Olubankole Wellington (born 27 March 1981), popularly known by his stage name Banky W and credited in film as Banky Wellington, is a Nigerian singer, rapper, actor and politician.

Early life and music career

Banky W was born in the United States to Nigerian parents. His family moved back to Nigeria when he was five years old. He started singing at a young age in his church choir. He schooled in Lagos for his primary and secondary education and returned to further his tertiary education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York on a scholarship. He started his record label E.M.E in 2002 while studying. He also used to work at GlobalSpec and would sing really loud with his headphones on. In 2009, he left the US for Nigeria and established his record label in Lagos where he signed artists like Niyola, Shaydee, Skales and Wizkid to the label at the time. His breakthrough debut studio album, Back in the Building was released in 2005. He wrote the first theme song of Etisalat Nigeria titled “0809ja for life”.

2012–2013: R&BW

A day after Valentine of 2013, he launched his new album “R&BW” with a concert tagged the “Grand Love Concert” at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos, which featured several other artistes including Iyanya and Waje. The first two singles from the album are “Lowkey” and “Yes/No”.

2017: Dissolution of E.M.E

Banky W announced in February 2018 that E.M.E was dissolved as a record label; he said the label is now a talent management company focused on creative marketing, advertising, PR and brand events. Banky W named DJ Xclusive, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru, and his wife Adesua Etomi as the first set of clients of the rebranded company.

Other collaborations

In 2017, Banky W took part in the initialing of a monumental heirloom, the Philosophers Legacy.

Political career

On 11 November 2018, Banky W declared his intention to run for the Lagos’ Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, representing on the platform of Modern Democratic Party, formed in 2017.

On 23 February 2019, Banky Wellington lost the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency Elections to Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressive Congress.

Personal life

He married Adesua Etomi traditionally on 19 November 2017 and subsequently did his white wedding in South Africa on 25 November 2017. He had a successful skin cancer surgery on his shoulder in 2017.

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

  • Back in the Building (2006)
  • Mr. Capable (2008)
  • The W Experience (2009)
  • R&BW (2013)

EPs

  • Undeniable (2003)

Playlists

  • 2017: Songs About U (2017)

Compilation albums

  • Empire Mates State of Mind (2012)

Selected singles

  • 2013: “Jasi”
  • 2014: “Jaiye Orimi”
  • 2015: “High Notes”
  • 2015: “All I Want Is You” feat. Chidinma
  • 2015: “Cash Only” As featured artist
  • 2016: “Made for You”
  • 2016: “Onyeuwaoma” As featured artist
  • 2016: “Mi Re Do (Cocoloso)” feat. Stonebwoy and Shaydee

Filmography

  • The Wedding Party (2016)
  • The Wedding Party 2 (2017)
  • Up North (2018)
  • Sugar Rush (2019)

Awards and nominations

  • John Lennon Song Writing Award 2006, R&B Category, for ‘My Regret’
  • Best R&B Artiste, Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2006
  • Best Male R&B Artiste, Urban Independent Music Awards, USA, 2006
  • Best International Album, Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2007 for ‘Mr Capable’
  • Best R&B Video, Nigerian Music Video Awards 2008 for ‘Don’t Break My Heart’
  • Best Male Vocal Performance, Hip hop World Awards 2009 for ‘Don’t Break My Heart’
  • R&B Single of the year, 2010 Hip Hop World Awards for ‘Strong Ting’
  • Best R&B Singer (Male) and Best Music Video 2010 City People Entertainment Awards

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