Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk is Nigerian song writer, singer and performer who came to spotlight after he won the first season of Project Fame a talent hunt show sponsored by telecommunications company MTN.
He is an Efik boy from Cross River State, southern region of Nigeria. Iyanya had a very humble upbringing and a melancholic start up as a professional singer in Calabar where he was born on the 31st of October 1986 to a father who was a forester and a mother who was a headmistress, he is the only surviving person in his immediate family as he lost his parents and in 2008 and his only brother shortly after.
The singer has also escaped a plane crash when he missed his flight on his way to a show he was billed to perform at. He had all his education in Calabar and rounded up with a degree in business management from the university of Calabar.
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The singer who is equally a vigorous and skilled dancer has Craig David, R.Kelly, 2Baba Idibia, Olu Mainatain as his early influences in music, he also gives credit to his mother who gave him every form of support in the course of pursuing his dreams while she was alive.
After graduating from the university, he began singing at local bars , Clubs and hotels in Calabar to make ends meet, this explains why he is very famous in his home town, he already gained recognition before he met the duo Kcee and Phresh in 2008.
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They encouraged him to enter for the reality show and competition, he succumbed to them and this began his making as a professional Nigerian singer.
Iyanya as a versatile artiste whose genre of music flows from R&B to afro beat recorded his debut album titled “My Story” shortly after he fully relocated from Calabar to Lagos in 2009.
Although the album was sophisticated and dexterous, it was a commercial failure due to poor marketing by the Singer’s management.
It was filled with soul soothing and intellectual music and had the two singles “Love Truly” and “Iyanya” as it’s most popular hits.
The inability to make the album fly discouraged Iyanya. thus, he laid back for a while. In 2011, a particular dance style known as “Etighi” which stemmed from Akwa Ibom and cross river dominated the social circle.
It inspired Iyanya to produce a tune that will sync with the dance style and further promote it to the world. This birthed the single “Kukere” that catapulted the artist to a place of fame and money.
Kukere, released in 2011, became a street anthem in the entire Nieria, spreading to Ghana and the United kingdom. This motivated him to keep churning out mind blowing singles, he utilized his fame by releasing a remix of Kukere in 2012 as well as “your waist” and “Flavour” featuring big acts like D’banj.
In 2013, he teamed up with fellow cross riverian and his then manager Ubi Franklin to form their own music label “The made men music group” (Triple MG). He released his second album “Desire” under the new label and co poduced part of the “Evolution Album” which was a compilation album of the Made Men Music Group. He also signed new artists like Emma Nyra, Selebobo and
to Triple MG. In September 2015, he released his third studio album “Applaudise“. The singer is a regular at the prestigious Calabar Christmas Festival and has toured all over the world, holding concerts at different intervals in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Africa. He has also performed at the world renowned New York Fashion week.
He has featured in season three of the film and television series titled “Shuga”
Barely a year ago, Iyanya and his manager and co label owner Ubi Franklin fell out and parted ways peacefully.
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The singer immediately joined the Mavin Dynasty where he teamed up with Don Jazzy to release a new single “Up to Sumtin” and his latest single “Hold On“.
He is currently managed by the Temple Management Company. He has just completed a tour #SignatureEuropeTour in Africa and is set to tour Europe till October.
Iyanya who is still single was in a relationship with beautiful Ghanaian actress and movie producer Yvonne Nelson, he featured her in some of his lyrics and had a tattoo of her initials in his wrist.
They broke up in 2014 but have remained friends after generating so much buzz on social media. He was also rumoured to have dated his former label mate Emma Nyra but they both refuted the claims by their social media handles.
Songs And Collaborations
Iyanya is a very successful artist who has had quite a number of collaborations, over twenty singles, three studio albums and one compilation album to his credits.
He has worked with Emma Nyra, Diamond Platnumz, WizKid, Flavour, Don Jazzy, Harry Song, Dbanj, Oritsefemi, Slim Joe, Ice Prince, Burnaboy, Phyno, Tillaman, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Lola Rae, Duncan Mighty, Dammy krane, Wizzyboy, Olamide, Banky W and more. His popular songs include Kukere (2011), Your Waist (2012), Flavour (2012), Sexy Mama (2013), Le Kwa Ukwu (2013),Story Story (2014), Mr Oreo (2014), Applaudise (2015), Nakupenda (2015), Mama (2015), Up to Sumtin (2017), Hold On (2017).
Endorsements And Net Worth
The singer has had a long term endorsement deal with telecommunications company MTN. He has also had deals with Zinox computers.
Solo phones and Dunes Nigeria. He is cross river state’s youth ambassador for tourism and is currently worth about 1.8 billion naira.
The Headies 2012: Best Pop Single of the year
The Headies 2013: Artist of the year
Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2013: Hottest single of the year.
Nigerian music video Awards 2012: Best Contemporary Afro
The Headies 2012: Song of the year
Soul Train Music Awards 2013: Best International Performance
Channel O music Video Awards 2013: Most gifted male
Nigerain Entertainment Awards 2013: Best Pop and R&B artist of the year.
Ghana music Awards 2013: African Artist of the year
City people Entertainment Awards 2013: Musician of the year
World Music Awards 2014: World best song, World Best Video, World best male act, World Best live act, World Entertainer of the year.
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African Music Magazine Awards 2014: Best Male Artist West Africa
City People Entertainment Awards 2014: Musician of the year
Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2017: Best collabo of the year.
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