In this chat, Bankole Wellington a.k.a Banky W shared his life, family, business and relationships.
I am Bankole Wellington but fans call me Banky Warrior or Banky W. I’m a singer and record label owner (Empire Mate Entertainment). I was born in the United States to Nigerian parents. My family moved back to Nigeria when I was five years old. After secondary education in Nigeria, I moved back to the US on a college scholarship, where I earned a degree in Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While still in college, I won the Albany Idol Competition and that set the stage for my career in music.
Entertainment in Nigeria
We are doing quite well and we have come a long way but we have a long way to go and in terms of marketing music. We have the ‘show’ part but we need to work on the business part. Nigeria is one of the only places in the world where royalties are not paid by radio and TV stations. These people make use of music to run their businesses and make revenue from advertising but don’t pay us.
Me and artistes
For the ones on my label, I oversee their musical projects and I position them as brands. We do a lot of strategic thinking, planning and negotiations too.
A day in my life
I wake up, pray and I work out with my trainer, Uzi. He is Ikechukwu’s younger brother and he is trying to get me into shape so that I can look like Peter of P Square! After training, I’m back home, shower and try to get a healthy meal. I like chicken breast and sea food a lot. What I do after the morning ritual varies. I have many activities to attend to and in the evenings, after dinner, I watch an Arsenal game before I retire to bed.
How and where I hang out depends on the day, sometimes there are events where I have to attend the after-party. Sometimes, I just feel like letting loose and hanging out a bit. At other times, I may be too tired to do so because of my busy schedule.
I hate photo shoots! Photoshoots are annoying to me, the whole process of standing there, posing and doing other random things. However, I realise that I have no choice in the matter, pictures are necessary; people have to see the artiste and connect with his image. Also, the pictures would be needed for CD covers and press publications. I try to limit them and I only do photoshoots when I have a new album coming out. At such times, I would take a lot of different shots that will last for a year or two so they don’t have to disturb me again. But I love video shoot because I feel I can play a role; I feel as if I am almost acting.
Style is just an expression of who you are and how you are feeling; it is how you want to present yourself to the general public. Comfort influences my style. Even if I am wearing a suit, I have to be comfortable in it and it has to fit properly. I wear a lot of traditional outfits these days because I love the way they make one feel free. Style is all about you presenting yourself in a way you want people to treat you. If you present yourself like a rascal, people will react to you accordingly. But if you have money like Bill Gates, then you can afford to come out looking unkempt and it would not matter to anybody how you look.
When I lose a loved one and I have lost one or two.