Catch up on our exclusive interview with D’banj off the Tush Magazine issue 11
TM: When you think of CÎROC and you think of other Alcoholic beverages what stands out
D’BANJ: CÎROC automatically brings to mind a certain kind of style: old school sophistication meets modern panache. It is a smooth vodka, made from grapes unlike other vodkas and has a smooth image.
TM: How does CÎROC compliment the Banky W/D’Banj brand?
D’BANJ: Banky W and I work very hard to keep our fingers on the pulse of the music industry and I think CÎROC is in tune with that. It’s a brand with prestige that stands out against other brands; a lifestyle brand that speaks to you even without you holding the bottle. Just with a glass they will ask you “Are you drinking CÎROC?” …because you match the lifestyle.
Now look at me and tell me if I don’t look Cirocy or Ciroci ! CÎROC is about celebration of hard work and success and what is success…? When you set goals and meet them and are satisfied … Then you turn up …you can play hard.
TM: This ambassadorial role is a new level of elevation for you in the international scene, how does that feel?
D’BANJ: Musically, I am lucky that through hard work and dedication I’ve been able to cross over onto the International scene and have been recognized as one of Africa’s biggest exports after Oil and Gas. I’m blessed to have won several international awards: MTV, BET, WORLD MUSIC and to be affiliated as an ambassador to some Global Organisations from Apple (Beats by Dr. Dre), ONE CAMPAIGN, Global Citizen, and now Ciroc! I want to say this; they all actually stand for what I stand for today and Ciroc plays a perfect role.
TM: Tell us how you were poached; did you get a phone call? What was your reaction like?
D’BANJ: I met the GM on the flight and he said to me, ‘Yo…You know P Diddy and Ciroc?’ and I said ‘Yes like A and B’ and he was like…’You know you are P Diddy in Africa… Let’s do this!’ and I said ‘Hmm more like the African Micheal Jackson’ lol. I couldn’t get involved then because I was endorsed by another beverage company. But when the time was right the Ciroc boy was on and the Lord delivered!
TM: Being a representative of such a high flying brand like CÎROC, how does that amplify your artistry?
D’BANJ: When people think of CÎROC, they think of a certain lifestyle, a lifestyle of hardwork, success, celebration, happiness….. All these are all synonymous with my brand. We reflect each other well and I think that this new relationship will bring new exposure to both brands.
TM: On a lighter note, how do you drink your CÎROC? On the rocks or you make a cocktail?
D’BANJ: I love a good cocktail! In fact, I’ve just launched a competition for the fans to come up with the perfect mix for my signature CÎROC cocktail!!
TM: Banky W and D’Banj … This is one mix that no one predicted; do you think you guys complement each other enough to represent this brand?
D’BANJ: Definitely. I’ve known Banky for years now, since he came back from the States and joined the music industry here in Nigeria. We are mutual friends but have never worked together. Banky has been an Ambassador longer than I am and he’s a great CÎROC influencer. I think we compliment each other well. Though our genres of music are different, we are both great entertainers and businessmen so we simply use this to our advantage when it comes to CÎROC. We bring out more people, we reach more fans and we spread the message to a larger audience and together we will take over Africa
TM: If you were asked to tell us what each letter of this high flying alcoholic beverage (Ultra-Premium Vodka) stands for what will you say?
D’BANJ: “U” for Unique, “P” for Prestigious, “V” for Victorious #UPV = D’Banj
TM: What is the personality of a CÎROC man or woman?
D’BANJ: Hmmm, definitely someone who is classy, sophisticated, works hard and likes (the idea of) the finer things in life!
TM: Tell us something exclusive about this ambassadorship? Is there going to be a theme song by you two or unique advertorials?
D’BANJ: We are currently in discussions about that, but I can’t’ disclose anything at the moment, I’m afraid. You’ll have to keep watching this space…
TM: This is a really good time in your career, a landmark period, 10 years and counting and then voila, this magnanimous deal, how does that feel?
D’BANJ: To be celebrating 10 Years feels amazing and the CÎROC deal coming at the beginning of the year felt like a validation that it was going to be great! There’s a lot of new music coming out over the next few months and there is the second half of the 10 Year anniversary celebrations to look forward to, and of course CÎROC will be right there with me!
TM: Moving forward what do you have in store for your ardent fans?
D’BANJ: The fans have a lot to look forward to! In August I’m releasing a 6 track Visual EP and then the full album will follow a couple of months later. I’m also doing a special edition “Unplugged, African Tour and Nationwide Tour (Nigeria) over the next few months…. I can’t wait!
TM: Let’s delve into ‘the bottle’ can you tell us something peculiar about CÎROC, we don’t know?
D’BANJ: Well, a lot of people are not aware that CÎROC is made from grapes, rather than grain…
TM: How old is CÎROC?
D’BANJ: 18 years…..
TM: Can you tell us if Nigerians are the highest consumers of this brand in West Africa?
D’BANJ: That is difficult to say, but Nigerians do love CIROC. I wouldn’t be surprised though as CIROC is a prominent brand out here and they are constantly innovating and activating. We also have the advantage of numbers in terms of population here, so I’d say we probably have the highest number of consumers!
TM: Top 3 things you must have with your CÎROC?
D’BANJ: Ice, a tall glass and excellent company!
TM: How many CÎROC bottles do you have in your bar presently?
D’BANJ: You know what, I’m not sure. I generally have couple of bottles on ice and I also have the magnum bottle because you never know when the party is going to arrive!