to the top is not that hard. But staying there is the hard thing. Now we are working extra hard and I am under serious pressure to release the stuff we worked on to better what we have done with Why Me? You know what? When we released No Long Thing, you heard Tongolo, some people believed we won't be able to do any thing better than Tongolo. Now they have heard the Koko and they never want to believe. So, we are working very hard and I know God is our strength.

What do you have in the offing this year?

I kicked off the year with the Valentine show. Musically, Why Me remix is going to be out very soon. It is kicking off this year and you are going to hear it. The remix is not with any of my colleagues in Nigeria, it is with my international colleagues. Apart from that, more hit songs are coming out with a compilation this year. And in case you don't know, Moore Hits Records is the label I am signed on to. Don Jazzy is our CEO and he is the best producer you can think of, he is my producer. We have signed on additional three artistes now, bringing the number to four. The four of us are putting together this music compilation I talked about earlier.

How do you feel about female fans' reaction to your music?

I would say my "Kokoletes" love me and I love them. I am their Koko master. They cannot love somebody else other than the Koko master. My "Babyletes, Kokoletes, Mamaletes" showed me love right from the first time they heard me. I am not going to disappoint them. I am surprised the way they accept and react to my music wherever I perform. So, I have told myself that I must not fail. We are going to take them to the next level and then to the highest level… in Jesus name.

But not many mature people seem to take your music seriously, because they see your slang as suggestive. How do you feel about this?

Well, if you say slang, it is a very normal word. If you are talking about File or Why Me or the Koko, No Long Thing... I have never suggested sex in any of my songs. Like in the Koko, I asked do you like the Koko, I don't know what it means to the people that love the Koko. Like I said, I allow you all to fill in where they belong. I have met people and they told me, Jesus is the Koko for them. I have met people when I went to London and came back and they say picnic is the Koko for them. Picnic is not sex.

So, anything that is the Koko for you is whatever you derive joy from, that is what you do. That is the Koko for you. I dropped what is normal, what is in everybody's mind and then you fill in what you want. When I released Why Me, it had nothing like sex. It is not talking sex. As a fortunate young man or woman doing very well, you must ask yourself why me? Because you are not the only one in town, No bi only you dey; you don't have two heads. You don't have four legs. You can't even run faster with your two legs than many people. You only have what every other human being has. That means you are favoured by God; you certainly can't cease to ask: "why me, why am I favoured by God?"

Would you agree with people who describe you as a sex symbol?

I won't accept that. I don't want to agree, because my own definition of a sex symbol is different. But, if people say I am a sex symbol, I don't know. I would want to be. It is not bad to be a sex symbol.

Is that why a number of ladies rush after you wherever you perform?

Yeah! They do. Dem they rush o! But I am a very focused human being. I am not distracted because I am just starting and I know where I am going. I always know people are rushing me now. When I released Tongolo, people said, "Ah! Girls are rushing you now," and I said if girls are rushing me now that I released Tongolo, I am leaving them out of it, I want to go back to the studio and do something better than that, so that if only 10 girls were rushing me before, they would increase to100. We have done that with Why Me. Now, I can't count them. So, I am also rushing back. May-be when I release Why Me remix or something else like More Hits or Jazzville, a million and one of them would be rushing me.

When do we expect these works in the market?

They are coming out this year by the grace of God. More Hits compilation is coming out first. It will be fully loaded with 15 tracks.