The name Iyanya is synonymous with many things but most especially chart topping music. The award-winning act, whose full name is Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, was born in 1986 in Calabar, Cross Rivers State. The talented singer and songwriter grew up singing in his church’s choir and was the choirmaster for the children’s choir at the age of 5.
After graduating from the University of Calabar, Iyanya worked in a hotel and sang karaoke at a local bar he managed. He developed his vocal abilities at local bars, which include Fiesta Fries Bar, Mirage Nite Club and West-Life. During this period, watching celebrities like 2 Face Idibia and Olu Maintain helped stoke the fire to pursue music professionally.
In 2008, Iyanya contested in the first edition of MTN’s singing competition “Project Fame”. Iyanya emerged as the inaugural winner of the competition and this marked the beginning of his musical career and his ride to success.
Project Fame done, Iyanya began recording his debut album “My Story”. The album showed his capabilities as a dexterous R&B artist especially in the self-titled track “Iyanya” and “Love Truly”.
His first break-out single “Kukure” which was inspired by the Etighi dance from his hometown Calabar, was released in 2011. The song received impressive reviews and topped global charts particularly in Nigeria, Ghana and the United Kingdom.
In 2012, his second single “Ur Waist” was released and created a sense of consistency in music for his rapidly growing fan base. He released his second album “Desire” in 2013 and his third album “Applaudise” followed 2015. Also in the same year, he released another massive single “Oreo” which became an instant hit and stamped his presence firmly in the A list category.
Iyanya has performed at countless shows in and out of the country and his undeniable talent has won him several awards which include Best Pop Single at the Headies 2012, Hottest Single of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2013, Artist of the Year at the Headies 2013 and Best Dance Video at the African Muzik Magazine Awards 2014.
In what was referred to as the “October Surprise”, Iyanya was signed to Mavin Records in 2016 and as is the norm with the Mavins, he released his first single under the imprint featuring Don Jazzy and Dr. Sid titled “Up 2 Sumting”.