The immortal work of Charles Dickens is brought bang up to date in this frankly bonkers track from Nigerian superstar D’Banj. In the book, poor orphan Oliver famously asks for more gruel, only to be soundly rebuffed by the nasty Mr Bumble. D’Banj faces a similar problem, albeit with one key difference. He also wants more of something, in his case a selection of ladies – including Rihanna and Beyonce – rather than a bowl of watery porridge. You can only imagine what Mr Bumble would have done had Oliver tried to pull the same trick.
In the event, it’s unlikely that anyone will think too hard about the literary implications of ‘Oliver Twist’. Instead they’ll probably focus on the bouncy nu-dancehall rhythms and D’Banj’s irrepressible vocodered delivery, before going on to involuntarily jiggle their hips in time to the beat.
He’s already a superstar on his native continent, having picked up more African MTV Awards then he can comfortably carry. Perhaps inevitably, he caught the eye of one Kanye West, who signed him up to his GOOD Music label with a view to taking D’Banj global. Any idea that the move to a US label would somehow dilute the music that D’Banj made his name with has been quickly quashed by the man himself.
“I think my music is very universal. It depends on how I feel at the time that I’m doing a song or how I’m delivering it or to whom that song is going out to. You understand?” he told Sahara TV. “Kanye did not sign me because he saw something that can be, as you said, ‘Americanized’ or Yoruba-nized’ or whatever. He just liked what he heard. He liked what he saw. And by God’s grace we’re doing it and I’m very happy that who best for me or who best introduced me to the American market or to the global world than Kanye West, someone who we all know how creative he is. So we should know that that is what he wants.”
All this means that D’Banj should continue to turn out hits as singular, infectious and downright odd as ‘Oliver Twist for some time to come. Great news for all those who hear this and want some more.