Dapo Tuburna: Making Music With Complete Originality

Dapo Tuburna
Dapo Tuburna

Nigerian Afrobeat singer, Oladapo David Olajide popularly known by his stage name ‘Dapo Tuburna’ is a self-acclaimed true Afrobeat singer with complete originality.

Talking with Dapo Tuburna just before this interview session began, he expressed how amazed he was at how well I pronounced his name, saying I was one of the few to get the pronunciation correctly and we laughed about that, creating a very cheerful atmosphere for his interview. As the session commenced, Dapo Tuburna tells us the story behind his stage name, the growth from military to music, the originality of his human nature, things he would love to change in the Nigeria music industry, artistes he would love to feature on future songs and of course, he tells us why he left Tinny entertainment.

  • What’s the story behind the name ‘Dapo Tuburna’?

The word Tuburna is a military slang, you tend to hear snipper and gunner, now that’s where the word ‘Burna’ fits in. I just added my name Dapo to make it ‘Dapo Tuburna’, meaning ‘when you’re too good at your military duties’. I used to lead the parade while I was in Navy school and people used to refer to me as ‘Burna’, all of a sudden someone called me ‘Tuburna’, maybe it was because I used to listen to Tuface or Tupac but it stuck. However, it was initially ‘Burna’.

  • From Military to Music, how did that happen?

Well, the military and music go hand in hand because we use a lot of instruments on the parade ground and I used to play the drums in the music club. I didn’t want to go further in the military, so I branched into music.

  • How/when did you start music?

I started music as a kid, I would exchange slices of bread with my uncle to play the konga in church.

  • What are the challenges you face as an artiste?

As an artiste in Nigeria, sometimes you need to pay for sessions and it is also not easy when you need to create a song in 8hrs.

Dapo Tuburna
Dapo Tuburna
  • Why did you leave Tinny entertainment?

“Well, I did because I had to do my p”. I was doing it on my own for a while before I signed a management deal with ‘The Zone agency’ but somewhere along the line Tinny approached me. We signed a deal because the picture was looking nice but I was still doing everything myself, “so why was I signed to a label?” He provided the money but I decided to let him go, after all, I am doing music for just myself and my fans and not for the label.

  • Who is your favourite ex-Tinny artiste?

I kick it a lot with Bella, I was talking to her even while I was waiting for this session. I talk to Bella all the time.

  • Outside music, who is Dapo Tuburna?

Dapo is a very Free and Original person. I am so original that I am scared that I won’t change because, in the industry, you need a lot of paparazzi. It’s like you can’t go out to do certain things because you are an artiste and I can’t cut off my originality. Sometimes I do things that I am told not to do, like go to the shrine and just chill with guys that love my music or take a bus from the island to abule-egba, with my cap down, writing and no one knows it’s me. I am that real.

Dapo Tuburna
Dapo Tuburna
  • If not music, what would it be?

I’ll like to be in a position to speak to people, not a pastor but I’d probably have a congregation where I tell people the actual truth of life without collecting money in form of tithe or making them do any other religious stuff. I’d probably just have like a congregation, followership.

  • If you had to change 3 things in the Nigerian music system, what would they be?

First, I’ll try to change the way record labels present contracts to artistes of interest, make the details clear, there is no need to be cunning about it. Remove every shadiness because when we find out, it really gets to us. I’ll create more platforms for the creatives, let us create a community and lastly, let us show love.

  • Tell us something about you that we won’t find online

You won’t see or feel my anger online. I see every shade thrown at me online but I won’t reply, you won’t ever see me go angry online.

  • Who would you love to feature?

I’ll like to work with people that do the actual music, people like Wizkid, Burna Boy, 2baba and a lot of upcoming artistes that I listen to.

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