Artist Aux Interview: PrettyBoy D-O
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
By Lang F., Eno O.
I started Wizkid News as a sophomore undergrad student at St. John’s University. Prior to that, I never really listened to African music and I never truly embraced my culture the way I do now. I missed out on a lot of cool experiences with my fellow students in the diaspora that first year. Surprisingly, one of those experiences could have been meeting PrettyBoy D-O who I just discovered was also a student at my school at that time. It was very early in his music career then, but it would have been dope to know him before the fame & fortune! Nonetheless, I’m blessed to have met him now & feature him here.
D-O was born in New Jersey and moved back to Nigeria at a very young age. Before leaving, he was impacted by the popular music culture in the States. He often listened to Carribean artists like Wayne Wonder and credits artists like RikRok and Shaggy on inspiring his unique flow. When listening to songs like “Shawn Michael''” off his 2018 project Everything Pretty, you can definitely hear this influence from start to finish. The cover art to that tape highlights one of D-O’s animated hairstyles. He notes Sisqó as a major influence behind that form of expression. He told us, “I change my hair based on my mood.” Tupac is another artist he credits for inspiring him to have a voice as an artist, something that we’ll hear more on his upcoming EP - Wildfire.
One of the major things D-O stands for is change in Nigeria “Wildfire is about Nigerians -- against Nigerians.” He compares Wildfire to Moses and the burning bush - Wildfire being the burning bush and D-O being a leader, like Moses, in a movement that seeks to break hindering ideologies. D-O believes change in Nigeria starts with equality. “Nigeria needs to end classism, sexism, everyone should be able to live the life they want and LOVE whoever they want”. We then began to talk about corruption in Nigeria “Nigerians are too focused on the finished product and don’t pay attention to substance.” Wildfire is political but D-O describes himself as NOT being a politician but simply as an artist with a revolutionary voice.
We couldn’t talk about corruption in Nigeria without speaking about the recent killing and rape victims which have sparked hastags like #JusticeForUwa and #SayNoToRape. We asked D-O what his solution is to ending rape in Nigeria. He responded, “Make an example of people, they must be punished. I believe in karma.” D-O calls for action in Nigeria, real change, real reform and justice for everyone.
“Later this year I’m dropping an album” and D-O describes this album as being like Los Angeles - peaceful. The different places he records impact his music. LA is like a home away from home for D-O given that he has family out there such as Tito Joey (Culture Custodian) that gave him confidence in his pursuit of a career in music. “The vibe in LA is different and I don’t feel the same pressures I do when in Nigeria.” When in Lagos, he’ll create more energetic songs like “Pull Up” and “Dey Go Hear Wehh”. The latter, which is on Wildfire, is a track that reeks of determination against all odds. In this song, D-O really captures his personal belief that “if you can make it Lagos, you can make it anywhere.” He channels a more chill energy on “Badman” - his collab with LA based DJ Tomi Tribe.
Lookout for more of Prettyboy D-O’s versatility in his upcoming releases. The Wildfire EP drops June 19th.