Biography of Runtown

Douglas Jack Agu popularly known by his stage name Runtown is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer. The co-founder of PentHauz Records is known for his diverse musical mix of reggae, rap, R&B and hip hop. He currently stands tall as one of the most talented Afro beat and Dancehall artistes to emerge from Africa.

Early life and background of Runtown

Runtown was born on 19 August 1989 in Enugu state, Southeastern part of Nigeria. Runtown spent his childhood in Abuja and Lagos. After the death of his father, He relocated to Abuja with his mother who was working in the Ministry of Health. His family later moved to Enugu due to his mother’s political aspirations. He completed his primary education in Lagos and his secondary education in Enugu State. His childhood dream was to become a professional basketball player. Runtown attended St. Augustine’s seminary Ezzamgbo for a short while before proceeding to New York City, United States to study Fashion Management at a fashion school.

His Rise to Fame

Runtown kick-started his musical career in 2007. Prior to his emergence into the spotlight, Runtown worked with Nigerian artistes, Timaya and J-Martins. He released his first single titled “Runtown” in 2007, produced by Soge which was well received by many fans. He co-founded an Ikoyi-based record label called Penthauz, together with Enugu State-born rapper/singer/record producer Chibuzor Nelson Azubike, popularly known as Phyno. Under the Penthauze record label, he released two songs Party Like its 1980 and Activity Pikin.

In 2014 he released “Gallardo” featuring Davido as the first single off his debut studio album Ghetto University. He signed a a multi-million naira contract with Eric-Manny Entertainment, a record label owned by Prince Okwudili Umenyiora, the CEO of Dilly Motors. Under the label, he released two popular tracks “Successful” and “Domot” which was well received and frequently airplay. Visuals for the hit single “Gallardo” was released some times later amassing over 418,000 views on YouTube in its first 2 months. The video featured cameos appearance from Patoranking, Skales and Phyno. The critically acclaimed single propelled the dancehall artiste into stardom as he won an award for Best Collaboration of the Year at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2014).

On 23rd November 2015, Runtown released his first debut studio album “Ghetto University”. The album featured guest appearances from DJ Khaled, Phyno, Wizkid, Uhuru, and Anatii. The album made him listed in the “Top 5 Most Streamed Artiste” in Nigeria, generating over ₦35 million from MTN Music Plus.

On the 4th of November 2016, Runtown released the love-themed song “Mad Over You” which topped the Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart at number 38. The “Mad over you” crooner revealed that the song was inspired by African beauty. With massive hits like “Mad over You”, “For Life”, “Lagos to Kampala” with Wizkid and “Painkiller” featuring Sarkodie, Runtown is slowly showing his dominance in Africa. His music is influenced by the likes of Bob Marley, Kanye West and Sean Kingston.

In April 2017, Runtown held his first ever solo sold out concert in Lagos, Nigeria dubbed “One Night Only” and it was a huge success. He has also performed in Kenya, USA and the Cropover Festival in Barbados. Runtown is part of a new generation of artists breaking down borders in music and culture. As a celebrity, controversies trailed him; there were reports in the media that he wrote Davido’s hit single “Aye“. He neither confirm nor refute the claim. 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”.

Another controversy associated with Runtown was his parting with Eric Manny Entertainment in 2016. The record label filed allegations against him that he signs up, concludes and attends musical shows without the knowledge of the label. This led to the termination of his contract with the record label. Later, in an interview, Runtown divulged that he quit the record label due to breaches in the recording contract, threat to life and extortion. His extraordinary drive and musical prowess resulted to a number of collaborations with prominent artists like DJ Khaled, Wizkid, Davido, Timaya, Phyno, T Spize, M.I, Skales, J. Martins and WizzyPro to mention a few.  On Coke Studio Africa 2017, the musician brought his midas touch to the show collaborating with South Africa’s finest new age rapper Nasty C. This birthed the hit single ” Said“.

Following the expiration of his contract with the Eric Manny Entertainment Record Label, he floated his record label, Soundgod Music Group in June 2018.

On March 18, 2020, the remake of Paul Play’s “angel of my life” featuring Runtown was released.

Runtown’s Charity Works

Runtown launched a charity Project: We Are New Africa in June 2018. He launched WANA with his business partners – Ugo Mozie and Ifeanyi Nwune. WANA aims at educating and inspiring Africans with creative minds to push beyond their cultural boundaries.The empowerment project focuses on giving back to the society by building infrastructure for the less privileged in local communities. It will also provide training schemes and learning tools for students, orphans and the physically challenged.

Runtown’s Relationship

Runtown is yet to officially tie the knot with girlfriend and baby mama, Selena Leath. They met on the shooting of “Bend down pause” music video in 2015 in the United States. They have a son together. Selena Leath is a US based actress and model who has featured in several music videos.

Awards and nominations

Runtown has being nominated and has won several awards which include Best Collaboration of The Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, Next Rated Act at the Headies Awards, Best Pop Artiste at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Best Artiste of The Year at the City People Entertainment Awards.

Runtown’s Net Worth

According to online sources, Runtown’s net worth is estimated to be $2.5 million. He has bagged a good number of endorsement deals including the one with Adidas, the world’s biggest sports company, Nigerian telecommunication company, Telcos and Infinix mobile.

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