Douglas Jack Agu (born 19 August 1989), better known by his stage name Runtown, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer. He has a diverse musical style mix of hip-hop, R&B, reggae and rap. After moving to Lagos from Enugu State with Phyno in 2007, he started doing underground collaborations with artists like J-Martins and Timaya. In 2008, he partnered with Phyno to form a record label called Penthauz during which he released his first two singles: "Party Like It's 1980" and "Activity Pikin". He collaborated with Davido on his song "Gallardo", which brought him more attention. Few months later, he signed a multi-million Naira contract with Eric-Manny Entertainment owned by Prince Okwudili Umenyiora, the C.E.O of Dilly Motors.
Life and music career
Runtown was born on 19 August 1989 in Enugu but grew up partly in Abuja and Lagos, where he finished his primary education. After the death of his father, he moved to Abuja with his mother who was working in the Ministry of Health. While growing up, he had the aim of being a professional basketball player. In 2005, he relocated to Enugu after his mother developed interest in politics; he went on to finish his secondary school education in Enugu State. Runtown is currently studying Fashion Management at a fashion school in New York City.
2007—present:Ghetto University and other releases
Runtown released his first single titled "Runtown", which was produced by Soge in 2007. His 2010 single titled "Forever" had a video directed by IvanEdd films. In 2012, Jamaican/American singer Laza Morgan featured Runtown on a song titled "High on You", which did big on the Caribbean charts. J. Martins featured Runtown on a song off his Elevation album titled "Tonight". Runtown also worked with Phyno on a song titled "Anamachi Versace", which was produced by WizzyPro. In an interview with NotJustOk.com, he said he acquired his musical inspirations from Sean Kingston, Bob Marley and Kanye West.
On 29 January 2014, Runtown collaborated with Davido to release a song produced by T-Spize titled "Gallardo", which won Best Collaboration of The Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He later released the video which got over 418,000 views on YouTube in its first 2 months. The video features cameos from Patoranking, Skales and Phyno; it was shot in Nigeriaand directed by Clarence Peters. Runtown's career took flight after he signed a recording contract with Eric-Manny Entertainment through his friend, releasing "Successful" and "Domot", both of which received frequent airplay. Runtown was featured on WizzyPro's "Emergency" song, which also features vocals from Skales and Patoranking. The song was produced by WizzyPro and released on 2 November 2014. The music video for "Emergency" was directed by Patrick Elis and released on 19 January 2014. On November 23, 2015, Runtown released his debut studio album titled Ghetto University. The album features guest appearances from DJ Khaled, Phyno, Wizkid, Uhuru and Anatii. The album made him listed in the "Top 5 Most Streamed Artist" in Nigeria, generating over ₦35 million turn over on MTN Music Plus.
On 4 November 2016, Runtown released the love-themed ballad "Mad Over You", which charted at number 38 on the Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart. Joey Akan from Pulse Nigeria described the song as a "self-produced track that draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Alkayida sound". Runtown told The Fader magazine that the song was inspired by African beauty.
Ownership of "Aye"
In 2014, there were reports in the media that Runtown wrote "Aye". In an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, Runtown said, "A lot of people have been asking me that question. Davido has had a number of interviews where he addressed how the song came about. So if you want to learn more about Aye ask David or read his interviews".
Exit from Eric Manny Entertainment
On 31 May 2016, Runtown sought to terminate his contract with Eric Manny Entertainment upon an injunction obtained by the record label from a Federal High Court in Lagos stopping Runtown from performing at events or recording songs on allegations that "he signs up, concludes and attends musical shows without the knowledge of the label". Runtown however denied the allegations in an exclusive interview with Joey Akan of Pulse Nigeria. In the aforementioned interview, Runtown revealed that he quit the record label due to breaches in the recording contract, threat to life and extortion.
Awards and nominations
|2014||2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards||Best Collaboration of The Year||Won|
|The Headies 2014||Next Rated Act||Nominated|
|2015||2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards||Best Pop Artiste||Nominated|
|2015 City People Entertainment Awards||Artiste of The Year||Nominated|
- "Runtown". notJustOk.
- "BOOK ARTIST - Runtown". One Nation Entertainment. 2 July 2014.
- RunTown: How Contact with Timaya Changed My Life
- "Runtown Signs Record Deal with Eric-manny Entertainment". tooXCLUSIVE. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "RunTown: How Contact with Timaya Changed My Life". ThisDay News. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Damilola Sholola (12 December 2014). "Runtown dreams of marrying Rihanna". Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Runtown dreams of marrying Rihanna". Vanguard Nigeria. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- New Music: RunTown – Are You Not Entertained + Activity Pikin
- "RunTown wins NEA Awards Best Collaboration of The Year 2014". Scoop NG. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Runtown Bags International Collaboration
- "I can't date a celebrity –Run Town". SunNews Online. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "WizzyPro – Emergency ft. Runtown, Skales, Patoranking". notJustOk. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- VIDEO: WizzyPro – Emergency f. Runtown, Skales & Patoranking
- Oghene, Michael (6 April 2016). "RUNTOWN: The Rising Profile of Africa's Next 'BIG THING'". 360Nobs. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
- Solanke, Abiola (4 November 2016). "Runtown - 'Mad over you'". Pulse.
- Salihu, Idoko (7 January 2017). "Wizkid, Runtown make Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart". Premium Times.
- Akan, Joey (12 January 2017). "'Mad Over You' remix should have Mr Eazi and Sarkodie on it". Pulse.
- Alexander, Amber (4 November 2016). "Nigerian Star Runtown Is In Love With Ghanaian Beauty On "Mad Over You"". The Fader.
- "It's nobody's business if I sold Aye to Davido —Runtown". Nigerian Tribune. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "Runtown's Record Label slams him with an Injunction Preventing him from Performing, Using his Stage Name & More". BellaNaija. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Showemimo, Adedayo (31 May 2016). "Runtown and record label at war! Label sues, Runtown terminates contract". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Joey Akan (31 May 2016). "Runtown:"How my label boss pulled a gun on me" [Pulse Exclusive]". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Runtown:Singer addresses label breakup in new interview". Pulse Nigeria. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Runtown Wins NEA Awards". ThisDay Live. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- Micheal Abimboye (30 September 2014). "Orezi, Patoranking, RunTown, Skales up for Next Rated at Headies Awards". Premium Times. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Nigerian Entertainment Awards Unveils 2015 Nominees". Daily Independent. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
- "City People Awards 2015 Nominees List – tooXclusive, Lil Kesh, Others Nominated…". tooXclusive. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.