By Ranell Dickson Nsereko
On December 27, 2022, Ugandan rapper Lanie Banks realised his dream of signing with Canadian rapper Drake’s OVO record label.
The achievement was the result of unwavering dedication, talent, and what Lanie refers to as “God’s plan.”
Real name Michael Osings, Lanie Banks’ journey to signing with OVO was a complex process involving his own team, the OVO team, and intermediary agencies.
His longtime manager, Reach Williams, played a pivotal role in making this dream a reality.
The encounter between Reach Williams and Drake, born Aubrey Graham, occurred during the Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Clippers NBA playoff final at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
It was here that Williams introduced Lanie Banks to Drake, emphasising the Ugandan rapper’s immense talent. Drake’s interest was piqued, and he requested to listen to one of Lanie’s songs. Subsequently, multiple board meetings were scheduled between Williams, the OVO team, and various agents and scouts to facilitate the signing.
On May 30, 2023, after a series of discussions and negotiations, the parties involved reached an agreement, and Lanie Banks officially became an artiste under OVO.
Lanie Banks, 26, sees this as a significant step in reshaping the East African hip hop narrative. Although the deal might not be all-encompassing, especially for an artiste at his career stage, he remains optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead.
Unfortunately, a few weeks after Lanie’s signing, Williams, passed away on June 8, 2023, due to heart failure at the Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Ontario, Toronto.
Lanie expressed his deep sorrow over the loss, but emphasised that his hope that all parties involved would honour the deal in Williams’ memory.
Despite his newfound success, Lanie maintains a disciplined daily routine, waking up at 5:00am and spending over six hours in the studio before tending to his other commitments.
Lanie’s passion for rap music was ignited by the enthusiastic reception he received from audiences when he embarked on his music career. Recognising his gift for rap, he delved deeper into the genre, drawing inspiration from rap legends and seeking a profound understanding of the craft.
Lanie Banks points out a challenge in the East African music scene, particularly in Uganda, where local music struggles to gain widespread support compared to foreign music. He calls for government ministries to establish regulatory bodies to address the influx of foreign music and advocate for the fair compensation of local artists.
Beyond his music career, Lanie dedicates significant time to caring for his collection of flowers, which includes potted, aquatic, and ground specimens.
Who is Lanie Banks?
Lanie Banks was born Michael Osings, at the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital on October 10, 1996. He hails from a family of five.
His musical journey can be traced back to his early days in Sunday school, and his family’s musical background has been a constant source of inspiration. He boasts two awards in recognition of his contributions to trap, hip hop, and urban club music.
Lanie Banks attended Nabuyonga Elementary School, Mbale Senior Secondary School, St. Peter’s Senior Secondary School Naalya, before graduating from Makerere University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and social administration.
Influenced by his musical preferences, Lanie acknowledges Wahu and Stella Mwangi as two of the finest East African musicians.
He is married to Peace Nabududa, with whom he shares a daughter named Jedi Paris Osings.
Becoming a parent has transformed Lanie’s life, reshaping his daily schedule and priorities. He has shifted his focus towards family and emphasises the importance of home, declaring that, no matter where he goes, he will always return to his roots in Uganda.