1st July, 2021
Lami Bankz is a Nigerian show promoter and talent manager who is better known by his corporate style of dressing and gave himself the title “the Corporate Marlian. He is one of the aides to the controversial music star, Naira Marley. Aside from the music business, Lami Bankz is the CEO of Lami’s Place and also a celebrity photographer.
In this interview with Taiwo Okanlawon, Lami Bankz whose real name is Ogundeji Olamide Raphael talks about his journey into music 6 years ago, challenges how he’s forging ahead.
You have been in the music industry for about 6 years now, how has it been?
The music industry has been challenging, especially as a talent manager, my experience so far has been great too. My zeal as always put me one step ahead, which made everything a bit easier.
Tell us a little about your background.
My full name is Ogundeji Olamide Raphae, I was born and brought up in Ogun State, and my parents are academicians, so schooling is very vital in my home. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Olabisi Onabanjo Univerisity Ogun State and I graduated in 2018. I come from a very religious Christian home.
You studied Mechanical Engineering, now you are into music and showbiz, how did that happen?
I have always loved showbiz, but my Dad wanted me to study engineering but when I got into the University I used my leisure time to go for shows and I started managing my first artiste when I was in 100 level. Then, when I graduated, I realized I needed to move to Lagos where the spotlight is.
How does your family feel about the career?
At first, they didn’t feel comfortable about it due to the fact that I studied engineering as a course, but later on, they gave me a privilege of doubt, and today they are proud that they gave me the chance to go for what I wanted.
What do you do at Lami’s Place?
Let me start with the fact that my dad also wanted me to learn barbing as a side business, so immediately music paid off a little I decided to start with my first saloon which I named Lami’s Place.
Lami’s Place is a unisex salon that consists of barbing, hair styling, pedicure, manicure, nail fixing and
You also have a record label, what is your plan for it?
Well, I am still working on it. I just finished working on my studio and let us anticipate for what is coming.
You are one of the closest allies of Naira Marley, how did you meet?
I met Naira Marley through his brother, which I met in the university
Many people believe Naira Marley is a bad influence, can you tell us the Naira Marley that many of us don’t know?
You have to meet him in person to know who he really is, you don’t judge a book by its cover. Naira Marley is a very nice person, he takes everybody as his own, he is humble and full of life. Naira Marley is addictive in a good way, and you feel safe whenever you are with him.
Aside from Naira Marley, which other big artiste have you worked with?
Aside from Naira Marley, I have about three big other artistes I am working with on a project which will be unveiled soon.
What do you think the future holds for the Nigerian music industry
The music industry in Nigeria has gotten world recognition already, especially after Burna boy and Wizkid brought the Grammy Awards home. It’s a big win for the Nigerian music industry and the future holds more income and new, better advertisements for artistes especially.
COVID-19 has affected the industry and no show for a long time, how have you been coping?
Social media is one of the greatest blessings of our time. The streaming and the government-approved shows with strict COVID-19 regulations have been really helpful as well.
Why did you opt for the name; The Corporate Marlian?
I love to dress corporate and moreover when people hear the fact that you are a Marlian, they tend to think you are a drug addict, weed smoker, thug, cultist and so on which is not true.
We have so many Marlians who are bankers, engineers, doctors even in the political sector, so I decided to add the word corporate to let them know not all Marlians are irresponsible.
As a young, you must have had your fair share of police brutality in Nigeria even with your corporate dressing?
Yes, due to the fact that being young and stable seems to be like a crime in Nigeria. It is sad.
What is your advice advise for the upcoming artistes?
They should keep working hard, the world is watching, they should stay focus and not relent and their time will definitely come
What project do you want to embark on now?
I am embarking on a huge project right now with some A list artistes from the American music industry which will be revealed soon.