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Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk



Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk was born on Palm Street in Calabar on the 31st of October 1986 to a clergyman cum forester father and a headmistress mother. According to him, his mother was the disciplinarian. Unfortunately, they died in 2008 and a few months after, his elder brother. However, it didn’t kill the dream for Iyanya who had just won the MTN Project Fame West Africa as he released his debut album ‘My Story’ in 2009. The album showed his versatility as an RnB’ artist especially on the song ‘Love Truly’. Singing for Iyanya started in the church choir where he was a choirmaster at age 5. His education was in Calabar and he graduated from the University of Calabar with a degree in Business Management.   Prior to winning the contest, he sang karaoke in bars and was motivated by the likes of Craig David, R Kelly, 2face and Olu Maintain. He started rapping with the stage name “Lofty”. Popular musician, Kcee of the Limpopo fame was one of the first people who saw his talent and looked out for him. The first time Iyanya came to Lagos for music, it was through Kcee and its pretty okay to say he was a helping factor for who Iyanya is today. Luck shone on him after he visited his hometown and saw people’s affection for Etighi dance. He then decided to do a song that would popularize the dance and then Kukere came about. Kukere which means “don’t worry, don’t think” shot him to the spotlight and he became a household name. He then released other hit singles like “Ur Waist, Jombolo, Le Kwa Ukwu, and Away”. Iyanya sees himself as a versatile artist and wants to be known for RnB’ and Afrobeats. Iyanya has performed at a lot of shows, events, dinners both home and abroad. He released his second album “Iyanya vs Desire” in 2013 and has been on tour once (USA/Canada) sometime in 2013. Iyanya has the following awards to his credit iyanya4
  • Artist of the Year 2013 at The Headies
  • Hottest Single of the Year 2013 at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards for ‘Kukere’
  • Best Pop Single 2012 at The Headies
  He has 2 studio albums, 22 singles, 14 videos and 5 promp singles to his name and hopes to drop an EP later this year. Iyanya has collaborated with artistes like Emma Nyra (who is signed to his record label, Made Men Group which he co-owns with Ubi Franklin), Minjin, N6, Flavour, Lola Rae, Ajemina and D’banj amongst others. Iyanya, who is an MTN ambassador, also doubles as an ambassador for Solo Phones Nigeria, a mobile phone company in Ikeja. This contract which elapses in October 2014 is allegedly worth 35 million naira. He also signed a one year deal with Zinox Computers. Iyanya is also known for his sexy body and waist dances which made Red Sheet Magaine call him “The Sexiest Man Alive” sometime in 2012.   You can follow Iyanya on twitter @Iyanya, email him for bookings – bookiyanya@gmail.com or check his website – www.iyanyamusic.com     Written By: Franklin Ugo

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