Every musician’s ambition is for their music to be well-received by listeners and, as a result, for the listener to become a fan of the artiste, supporting them fully anytime they are needed, whether for new releases, concert shows, brand endorsements, or a confrontation with another singer.
NotjustOk’s Fan Affairs is a humorous series that looks at the relationship between Nigerian musicians and their fans while highlighting some of our favorite singers’ strangest fan experiences.
In this episode of Fan Affairs, we speak with Nigeria’s well-loved 2020 breakout talent from the street hip hop scene, Bella Shmurda, popularly known as the Dangbana Orisa, who recently released his High Tension 2.0 EP, to get the lowdown on all the love he receives from Dangbana Republik citizens.
Bella Shmurda on Fan Affairs: When did you realize you had fans, that you were the president of the Dangbana Republic, and all that?
When I launched this song, Dangbana Orisa, the response was overwhelming. Everyone was raving about it, and I realized I had a lot of support.
Because not everyone had that opportunity, I felt blessed and graced. I consider myself fortunate to be here, doing crazy stuff and having people enjoy it.
To begin with, I don’t really go to my school any longer. Then there are other locations in my neighborhood where I used to go and have fun that I can no longer visit.
Bella Shmurda’s Fan Affairs: What is the most bizarre or memorable thing a fan has ever done to gain your attention?
A fan had to come and knock on my door.
On your house door?
Yes, my front door was slamming slamming slamming slamming slamming I’m not sure how they got past my estate’s security, but they had to come and knock on my door. But I had to do it for them, take pictures, and do everything else, so thank you to everyone.
Tell us more about it: when did it happen in your career, and was it more than one person?
Actually, there were five of them: two men and three women. But I’m sure I could handle it; all I have to do is share love and attempt to be kind enough. My boys were present, so we could photograph them and have a good time. When Hallelu was hot, I believe this happened after Cash App. ‘Yoo, we’ve been looking for you, we have to snap a picture,’ they said. They say, ‘Na, your house is this-and-that.’
What celebrity do you think would make you feel starstruck if you had a fan moment?
Olamide Baddoo is a king, in my opinion. I’ve always admired him. So I always feel like a fan whenever I’m around him. In particular, he and I.
Do you have any way of confirming people’s claims to be Dangbana Republikans when they come to you?
Anyone can become a Republikan. I don’t ask them any questions; all I do is try to shoot images of them and make them smile.
Bella Shmurda on Fan Affairs: Other than Nigeria, where do you have a lot of admirers and can’t wait to perform?
In Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, I believe I have a large number of them. Ukraine, too, since my performance there was like a concert, and it was incredible.
So, if you had to choose only one site for your next out-of-country performance—your PR says you have one in London as well—which would it be?
Gracey—London is my pick.