CELEBRITY INTERVIEW: My Manager tricked me into doing Kukere, I sold my car to finance the video – Iyanya

Published:12 Jan, 2013

Iyanya broke into the music scene in 2008 through Project Fame. However, his big break came in late 2012 with Kukere. He speaks on issues among which are his journey into music, his big break, relationship with women, arrest of his manager and others. Excerpt:

You said there are two sides of you, Iyanya and Desire. Can you explain more?

My name is Iyanya and it means Desire. It’s as simple as that. When I started music, I decided to use Desire instead of Iyanya.

Why?

Because I was so into R & B that I needed an English name to fit into my performances. So that was how it started for a couple of years in Calabar. When I got to Project Fame 4, they rejected that name, Desire and asked for a Nigerian name. So, that was how I used Iyanya. That was how I won Project Fame for that season singing R & B.

After winning Project Fame, I did R & B for some years but it didn’t work. So I decided to put aside the R & B Desire, and tried on the Kukere side of Iyanya. After Kukere, I discovered that people accepted me as Iyanya. So, my new album which will drop soonest is a mixture of Iyanya and couple of love songs.

So how can you describe the transition from Desire and Iyanya?

Desire was just an R & B guy with a great voice who took time to write music and talk about his feelings but just a few people appreciate Desire. Desire never made so much money. Desire always begged for shows, hustles for everything but Iyanya is global. Iyanya is accepted by all.

So what is about you that people don’t know?

People don’t know that I’m very slow to anger. I look like a pompous guy right? People don’t know that I play a lot and I don’t pretend. But I can’t just see a stranger and run to him. You have to come to me first because you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Why don’t they come to me first to say hi and see if I won’t respond. But people don’t know that, they just say I’m a snob.  For example, some people may just come into this room and stare at me for like an hour without saying a word. Most times I’m the one that even says “hello, I see you are looking at me” and some of them would exclaim at the fact that I was the first to say ‘hi’ to them.

But that’s the way Nigerian fans are. They aren’t like those you meet abroad who would flock around you.

But they are some who when they come to you, they come with swag and say “hey, how are you”, just because they want you to feel like nothing. I’m a human being too. I have my pride too. So if you want to talk to me, you talk with respect. Treat me the way you want me to treat you and I’ll treat you with respect too.

You started from Calabar before moving to Lagos. What’s it like in Calabar?

Calabar is a small beautiful place. But musically, we are just trying to come up- it’s not like Lagos. It’s more of a civil servant place where everybody works and they are okay. It’s just a few of us who’ve decided to take it to the next level. So, it wasn’t easy for me. We have people that started with me back then. They all released albums in Calabar but I refused to be a local champion. That was so because I knew my talent wasn’t for Calabar only. I knew the world has to know me and I always pray to God for me to get a face and platform.

I know what it feels right now for all those artistes that have talents and good songs, they pay D.Js to play their songs but it’s not even working. But in Nigeria, all you need first is a name and a face, and Project Fame gave me that. Now, everybody just knew there’s one Iyanya guy somewhere but what does he have to offer? It’s different from when people just knew me with my talent because I didn’t have a name and face.

So how many years did you stay in Calabar before coming down to Lagos?

I was born there. And how old do you think I am?

Maybe around 30 years old.

I’m not that old. Let’s say I’ve been in Lagos for four years and I’m 26 years old.

Lagos isn’t an easy place for up-comers, especially for people like you who don’t know anyone here and just came in to hustle

People thought that I became a big boy after Project Fame- it’s a lie. Project fame actually started my hustle. It made me realize I have to work hard because when I left the Academy, it wasn’t with the like of T.Y, Mix. It was me and my mentors and people I’d always respected. So I’d to work hard, and see how long it took me to get here. Project Fame was 2008, this is 2013.

After Project Fame, fans expected a lot from you. Why the delay?

I was caught up in the fact that I won a reality show and people expected me to sing love songs, which I did but it didn’t take me anywhere.

So how did you feel all of those times?

