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      MBE is about honoring my parents, says music executive Daniel Poku

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      Music executive Daniel Poku believes his MBE is “100%” about “honoring my parents” and will hopefully help future generations in the industry as well.

      Mr Poku, 59, also known as Danny D, was watched by his mother Agnes Addai-Poku and business partner and friend Tim Blacksmith, as he collected his honor for services to the King’s music at Windsor Castle .

      He recalled how he was raised on a council estate by his parents Agnes and James Addai-Poku, originally from Ghana, who took various jobs to help him get off to a good start in life.

      Now it’s important to “try to pay them back” and also try to do good in the community, he said.

      Poku said that he is in the early stages of maybe trying to open a school that will help people in the music industry who are both in front of and behind the microphone.

      After the ceremony at Windsor Castle, Mr Poku, from Polegate, East Sussex, said: “One of the biggest things for me at the moment is trying to return the favor to the point where we are looking for a school, that’s my big thing now.

      Investitures at Windsor Castle
      Daniel Poku is appointed an OBE by the King (Jonathan Brady/PA)

      “Knowing I’ve been through council status, working at McDonalds, but here I am today, I just want someone else to have that opportunity and story, and to be even bigger than me.”

      Mr. Poku has over three decades of experience in all facets of the industry, including as an artist, remixer, record label owner, and producer.

      Together with his Tim & Danny Music partner, Tim Blacksmith, he formed the leading publisher Stellar Songs, representing the works of Sam Smith, Charli XCX and Emeli Sande, among others.

      Mr. Poku said: “Today is a special day, being here with my mother, a business partner and friend of 40 years.

      “Then hearing my mom say ‘I’m so proud of you and I wish your dad was here.’ I shed a tear.

      “That moment itself said it all, especially for her. He is someone who came from Africa many years ago and I didn’t realize what the monarchy meant to her.

      Investitures at Windsor Castle
      Daniel Poku has over three decades of experience in all facets of the industry (Aaron Chown/PA)

      “This has really brought all of that to the fore.

      “I have to admit that when I first found out that I had gotten the award, I was 50/50 about it because there are certain parts of the monarchy where I thought ‘that just doesn’t work for me.’

      “But there is the other side of that journey my parents took and the sacrifices they made.

      “Here I am now being able to turn that into something, and for that reason alone I have to accept this award for them.”

      Mr Poku said: “It’s about honoring my parents 100% – they came from Ghana to get their education and come home, but I came here and they stayed in England to give me a start that I never would have had back home.

      “It doesn’t mean they haven’t been successful, but it’s also the sacrifices they’ve made.”

      His father went out to work and his mother took two or three jobs “to make sure the wheels turned and keep a roof over our heads.”

      They also “guided me back when I was going down the wong lane,” he added.

      “This is not just about me. This is also so that I can thank them and that they realize that we can be someone.


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