Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk was born on 31 October 1986. He’s known mononymously as Iyanya. He is a Nigerian recording artist and performer. He was born on Palm Street in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. His mother was a headmistress and his father was a forester. Iyanya has described his mother as the household disciplinarian, while his father was the gentler of the two. His parents died in 2008, his mother, 42 years old, and his father, 50 years old. Iyanya’s elder brother died around the same time of his parents’ death. At this time his grandfather who was a clergyman was still very much alive and healthy. He started school in Calabar where he completed his primary, secondary, and university education. He obtained a degree in business management from the prestigious University of Calabar before he divided he’s music career professionally.
Age: 32 years old
Years Active: 2008 – Present
He started singing in the church’s choir when he was appointed as the children’s choirmaster when he was only 5years old. He was introduced into music at a very early age which is why he was able to master his art on time and become of the most sought for Nigerian musician today. After completing his basic and university education, he was employed in a hotel and sang karaoke at a local bar he managed. He used this opportunity to master and develop his abilities at local bars. He released in a chat that his key musical influences are British singer Craig David and R.Kelly a hip hop artist. Initially, music to him was just for him because it keeps him occupied but he was later motivated to pursue music professionally after watching the celebrity lifestyle of 2 face Idibia and Olu Maintain.
He was carried away by their luxurious lifestyle and wanted to be like them in the future, that was how his musical ambition came out. He kicked started his music career as a rapper going by his stage name “Lofty” but he later changed his name to Iyanya when he started singing professionally.
- He signed an endorsement deal with Solo Phones Nigeria, a mobile phone company situated at Computer Village, Ikeja. According to reports by 360nobs, the one year deal is allegedly worth $220,000 (35 million naira) He also got a Toyota Prado from the deal.
- He also signed a one year deal with Zinox Computers (Nigerian’s first certified branded computers), worth $300,000. The deal featured Iyanya on Zinox Billboards and in TV commercials. This news was later confirmed by Daily Independent.
Iyanya Partaking in MTN Project Frame
In 2008, he was convinced to partake in MTN’s first-ever Project Frame singing competition by KC from KC Presh group. He yielded to the advice and participated in the competition and fortunately emerged the winner of the competition after battling with numerous people who ha the same aspirations as him. The 2008 MTN Project Frame Competition marked the beginning of Iyanya’s musical career. His success began from that point unlike many people whose ambition will die down after a major competition but his determination for frame kept him going and at the end, he put his name on the map.