My biggest challenge working with Lagbaja…D’Plus
Being the youngest member of masked man, Lagbaja’s band, is herculean and eye-opening enough for Dayo Ajayi, otherwise known in music circles as D’Plus. Having to now combine his traditional piano with playing the bass guitar and a talking drum among other musical instruments proved to be the biggest challenge of the young man’s stewardship with the iconic saxophonist.
According to the 25-year-old University of Ado Ekiti Sociology and Anthropology graduate, his rebirth came while the band was preparing for a week-long performance trip to Paris, France, last year.
He said, “We didn’t have a bass guitarist in the band so I had to take it on. I didn’t really mind though. Then, he asked me to learn how to play the talking drum. I was shocked because I had never played it before. He told me to see myself as a utility player in a football team who could play any role. As God would have it, I learnt it fast enough and he was pleased but it was very tough for me.
“He gave me so much to do. At a particular show, I was literally playing the piano, chords on one hand, brass on the other and I was still controlling the computer almost at the same time. It was tasking, yet, he would yell at me like I wasn’t doing anything. But after our last show in Paris, he gave me a pat on the back and said he was proud of my performance. It felt like I was gifted a million dollars,” he added.
D’Plus described Lagbaja as “a stickler for perfection, very painstaking and tough to work with, but a very wise and exposed man. I learnt the virtues of discipline and hard work from him.”
Recalling his meeting with the Konko Below singer, the dark-hued multi-instrumentalist, now a full-fledged member of widely-travelled gospel artiste, Frank Edwards’s band, said he was recommended by a friend and then invited to Motherlan’ Opebi, Lagos, Lagbaja’s musical sanctuary.
“He personally called to tell me to be at Motherlan’ by 7am and I knew instinctively that was my first test. I got there and met him auditioning a singer. When it was my turn, he gave me several tests and when we were done, he said if I passed I would be invited. Before the end of that day, he called to say I should come to Omole which I would find out was his personal residence.”
From then on, D’Plus was integrated fully into the band. His first performance with the band was at the Glo CAF Awards ceremony held in Lagos, an experience he described as awesome.
“I was excited to share the same stage with Hugh Masekela, P-Square, Flavour, Cabo Snoop and so on. Everywhere I went thereafter, everybody was calling me ‘that Lagbaja boy’.”
Born into music, as his father was a singer and pianist, D’Plus combined schooling with working with several Nigerian artistes like Banky W, Humblesmith, Yinka Davies, Capital F.E.M.I and Ben Ogbeiwi of the MTN Project Fame. Now out of school, the producer cum composer says he is working on his own EP, a six-tracker, where he samples several genres of music.
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