As an undergraduate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, where he studied water engineering, popular singer, Kiss Daniel (real name Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe), had to divide his time between studies and song writing.
Although he was passionate about music and sometimes dreamed of a future brightened with a successful music career, his studies actually came first in his personal scale of preference.
The result was that, unlike many other singers who dropped out of school to embrace music and stardom, Daniel graduated from the university with a Second Class Upper degree in 2013.
The following year, he took the music scene by storm with the hit song, Woju.
Recalling the past, he says, “If I had failed to find a records label that would be willing to sign me on, after completing youth service, I would have moved on to the United Kingdom for a Masters degree and afterwards, searched for a job as initially planned.”
The singer, easily one of the youngest in Nigeria to make it to the top spot at 21, thinks that his success is divinely ordained.
“The fact that I got a records label during youth service and not when I was still in school shows there is a reason for it. It is as if everything is perfectly timed. If I had found a label when I was an undergraduate, I definitely would have dropped out of school. But I thank God that everything has happened at the right time,” he says.
Most people might wonder where this young man, is called ‘Kiss’. But he says, in an interview with our correspondent, that it was originally a pseudonym given to him by his friends and admirers back in the university.
“They called me ‘Kiss’ because of my dimples. Back in school, a lot of people, including my fans, knew me by that name. Only a few people, except my close friends, knew that my real name is Oluwatobiloba,” he says.
Daniel attributes his active involvement in music, even at the age of 11, to his background.
He says, “I come from a family of artists. My late dad was a painter who also did a bit of songwriting on the side. My sister works with Cool FM as a presenter and my brother is a fashionista. You can see that my family is well grounded in creativity. Besides, dad always encouraged us to be self-employed. He would tell us to use our God-given talents to make a living for ourselves. So when I was starting out as a music artiste he supported me.”
Unfortunately, he lost his father about two months ago. Before the sad event, he had enjoyed a special relationship with him – something that was a shade deeper than a normal father-son relationship.
“Dad was my number one fan and my best friend. He is still my best friend because I still talk to him every day, even in death. We were so close that we used to discuss the kind of things that a father and son would usually not talk about. Even when I had sex for the first time, I recall discussing the experience with him,” he says.
The singer’s greatest regret in life, perhaps, is not fulfilling his promise to buy his father a new car on his birthday. The latter died, regrettably, just before his son hit it big on the music scene.
Nevertheless, Daniel, who prides himself in being the ‘baby of the music industry’, says that despite his success and the resulting fame he enjoys, nothing has changed about him. “I am still the same shy and gentle person that I have always been. The only thing that has changed about me is that I don’t go out as often as I used to do,” he says.
Admitting that Woju’s huge success came with the expected financial benefits, he insists that he is only “successfully comfortable” and not very rich.
He says, “I don’t lack anything. If I want or need anything, I can get it any time.”
This does not include beautiful and willing young women, most of who would do anything possible to hang out with him. Yet, Daniel complains of being ‘mobbed’ by such female fans each time he performs on stage.
“On one occasion in Warri, some of the female fans got so excited to see me perform live that they literally tore my shirt to shreds. I get kissed on stage a lot. Most of the time, when I go to shows, I already know I am going to kiss a girl or more. There was this show I attended in Ibadan. A girl came up to dance with me. While we were dancing, she kissed me and I got carried away for a few moments,” he reveals.
Contrary to an online report, Kiss Daniel denies ever endorsing gay marriage. “I don’t know where people got that information. I have never supported gay marriage. Why would I do that?” he says.