I felt depressed. All those shows I now get, I used to beg them for shows back then. Today, I’m headlining the shows of same people I used to beg for shows from. So, it’s those shows that God did for me and I’d to work very hard to get here.

Kukere brought you out. How come?

I didn’t know Kukere would be this big.

Why?

Because it was the first song that began my transition. After R & B was the first pop. So you see, after Kukere, I moved to Your Waist then, to Flavour.

Is it true that it took you like three months to get Kukere done?

Yes, because I didn’t believe in it. My manager had to trick me that we had a show where they wanted to pay us N500 000. so when I got there, he told me to complete Kukere before we go for the show.  After I completed the song, he told me there was no show. I was pissed.

Was it because you saw yourself coming from the R & B world?

I was threatened because I had five thousand followers who were Desire’s fans. They loved R & B and they kept telling me to steak to it. But I stuck to R & B and still couldn’t but myself good shoes. I begged organizers to start their shows even though I brought my own group and paid them, and they won’t even let me because they felt I’d bore the crowd.

Now that you are a star, what is it you could do that you can no longer do?

I’ve gone through a lot of things. Back then in my estate, I used to stroll out,to buy corn and peer because I didn’t have a driver, I drove myself. Today, all those have changed. It’s not as if I don’t eat corn but I now send someone to buy for me.

What did it take you to promote Kukere?

I thank God for some Djs who believed in me. And also some radio presenters- they made it happen.

There was this rumour that you sold your car to shoot the video

Yes that’s true.

So how many cars have you bought as replacement?

I have three cars now within a space of one year.

Did you really date Yvonne Nelson?

Yvonne is a darling. She’s a sweet person as well as Tonto. They are my buddies.

What about Yvonne’s tweets on Twitter?

Did you see the tweet addressed to me.

But it’s not a must to have your name there….

But that’s the only way to prove she was talking about me.

What’s your relationship with The Tunes?

We are like brothers. We have a connecting synergy which makes us come out with great sounds. He’s the guy that God sent with the real sound for me.

Some pictures went viral on network that you are also dating a certain girl whom you took those pictures with…..

The lady in those pictures is the only female under my label. Very soon, they are going to say I’m dating Tina Tuner.

Was your Manager truly arrested?

I wouldn’t call that an arrest because we didn’t spend up to an hour at the police station. What happened was that Opah Williams called my manager to book me for Night Of A Thousand Laughs show in Benin. We charged him N1.7 million naira but he paid N1.5. He was yet to pay the balance when he called to say the money he paid was for two shows, another at Port-Harcourt instead of just one show. But we wanted to just do the shows like that out of respect for him, only to be stuck in the traffic on our way there.

We were in the traffic when we got a call that the show had ended when our agreement was that we would round up the show. So before we knew it, Opah showed up with police men who didn’t come straight from their station but were attached to some other important personality which is illegal.

They took us to the station at Mile 3 Police Division,in the Garden city, and asked if we had the refund. It was immediately that my manager issued a cheque to them, we went to the bank and we cashed it for them. We weren’t detained for anything because we gave them their money. In fact, we even apologized to Opah when we saw we couldn’t make the show.

Since you are now one of the hottest guys around, how do you cope with ladies?

I try to keep it on the low, maintain a good relationship with them.

You do have a girl friend, don’t you?

No, I don’t.

Why?

Because I don’t have time. Women like attention and they don’t like men without money. I’m young and this is the time I have to build tomorrow. I’ve tried few relationships but  realized that my job comes in between us. So once I’m not there to attend to her, she can get aggressive and I’m a creative person- I don’t need aggression so that I can focus. I respect every lady that feels something for me but my job comes first.

 

via Vanguard

Related Posts

Recent Posts

BREAKING: Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh ‘agrees’ to step down

Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down as president of The Gambia, according to reports.   Nicholas Germain, a France 24 journalist, quoted sources as saying Jammeh is currently writing a statement where he accepts to cede power.   Guinean officials tell @FRANCE24 that Jammeh currently writing statement where he accepts to leave, in the presence of Guinean officials — nicolas germain (@nicolasF24) January 20, 2017   Jammeh, who lost Gambia’s presidential election to Adama Barrow, initially accepted defeat and...

