Interview: Prettyboy D-O delivers truths about life, music, and authenticity


In a nutshell, our interview with Prettyboy D-O revealed he is everything we thought he was and more.

Since January 2018, Prettyboy D-O, full name Donald Ofik, started gaining significant attention in the Nigerian music scene. An artist known for his unique music style and relatable social media energy, he took the Nigerian alté scene by storm with his debut album, Everything Pretty.

D-O’s rise has been marked by a series of innovative releases that have focused on various aspects of his life and his relationship with those who matter to him. For many, the raw and unapologetic tracks on, his most recent album, Love is War, served as an introduction to DO's charismatic and rebellious persona. 

This writer had a conversation with Pretty Boy D-O to discuss his journey from the strict confines of Loyola School to the vibrant stages of Nigeria's music scene. Dive into his creative process, the influences that shape his music, and how he navigates the challenges of fame and controversy. He also gives us hints on his new album release date and what to expect from him.

What made your childhood special?

I wouldn't say anything that made my childhood special. Only that I got the things I wanted and my parents wanted me to be the best I could be. With that, I wasn't allowed to go out. I was in a school that was very strict and for smart people. I went to Loyola School. I didn't really have a social life. I used to listen to music, watch movies, and daydream all the time about all the things I’m doing now. I did not feel like I had the time to do what I wanted to do. In fact, I didn’t finish my Master’s, but I put my all into everything.

Why didn’t you finish your master's degree?

The dollar rate did a crazy jump, and I couldn’t pay my school fees. I had to take a loan or move back and sign with Sean Tizzle’s label (at the time), D’ Tunes, and that’s how I left school to start music.

In one of your videos, you are calling on Chelsea to sign you. Are you a Chelsea fan?

I am a very, very deep Chelsea fan. The video was to promote my song, Shege. I try to do some crazy rollouts, so that was why I did something funny, you know, something to make people tune into the next single at that time.

Can you tell me how you became a Chelsea fan? 

Picture this: the whole of Nigeria was in love with Arsenal, and Kanu Nwakwo, Nigeria, had just won the Olympics and signed for Arsenal. This was ‘96, ’97. He was one of the biggest Nigerian guys at the time. He was actually one of the people who made a lot of Nigerians start watching the Premier League. But, there was another Nigerian in Chelsea, Babayaro. So I remember that time when my father was an Arsenal fan. People were either Arsenal or Chelsea. And I always strive to be different, even in music. I loved what was the underdog or the underground. Chelsea usually came in 3rd place; I was six at the time, but I always loved Chelsea, and I've been supporting Chelsea all my life. My children will support Chelsea, and my girlfriend's father already supports Chelsea. He even has the Chelsea logo everywhere. It's a spiritual thing.

So, the D-O in your name? Is it from your initials, Donald Ofik?

Yeah, I was named after Donald Trump. In 1992, he was a young millionaire on the rise, and my mum named me after him.

How did you come up with Prettyboy D-O?

I was in university at the time, a year before I started dropping music. I started dropping music in 2012, and ASAP Rocky came out in 2011. And at the time, because I wasn't doing well in university, you know, I used to write a lot of music. I love Drake and Naeto C, and I just love music in general. I remember I wasn't really going to class at that time. Like it was out of being a really stupid young boy. I wasn't going to class and as ASAP Rocky came out, I felt so much identification with him at the time. 

He was a young guy from New York who dressed so well, the style of music was so good, and he used to call himself Pretty Boy Flacko because his style and swag were so much. I changed my whole Instagram and Twitter to Prettyboy D-O, like the way it is now. 

But I wasn't calling the Pretty Boy in my music until my cousin asked me in 2017, Why is there a Pretty Boy in your name? I gave him the same answer, He said I was a fly nigga and should definitely call myself that. So I started using Prettyboy D-O.  

What inspires you to create the type of content that you do with your music?

I will just be myself. I also direct my videos. So that's where I get the ideas for those things that you see. My ultimate goal is to make the comedy and skits go along with the song. Laughter, or comedy, is a language. I try to use the contents to grab as much attention as possible from the music, I also try to do it as naturally as I can, it's natural to me. 

I was brought up in a middle-class background and grew up in Osapa, London, and I had to live in barracks with my navy father. I could relate to both a sense of normalcy and still being able to go on summer vacation. That upbringing is what causes the relativity to the streets and alté.

I really became a street boy when I got back from my master’s to do music. Parents have now seen a lot of artists do music, artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, and Rema, and are now more supportive of their children. In my case, I had to run away from home to do music. So that point of my life opened my eyes. 

What is your thought process when you're directing your music videos?

These days, it is money. ‘What is the most cost-effective thing?’ But I basically try to do something that people have never seen before. Sometimes, it’s aesthetically pleasing. The last song I dropped Sharp Shooter wasn’t my usual vibe but yeah. I like to direct my stuff and become a video director later on. 

That’s a good path, Give TG Omori a run for his money!

Yeah, Lol, Me and TG are really cool, and even though he’s a very big director, I respect him and he respects my work too. 

