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

Jibrin warns House against suspension

Erstwhile chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, Tuesday expressed deep apprehension over his imminent suspension from the House that may follow the outcome of the Ethics and Privileges Committee’s investigative hearing which he shunned. Jibrin at a press briefing Tuesday, warned the House over his suspension on a matter, which he said was already in court. The lawmaker who said slamming suspension on him would amount to contempt of court, said he refused to attend the committee’s sessions...

FG Slams Economist Magazine Report On “Change Begins With Me” Campaign

The Nigerian government has slammed United Kingdom-based magazine, The Economist, over its report on the government’s anti-indiscipline campaign: Change Begins With Me. President Muhammadu Buhari launched the campaign on September 8, calling on citizens to imbibe new values and change attitudinally before demanding the “change” which he had promised. But in a report titled: ”Nigeria’s war against indiscipline, Behave or be whipped” – on September 24, The Economist blistered the new campaign. Locally, the...

World Leaders To Attend Shimon Peres’ Funeral

A long list of world leaders will attend the funeral of former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday at 93. Some of the world’s most powerful figures will be at the service in Jerusalem on Friday, including US President Barack Obama. Mr Peres’s condition had deteriorated after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the...

Kaduna Pilgrim Wins Qur’anic Recitation Competition In Saudi Arabia

The award-winning candidate of Maltina National Qur’anic Recitation Competition, Malam AbdurRahman Ahmad Salis has has again won laurels for Nigeria in Saudi Arabia, in a Competition that was organised at the Grand Mosque in Makka. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday , the Chairman of Kaduna State Standing Committee on Qur’anic Recitation, Dr Bello AbdulKadir said that the 24 year old AbduRrahman has done the nation proud in the Holy Land. According to him, AbduRrahman...

#EdoDecides: Etsako, Esan & Ikpoba Results

Etsako West (AUCHI) Ward 2, Unit 1 PDP 94 APC 176, ACPN 5 Ward 11, unit 11 APC 239 PDP 54 Invalid 470 Esan West Unit 11 APC 69 PDP 158 21 invalid Ikpoba Okhai Ward 2, Unit 12 APC 92 PDP 85 Akoko Edo ward 5 unit 3 APC 177 PDP 75 Credit: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/edo-election-etsako-esan-ikpoba-results/

Nigeria Already Getting Out Of Recession– Minister

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance, on Wednesday said that the nation was already getting out of recession, saying the Federal Government had taken steps that were in the best interest of the citizens. Adeosun disclosed this in her closing remarks at a two-day conference of National Council of Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta. “We are already getting out of recession because of the actions the Federal Government is taking, if you...

#EdoDecides: APC Chairman Loses Ward

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, has lost his ward, Oredo ward 2 unit 2, in today’s election. The result in Oredo ward 2 unit 2  showed that PDP polled 78 votes, while APC polled 69. Credit: dailytrust  

My Suspension Cannot Stand- Jibrin

Former House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who was suspended from the parliament for 180 legislative days has said the action was flawed and would not stand anywhere in the world. He  said, “It is a non-issue and complete nonsense and it is not going to stand anywhere in the world. “As you are aware,  the matter is a subject of litigation, I have instructed my lawyer, Femi Falana SAN to file charges of contempt...

#EdoDecides: INEC Denies Allegation Of Ballot Box Snatching, Gunshots

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has denied report of ballot box snatching and gunshots in some polling centres during the Edo governorship election on Wednesday. Gov. Adams Oshiomhole had earlier said he received a report that some thugs allegedly snatched ballot boxes at Opoji in Esan North-East Local Government Area during the election. Oshiomhole also alleged that the suspected snatchers shot sporadically before taking away the ballot boxes. Credit: NAN

Nigeria League Winner To Get N40 Million

Champions of the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season stand to win N40 million from the Merit Award of the League Management Company (LMC). Rangers International of Enugu and Rivers United of Port Harcourt are the two clubs in contention for the big prize money. The reward is from a total of N200 million pool the LMC has set aside as reward for final positions on the league table at the end of the...