BREAKING: Donald John Trump sworn in as 45th president of the United States of America

American billionaire Donald  John Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America, succeeding Barack Obama in the White House.   You can follow the updates here on live stream:   http://edition.cnn.com/specials/inauguration-360-live-video

3rd Mainland Bridge Traffic: The irresponsibility of Fashola & FERMA – By Adeeko Ademola

Recently, there have been tales of terrible gridlocks in a particular part of Lagos, the third mainland bridge to be precise and this has over time had it's toll on the traffic situation of some major routes in the metropolis.The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. The bridge which serves as an alternative route to Agege...

Governor Obiano Commits To Employing 178 Youths In Anambra

The Anambra state government has pledged its commitment to solving the problem of youth unemployment in the state, through opening windows of opportunity in various fields of the economy including agriculture, trade and commerce, in the civil service. The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, revealed this when he visited the Umuawulu Training Camp where 178 youths were undergoing training ahead of employment into the state civil service under Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA Brigade. The agency...

Gabriel Jesus Cleared To Make Debut Against Tottenham

Manchester city have been cleared to play 19-year-old Brazilian winger, Gabriel Jesus, against Tottenham on Saturday, after formally completing his £27 million move from Palmeiras. The Brazil international, Jesus, has agreed to a five-year deal with City in August. He stayed with Palmeiras until the end of the Brazilian season in December. The footballer has won an Olympic gold medal with his country, having scored three times in the men’s football tournament in Rio, after which he was promoted to the...

Lagos To Launch Community Policing To Tighten Security

In a bid to reduce crime and complement the efforts of security agencies, the Lagos state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has announced plans to strengthen community policing.   He disclosed that the government would recruit 5,700 personnel, with 100 in each of the 20 local government and local council development areas within the first quarter of 2017.   The governor also announced plans to extend its infrastructural renewal drive with the construction of 181 local government roads in 2017.   He made the revelation at...

Boko Haram: 75 NSCDC Personnel Killed In Borno In 2016 – Officials

The Borno Command of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps says 75 personnel of the command were killed while 15 were declared missing in action in the year 2016.   The Commandant of the Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told journalists in a news conference that the officers were killed in separate attacks in Gwoza and Gamboru Ngala in the Boko Haram insurgency.   “We have alerted our sister agencies on the issues while the NSCDC national headquarters have assisted the families of the bereaved.”...

NCC begins enforcement of N5 million fine over unsolicited Calls/SMS

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that it has commenced the enforcement of the Do Not Disturb (DND), code which compels mobile network operators to stop sending unsolicited messages to their subscribers.   Prof Umar Danbatta executive vice chairman of NCC at a meeting with the Academia on ITU Study Group Participation held at Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, said the move became imperative because the NCC had given the operators ample time to comply with the regulatory directive and was now...

Barack Obama berates Republicans for blocking efforts to close Guantanamo Bay

US President Barack Obama delivered an angry parting shot at Congress on Thursday, berating Republicans for blocking his efforts to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The facility “never should have been opened in the first place” Obama said in a scathing two-page letter on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. “There is simply no justification beyond politics for the Congress’ insistence on keeping the facility open,” he added. Trump has vowed not...

Trial of ex-NIMASA boss, Jauro, fixed for January 24.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fixed Jan. 24 for continuation of the trial of a former Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro, who is facing a N304.1 million fraud charge.   Jauro, who assumed leadership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd on 19 counts bordering on fraud.   The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants, who were...

BREAKING: Yahya Jammeh asks for extension of deadline to vacate office.

Gambia’s leader Yahya Jammeh has asked for the extension of the deadline given to him to vacate office by ECOWAS from noon to 4 pm local time, Reuters reported on Friday.  Senegal forces entered the Gambia hours after the opposition figure Adama Barrow, who won the December 2016 presidential election in the small West African nation, was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar.   But the military intervention – named Operation Restore Democracy – aimed at installing Barrow...