Do you ever feel like both of you could work together?

Yes, but He charges 100 million naira for a video and I just carry my camera. 

Before we get into your next drop, right? I would love to know what really happened between you and Odumodublvck. Was it scripted or real? 

No, it wasn't scripted. I’ll first say that everything is sorted because, at the end of the day, we're brothers, me and him. Initially, I wasn’t even fighting him. The issue taught me that if you fight in private, when it comes to the public, it’s almost like everyone wants to win. I also learned that what happens in private, the public might not even know. It was a different narrative. The problem was happening on Twitter but it was like news on Tiktok. 

Another big reason why we went for peace was that there was a lot of talk behind the scenes, people springing from nowhere, wanting to fight for me. There were at least 29 people in my house. A lot of them are real gangsters, so I spoke to OD and decided to drive my way because it can’t just go with violence. Me and my people had to pick peace. Odumodublvck also saw it from that point.

Me, Odumodublvck and Teezee had to realise that we were tight and they helped me sort out my initial issue. We decided to respect ourselves and resolve any issues in private but the public circus was a no.

Would you say that you have any regrets about, having that issue come to the public?

No. I've never been in that situation before. This issue was almost 2 years old, but it was me and other members of Native (that knew). It was when I came back to the country that I spoke about it. The only thing I'll say is that I had to learn that what was private is not the same as what will be seen publicly. 

Because the day when we finished the war, a lot of videos came out and Odumodublvck posted videos on the story and stuff and they went viral. That's the only regret I have, that I did not put out a statement on my own because I don't talk, I'm not the kind of person that talks.

This is the only time in my life I've ever been in controversy. There's one popular meme about Max Air, I never explained what happened. But you learn because I didn't have the PR practice for this kind of thing. I've never been opportune to feel like I'm a celebrity, like a mainstream celebrity in our country. So I didn't know how important it is that you have to clear or put out a narrative for every single thing that was happening privately, you might not see it but that's the only regret.

Let's get to Sharp Shooter, What was your inspiration for Sharp Shooter?

Sharp Shooter was written in early 2023, but after the thing with Odumodublvk, I wanted to drop it since it described me. I'm someone who doesn’t like trouble or looks for trouble. I’m not an agitator, and I felt it best described me. 

What message do you want to pass across with the song? 

I want to tell the world who I am. More like, even though I chose peace, I need to tell the world what kind of person my Niggas are. When I dropped Sharp Shooter, a lot of them wanted war and since I chose peace, I had to release a song that described it. Basically, my father used to tell me, that “in a war, you need to know when you’ve won so that you do not end up looking like a villain” and that’s what I did.

I record a lot of songs at a time, I was working on my War is Love deluxe album when I was creating the song. When I make my albums, I basically use colours. Red is for anger, and blue is for like calm, or love because blue is a very calm colour. Green is a mix of both and also stands for Nigeria. I thought Sharp Shooter was in the green category. Initially, I was looking for either gangster or love stuff because it’s a peaceful chord. Sharp Shooter is green because there's a mix of gangster talk and talk about myself. The issue I had with OD ended with peace so I needed a song that would speak about me. 

Is Sharp Shooter still green? 

Yes, it is. I think I chose a song that describes myself out of everything. That song literally said  “Omo me no like beef like I'm vegan, But brother, most of my Gs can't say that.”

So do you think there will be features for the new deluxe release? 

There are features already. This is a deluxe of my last album, Love Is War, which will be the last anything war, and after that will be Pretty Please. You know I’ve been fighting for two years and now I want to focus on making good music. The deluxe release is named War is Love. After this is a love album for babes which is called Pretty Please.

Would there be any other features on Sharp Shooter?   

Nope, It’s a song that shows that I’m moving forward. I talked about a lot of personal things, I talked about my locked-up brother. And a lot of other personal things. I don't think I’ll do a remix because it was really just me. 

Why did you decide to speak about your brother?

I’ve seen real violence and gangsterism, and my stepbrother affected me. I’ve seen people locked up, and an example is my brother, although he’s out now. At the time I was writing this song, he wasn't out. Many people don't know this first hand and they keep on saying “If it was me, I would.. “ but I can fight, I box and I’ve been trained. But if it comes to gangs and cults, nah, I've seen many people pay penance for the things they've done. He affected me, even now in his rehabilitation, he is still affecting me. Even my mother, I talk about her in almost all my charts, she too affected me but she is not in this song.

Sharp Shooter is a more introspective look, unlike my song “tell a man pull up” in Pull Up. Sharp Shooter is more like the discussion, in the old days, when we sat at a table to talk about how to go about the war.

Without the influences of these people, what would be different?

I would be different, and lonely, but I’m not sure. For example, my cousins gave me a stepping stone. I wouldn't be here, I would probably be ten steps back, it's just like that, the people have helped me in all aspects.

Are there any live performances coming up?

Yes, I will go on tour after the War is Love deluxe release. It will be happening in June/July. I will go to my state, Port Harcourt, as well as overseas. But I have a single coming up this May. I don't want to disclose it because it also has a feature.

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