Biography Of Iyanya – Early Life, Career, Family And Endorsement Deals

Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk who is popularly known as Iyanya as his stage name was born on the 31st of October 1986. Iyanya is an Afropop Nigerian singer and he rose to fame just after emerging the winner at the Project Fame West Africa, season one. He’s is popularly know for his famous hit single, “Kukere”. He is a co-founder of “Made Men” music group. The record label was founded in 2011 alongside “Ubi Franklin”.

Iyanya released his first studio album in 2011, titled “My Story”. The Album had several singles including “Love Truly”, “Desire” and “No Time”. His second music album had a total of five singles, namely: “Flavour”, “Kukere”, “Sexy Mama”, “Jombolo” and “Ur Waist”. At the 2013 Headies award, Iyanya became emerged the winner under the category; Artist of the Year. It was in October 2016, that he signed a record deal with Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records. He made the announcement officially known to the public via his Instagram account. Prior to his deal with the Mavins Records, he had signed a record deal with “Temple Management Company”. On July 2016, Iyanya announced that he was going to depart from Men Music Group.

Early Life

Iyanya was born and grew up in Calabar, Cross River State. His mom was a school’s head mistress while his dad was a forester. As described by Iyanya, his mother was the household disciplinarian, in the other hand his dad was the gentler of the two. Iyanya’s parents both passed away in 2008, and unfortunately, he also lost his elder brother that same time. While alive, Iyanya’s grandfather worked as a clergyman. There Iyanya would always sing in his church’s choir. He also became choir master for the children’s choir while at the age of five.

Iyanya attended his primary school education, his secondary, and also his university education in Calabar, Where he graduated in business management.


After Iyanya has graduated from the University there in Calabar, he started working in a hotel and used to sing karaoke at a local bar where he managed. He then began to develop his abilities in vocals at some local bars including: Fiesta Fries Bar, West-Life and Mirage Nite Club. He mentions R. Kelly (American hip hop artist) and Craig David ( A British singer ) as being his musical key influences. After Iyanya watched celebrity lifestyles of Olu maintain and 2Baba, he was then motivated to pursue his own music career professionally. He started off as a rapper back then with a stage name known as “Lofty”.

MTN Project Fame

In 2008, KCee a Nigerian artist from KC Presh music group had convinced Iyanya to take part in the Project Fame West Africa, season one that was sponsored by MTN. At the end, Iyanya came out as the winner of the thrilling competition after competing with many people. That 2008 Project Fame he took part in became the beginning of Iyanya’s music career. Unlike many individuals who faded away after the competition, Iyanya’s success began at the spot.

READ ALSO : Biography Of Phyno – Life, Music Career And Personal Life

2009 Album: My Story

After Iyanya became the winner of Project Fame West Africa organized by MTN, he started to record his first album that was titled “My Story”. The album was released under CN Media. The album “My Story” displayed Iyanya as an R&B artist, especially on two of his tracks “Love Truly” and “Iyanya”. Unfortunately, this album of his was not that successful on but rather was a failure commercially because of problems he faced within the distribution and promotion.

Desire (2012–2013 Album)

After paying a visit to his hometown (Calabar) he saw the affection that people had for the popular then “Etighi Dance”, originated in Calabar. So at that point he decided to make a music that would popularize the “Etighi Dance” more. Iyanya then teamed up with DTunes, a music producer to record the famous “Kukere” single. Aside Nigeria, the song made a global success and had influence in countries like the United Kingdom and Ghana.


On 16 October 2013 iyanya signed a deal and became the brand ambassador of Solo Phones Nigeria, a mobile phone company that is located at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos State. It was a one year deal and was worth $220,000 ( That’s about 35 million in Nigerian naira). He was also awarded a 2014 Toyota Prado as part of his ambassador deal. In 2013, it was reported that he had signed another brand ambassador deal worth $300,000 with Zinox Computers. The deal included featuring Iyanya on Zinox’s billboards and also in their TV commercials.

Musical style

On his first album which was “My Story” Iyanya began performing ballads. He had also mentioned in an interview he had with Toolz on Ndani TV, that he just wants to be a kind of versatile artist who wants to be known for both his Afrobeats abilities and R&B. But later in an interview, he had also mentioned that he has to switch from R&B to Afrobeat so he could make more money since Afrobeats is more popular in the country.

Iyanya’s International appearances

Iyanya was opportuned on the 25th of November 2012, to have performed at comedian AY live show that was being held at the “INDIGO2 arena”. Later on iyanya went on to promote his second studio album in the United Kingdom, which had a headline that says “Iyanya vs. Desire concert”. The concert started London while ending in Manchester. As for The London concert, iyanya had it held at the INDIGO2 arena on the 9th of June 2013. The concert featured several performances including Emma Nyra and Tonto Dikeh. Few days late on 14 June 2013, iyanya started the concert of that of tManchester, where he featured Emma Nyra and DRB Lasgidi as part of his performance.

In early 2013, Iyanya and Emma Nyra( his label mate) went on a little tour all over the United States and Canada. In April 2013, he performed at the Shrine in Chicago. While on 12 April 2013 he was opportuned to perform in Dallas, Texas at the “African Muzik” Magazine launch.

Iyanya has made a huge impact in the Nigerian music industry over the past few years. He has also earned recognition within and outside Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!