Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, born 31 October 1986, known by his mononym, Iyanya, is a Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter and performer. He is best known for winning the 2008 MTN Project Fame West Africa as well as for his song “Kukere”. He is the co-owner of Made Men Music Group, a record label home to […]
Iyanya is a Nigerian singer, recording artist, performer and songwriter who sings in both English and Efik. Iyanya is from Calabar in Cross River state, Nigeria. His parents are both late, they both died in 2008. His Mother while she was alive was a headmistress while his dad was a forester. Like many other celebrities around the world, Iyanya’s musical affiliation began in his local church as he was the choirmaster at the children’s section of his church when he was just 5years old.
Iyanya did his Primary and Secondary Education in Calabar, in Cross River State and subsequently bagged a degree in Business Management at the University of Calabar. Iyanya’s major influences in music came from American Hiphop artist, R Kelly and British Singer, Craig David. Iyanya was however gingered to go into the music industry after watching the celebrity lifestyle of Olu Maintain and 2Face Idibia. Iyanya shot into limelight when he won the MTN Project Fame singing competition in 2008.
Iyanya’s participation at the competition actually propelled him further into his musical career. Iyanya’s name means desire and that was the name he wanted to use at the MTN project fame, but the name was rejected and he was asked to use a Nigerian name and that made him to stick to his real name Iyanya. Iyanya however confesses that as Desire, he was just an R&B guy with a great voice, who took time to write music and talk about his feeling but unfortunately he was not making enough money to foot his bills because very few people appreciated him as Desire as he had to beg for shows and hustle for everything. But as Iyanya, he is a global brand who is accepted by all and has made enough money to foot all his bills and take good care of himself.
It is worthy to note that it was sheer hardwork and determination that got Iyanya where he is today. Infact, Iyanya had to sell his car to shoot the video Kukere- which turned out to be a hit single that won him an award at the Nigerian Entertainment awards and the Headies. He has also won some other awards. Iyanya has done collabs with Flavour, Wizkid, Emma Nyra, Phyno and some other Nigerian Artists.