Oyindamola Johnson popularly known as Dammy Krane talks about his career and how he got signed on to Tuface’s Hypertek Entertainment
Why did you choose to sing Fuji music?
My mother manages and organises events for Fuji artistes and that influenced my going into that genre of music. I remember that aside from playing games and joining my friends in playing soccer, I used to follow her to some Fuji shows and that inspired me to become a Fuji artiste.
It was reported that you reunited with your mother after 10 years. How come you were separated for such a long time?
My mother’s event company management had to move to America and she had to relocate also. I did not have an opportunity to get a visa until last year when I went for the Nigerian Entertainment Award. I flew to New York to meet my mother. I was so happy to see her after a very long while.
After re-uniting with your mother, it was reported that she bought you a car, but we learnt you have a phobia for driving…
I have a driver that takes me to wherever I want to go. I developed a phobia for driving after I lost an aunt in a car accident when I was young. I really liked that aunt. Then, I was staying with my mother. I did not move to my grandmother’s house until I was ten years old. Although I did not witness the accident, I heard about it and I was in shock. I am very emotional. I cannot stand the sight of blood.
How about your father?
He is fine. My father is a businessman and he travels all the time. There was a song I sang where I mentioned his name. I hardly talk about him because people mostly want to know about my mother.
How were you able to manage without your mother for so long while growing up?
I grew up with my grandmother and learnt a lot from her. Growing up with her disciplined me; she gave me a thorough training. From her, I learnt the principles of success, humility, hardwork and patience.
Now that you are a celebrity, do you still have time to visit your grandmother?
Yes, I see her very often, I don’t joke with her; she is my wife. My grandmother is my wife.
How come you don’t have tattoos as most entertainers your age embrace them?
When people ask me why I do not have a tattoo, I tell them that you cannot scratch a Bentley. I believe my body is the temple of God, a holy place and I have to treat it with respect. I have to keep it clean. I am also a brand and I don’t think it would speak well of my brand if I have inscriptions on my body. I believe I have to keep my brand clean and that is why I would never get a tattoo or pierce my skin.
You are signed under Tuface’s Hypertek records, how did you two meet?
I met him during one of his birthday celebrations about three years ago. He invited some people like MI, Tiwa, and a Lebanese friend of mine, Iyad. I went with Iyad. Tuface and my friend, Iyad, were at the pool side talking when Iyad called my name. Tuface said that he had been hearing my name and would like to meet me. He saw me and told me that I should tell my management team to set up a meeting with him and the rest is history.
How did you feel when you learnt that Tuface knew you?
Honestly, I felt very humbled. There is something about me and Tuface; I believe we have this spiritual connection. Immediately I met him, I knew he was my man. He said something to me that still humbles me till date. He said that the reason he signed me was because he saw himself in me.
It was widely rumoured that you claimed Davido’s Skelewu dance step was your concept, how true is this?
It is a rumour. I didn’t say anything, they say action speaks louder than words. I just released my Sabi dance video directed by Clarence Peters.Sabi dance is for Dammy Krane.
You always say Dammy Krane is for the ladies in most of your songs, does it mean that you have a lot of girlfriends?
There is Dammy Krane the ‘Enterkraner’ and there is Oyindamola Johnson. Dammy Krane is the person you see on stage and he is the one for the girls. Oyindamola Johnson is the regular guy trying to live a normal life.
What is the craziest thing a lady fan has done to you?
A lady once walked up to me at the backstage of where I was performing and asked me to sign my autograph on her boobs.
Did you sign it?
I had to sign it; I did not want to embarrass my fan.
How did your music career start?
I was born into a musical environment. I was a part of the toddler’s choir in my church. As I grew older, people began to invite me to sing at their events and I started backing- up for some singers also. I was also into dancing before I later met with Tuface and was signed on to his record label.
Were you ever a professional dancer?
Not really. I had to dance for two reasons. First, dancing and singing go hand-in-hand. Secondly, there were some gigs I went for as a back-up singer while building my brand and they would tell me they needed a dancer instead. So, it was either I danced or I left with nothing. I also used to watch Michael Jackson; he was a source of inspiration to me. I also used to watch Usher and later Chris Brown. I remember that there used to be a mirror close to our television in the sitting room. Whenever I watched these artistes, I would perform in front of the mirror to see how good I was doing. Growing up, I formed a music group with my friends in church. We used to go and dance at parties.
How was it doing a song with Pasunma?
I was very happy. It is very hard to get a big Fuji act to collaborate with because they are always moving around. After I told Pasunma I wanted to do a song with him, he travelled to America for a show. In America, he heard my song, My Dear. He started telling people that I was his son. When he got back, I called him to find out if he was back and he told me yes. He also told me that he heard my song and that we needed to do our song on a Wednesday. I did not believe it because I thought he was just giving me a compliment. On that Wednesday, he said I should send him my address which I did; I was in the studio recording a song when he just walked inside. He did not even call to inform me that he was outside. He heard the song I was singing as he walked in and told me that he already knew his part in the song. He took a pen and a paper and wrote his verse right there, he did not even sing it. When he was done writing, he went into the booth and sang his part. I was shocked, surprised and amazed. Punch