#EdoDecides: Obaseki Wins At His Polling Unit

 All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the Edo state governorship election, Godwin Obaseki, has won in his Ward 4, unit 19 by polling 160 votes against PDP’s 77. Although the entire result of the ward has not been released, information indicate that the APC candidate won in the entire ward. Credit: thisdaylive

#EdoDecides: Contrary To Reports El-Rufai Did Not Visit Edo State Today – Aide

Malam Nasir El-Rufai did not visit Edo State today, Wednesday, 28 September 2016. Contrary to the fiction peddled by one of the candidates who made the accusation on live television. Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has kindly rubbished the lie and made clear that Malam Nasir El-Rufai is nowhere near the state. This clarification is made only to affirm a material fact. But it is important to stress that the laws...

BlackBerry To Stop Production Of Phones

Canadian company shifts focus to software having struggled to compete as mobile users opt for touchscreens  

Angry Brother Allegedly Beheads Man who Raped his Sister …and Takes the Head To the Police Station!

According to the Thai online user who posted the photos on September 25th, a man allegedly killed and beheaded his sister's alleged rapist...and went to report himself at the police station, carrying the murder victim's head. See the graphic photos below... jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">

Governor El-Rufai wants cut in cost of governance

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has kicked against the call by the National Council of State (NEC) as well as some senior government officials, including Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for the disposal of national assets. El-Rufai, one-time Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), spoke at World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ co- hosted by The Netherland-based World Pension Summit Organisation and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in Abuja. He rather called for solutions from experts, just as he argued...

Hon. Jibrin Suspended From House of Reps

Whistle-blower lawmaker, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been suspended by the House of Representatives.   The lawmaker from Kano at the centre of the unfolding budget padding scandal was on Wednesday suspended fron the house for 180 legislative days.   The House seats three days in a week and this consequently means that Mr. Jibrin’s suspension would last more than a year.   In a motion recommended by House Ethics Committee chairman, Nicholas Ossai, and adopted by the whole House, Jibrin will also not be...

Nigeria electricity challenge man-made – Fashola

Former governor of Lagos State and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said, yesterday, that Nigeria’s electricity problem is man-made. Fashola, who spoke at the maiden edition of Made in Nigeria Festival taking place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos, said his blueprint for the power sector is in three phases: power-generation, steady supply of power and uninterrupted power supply. He has also pledged to ensure the power sector works to the point where Nigeria has uninterrupted power supply. Speaking on...

Aero Airline Staff Protest at MMIA, Lagos

This is according to an eye witness account. Aero staffs were seen protesting over non payment of salaries for over 6 months and also they were been suspended by the company. The workers storm their premises and stopped any plane from taking off. See more pictures below..        

Waziri Adio: Recession as Opportunity for Reversing Resource Curse

And, sadly, it came to pass. It is well predicted that most countries blessed with natural resources, even in the best of times, perform worse economically than countries not so endowed; and that, when times are tough, countries that are dependent on natural resources come to an assured grief. There is a popular name for this strange but common condition: resource curse. It sounds metaphysical, it seems counter-intuitive even, but it is a position supported by enough...

Kwara State suspends plan to raise N20 billion for infrastructure

Following the launching of the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund IFK, the state government says it has suspended plans to raise a N20b bond from the capital market for infrastructure development. Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this in a statement through his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede on Wednesday. The Governor noted that with the launch of the IF-K, which pools resources for funding infrastructure, the N20b naira bond has become unnecessary as all ongoing and new projects...

Kaduna Pursues Affordable Healthcare Through Contributory Scheme

A scheme to guarantee universal access to basic healthcare is to be introduced in Kaduna State. The state government is already providing free health services for pregnant women, children under five years and the elderly. The proposed scheme is designed to widen the net of coverage, and ensure that all residents of the state, including the poor and vulnerable, have access to healthcare without incurring out-of-pocket expenditure. The Kaduna State Executive Council on Monday, 26th September...