Born Olubankole Wellington his music and life story have catapulted him into the spotlight, but a closer look shows a young man reflective of us all. Born in the United States to Nigerian parents (his father is from Badagry in Lagos while his mother is from Calabar in Cross River State), he moved to Nigeria, West Africa at the tender age of 5 where he learned to appreciate both the beauty and the sorrows of living in the motherland. There he heard the traditional African music and rhythms that are deeply rooted in his sound and faced the harsh realities of everyday life.
Against all odds and overcoming obstacles (he starred down the barrel of a gun during an armed invasion of his home at age fifteen). His drive and determination to succeed made him move back to the States by himself at age seventeen. Earning a scholarship and working two jobs he put himself through school and earned a Degree in Engineering from one of the top schools in America (RPI New York). Always keeping the dream alive he kept writing and using his everyday struggles as a source of inspiration for his music.
He started a record label Empire Mate$ Entertainment with his buddies; recorded an EP ‘Undeniable’ and sold records out the trunk of his car, at local barbershops and performing anywhere he could. The grassroots marketing paid off when the local FOX TV station caught wind of his music and did a special on him. He soon was on local radio and secured a distribution deal but once again he had to face his biggest trial.
After complaining about shoulder pains & a routine check-up, he was diagnosed with cancer. Tests revealed he had a tumor the size of a baseball. The tumor was removed & everything seemed to be going his way until he was put to test again. Another cancerous tumor grew in the same spot, the doctors said he wouldn’t make it but his faith and belief in God kept him strong. Another operation another tumor but he is back and stronger than ever
Through it all, he kept working on his debut album, “Back in the Buildin” that features the award winning track “My Regret”. Touring and performing in Europe, Africa, the States and maintaining a hectic schedule, Banky still found time to write and produce other acts. With an ever-growing fan base, larger-than-life presence and electrifying live show, Banky has won numerous awards
I used to wonder why the brother always wore a durag but the cancer story explains it all. He is more of Naija’s version of Ne-Yo. Anyway, enough of my gist, here is his 4th album “The W Experience”.