By Ebuka Ubah and Ifunanya Duru
Superstar singer, D’banj’s joy knew no bounds, as his talent hunt platform, Creative Reality Entertainment Arts Music (CREAM), clocked a year last Wednesday. The event, which held at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, enriched lots of wannabes as they smiled home with lots of cash prizes.
D’banj’s excitement is understandable. One of Nigeria’s most successful music stars of all time, he conceived the CREAM idea because “I was being inundated right, left and centre by people who wanted to ‘blow’. It was a time too that I wanted to reach out to those talents in Ogbomosho, Langtang and everywhere else who could not come to Lagos to achieve their dreams but have the talent and passion to do music.”
He added: “I wanted a platform that can help find creative talent from anywhere in Africa and give them a fair chance of making their creative dreams come true, from the comfort of their homes.”
CREAM, thus, started with a mission to offer a veritable platform for uncut musical talents across the country to have their songs recorded and released, shoot musical videos for deserving up and comers and help unknowns secure collaboration with established acts. At the outset in September 2016, there were only a few hundreds of tentative subscribers on the platform.
By July 2017, D’banj sensationally revealed that the CREAM platform had grown into a staggering two million subscriber-base and is now worth an estimated $100 million. He made this declaration late July with an Instagram post, stating: “7:7:17; a dream that started on paper and went live today exactly a year ago, to help CREATIVE talents find their Dreams across Nigeria.”
He stated further: “A year later, it has become the channel that I was looking for in 2012. It has gotten a Global Label Distribution Deal for my people (African Talents) to birth the Label @DCREAMRECORDS and has just been valued above a US$100 million. I’m so humbled; just want to thank God, my family, my FANs, ACS, critics and my partners. And, I want to tell you, no matter what, believe in God and believe in yourself!”
While the first set of beneficiaries on the platform were Rayce, TK Swag, MKJ, Leke Benson and Legend Courage, the lives of many other subscribers have altered dramatically with cash prizes ranging from N50, 000 to N1 million during the monthly draws.
The musician also used the occasion of the anniversary to dispel insinuations that CREAM is a scam. “I have a great team of judges and A&R which includes Godwin Tom and Harrysong, Ice Prince, Wande Coal, to help mentor the artistes we are bringing on board. So, it’s not a lottery platform, the lottery part of it is just an added incentive. The winners are usually chosen by judges, so even if I help the artistes shoot a video, they still need to make money, look good and move around, and for those who have already received their money, they know it is not a scam.”
At the event, different winners drawn from across the country were presented their cheques.
Speaking on the challenge of the initiative, D’banj, whose new album, King Don Come, is already a chart-force, said the widespread distrust among Nigerians makes some winners doubt even their own winnings. “Some people have been registering on the CREAM platform and winning prizes ranging from a million naira to N50, 000, but I noticed that whenever we call the artistes to inform them of winning huge amounts of money, they become scared and don’t bother coming to claim their prizes, it is understandable because of the present situation of the country. They think it is a scam, they think it’s unreal, but I am here to tell you that it is not a scam, I have invited them here for you to see,” he said.