Washington braces up for massive protests as Trump takes oath of office

Law enforcement officers in Washington were on Friday in brace for hundreds of thousands of people planning to celebrate or protest Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States. About 900,000 people were expected to jam-pack central Washington, including the grassy National Mall facing the Capitol, where the New York businessman and former reality TV star will be sworn in. A disparate group of liberal activists irked by comments by Trump about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims have planned protests...

We shut tomato processing plant due to lack of forex, says Dangote official.

Edwin Devakumar, a senior executive with Dangote Group, says the conglomerate had to shut down its tomato processing factory due to lack of foreign exchange for raw material import.   In an interview with Reuters, Devakumar, said the Dangote group has been cutting down its operations across board due to lack of necessary foreign exchange.   “Where the foreign exchange is not available, we are cutting down our operations. For example … we had a tomato-based processing plant, we have shut it down,” Devakumar...

JUST IN: IPOB Trump solidarity rally turns violent

The solidarity rally by the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for new US President, Donald Trump in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State has turned violent. Media and Publicity ?secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a short message he sent to DAILY POST alleged that no fewer than 11 members of the pro-Biafra group have been shot dead by security operatives. “They have attacked our people; 11 have been confirmed dead, many others have bullet wounds”, he claimed in the statement. He alleged that...

Protests erupt in Sri Lanka against Donald Trump

A small, but vociferous group on Friday staged a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka on the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President, officials said.   Carrying placards and chanting slogans, the protestors denounced Trump’s comments on various issues including the environment, war and immigrants and claimed they could have an impact on Sri Lanka.   “We are showing our solidarity with all the people throughout the world who are taking part in protests against president-elect Trump,’’ Siritunga Jayasuriya, leader...

Meet The #PadMan advocating Reusable Sanitary Pads for School Girls

With Nigeria in a recession, embracing frugality is helpful and recommended, but there are things that frugality can’t deal with. One of them is the cost of sanitary pads in Nigeria today. Women and girls simply cannot opt out of their periods. Barring pregnancy or ovulatory disorders, menses will occur every month and the flow must be dealt with. Imagine all these worries for teenage girls attending schools combining the fears of expensive sanitary pads with the...

Two teachers rape girl after showing her porn.

Two teachers, Stanley Akanno and Olakunle Hassan, both teachers in a private primary school in Amuwo Odofin, were yesterday paraded by Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, AIG Kayode Aderanti, for serially defiling their 6-year-old female pupil.   The teachers, he said, during extra mural classes, showed pornography on their laptop to the pupil and made her practice same on them. “The pupil has been taken to a government hospital where it was medically established that she had been deflowered. The...

Educate the girl child, stop building mosques – Sarkin Kano

The emir of Kano Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II has called out wealthy northerners to stop building mosques and to stop early marriage of the girl child and start educating female children, since majority of these girls can barely read and write. He made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano. “I’m just tired of people coming to...

IG raises alarm over the rise of suicide cases in the Police force

The Nigerian Police Force is worried over the rising cases of suicide among its officers across the country. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (IGP) Zone 5, Abubakar, Mohammed, lamented the development in an interactive session with policemen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday. He said recent statistics confirmed that more policemen are taking their lives. Mohammed, a former Director at the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) office in Lyon, France, said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has ordered senior police officers...

UPDATE: Jammeh’s step-down deadline may be shifted by 12 hours to solidify negotiations

West African leaders have given Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, until midday on Friday to hand over power and agree to leave The Gambia or face military action carried out by the regional bloc ECOWAS.   However, as it is now, all indications show that the deadline may be shifted by 12 hours as leaders of Guinea and Mauritania are currently in The Gambia for talks with Jammeh to leave power.   Though, this information is yet to be made official,...

El-Rufai donates land for Methodist Church in Kafanchan, begs church not to relocate

Governor Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State has promised to provide additional land for building of Methodists church in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna The governor who made the promise when he received the prelate of the Methodist Church Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche in his office also urged the Church not relocate from their present location. He said: “I visited your church in Kafanchan after the violence. We are willing to give you another plot of land in Kafanchan, but please consider...