Nigerian singer Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, commonly known as Iyanya, hit global fame after he released his single Kukere five years ago. The singer was in Kenya recently and Nairobi News caught up with him for a chat about his journey in the music world.
1. Why are you in Kenya?
I’m here to promote my latest signature extended play (EP). It was out in March and the EP has eight songs in it. I first released the song Up to Something before the EP was out. The songs are pretty much in mixed English and Pidgin and one or two other languages which I think will be easy for anyone to understand. Also, I was invited by B Club as they celebrated their first anniversary.
2. What surprised you the first time you came to Kenya?
The weather, man! When you hear about Kenya and you are from Nigeria, you expect it to be the same as it is back home. But once you get here it makes you feel like you are in Europe, somewhere in London. It ' s so nice.
3. What has changed since you won Project Fame in 2013?
Everything. Everything has changed. I moved to a new management and label. Obviously my music from my single Kukere has since changed and I have tried different genres. I ' ve done ballads, Afro-beats and dance beats and I’m still here to explore more. It is called the Etighi dance. So years ago from my State Calabar, it was a big dance, then all of a sudden it just came back. People started dancing again. I went back home, it was Christmas, I hadn ' t shot the video but people from my state were doing the dance. I decided that we should shoot the video and show the world how we dance where I come from. Today its everywhere, internationally, people are still doing the dance.
4. How was it working with Sauti Sol and Jaguar?
Man, it was nice. I still remember shooting the video for Sura Yako with Sauti Sol and the vibe was so good. Sauti Sol together are really something else, very talented and we had so much fun. Same thing with Jaguar. I remember when I was on tour in the United States and I was listening to the Sura Yako remix. And then all this Kenyan songs just came on my channel and it was dope. Yes, we have been hooking up and chilling all the time.
About Jaguar running to be a Member of Parliament . I wish him all the best and I think he has this boss mind set and once you see him you will know, once he sets his mind to do something he always does. I wish him nothing but the best.
About chances of him likewise getting into politics ) My brother, I’m not ready for that kind of stress. I mean if my state gives me that kind of an appointment I can take it. But I do not think I have the energy to go round convincing people to come out and vote for me.
5. How often do you work out?
I wake up every morning and go to the gym. If it is not a busy day I can do up to three hours, and on a busy day I do one hour.
6. Do you dream of having a family in the future?
I do not even dream about it, it is something that will happen. It will happen and I’m sure it will happen when the right time comes. Right now I’m single and searching.
7. What are you doing to improve and make sure African music does not lose its quality?
I ' ve been trying and so far I can boldly say that my music has inspired other artistes and people across the globe. I still believe there is still more I can do and I’m working on it. I’m doing my best to improve and to make sure that my music cuts across not just Africa but the world.