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 Drops New Bombshell On How Dogara, Lasun Others Padded 2016 Budget

Former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has reiterated that allegations of budget padding levied by him against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal members should not be taken as an attack on the House as an institution.   In a personal statement by the lawmaker released to the media, Jibrin gave details of how the process of screening the 2016 budget by the appropriation committee was hijacked by Dogara and a cabal within the House. According...

Jibrin: How Dogara And His Cabal Hijacked 2016 Budget Screening, I Regret Working To Make Him Speaker

Former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has reiterated that allegations of budget padding levied by him against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal members should not be taken as an attack on the House as an institution. In a personal statement by the lawmaker released to the media, Jibrin gave details of how the process of screening the 2016 budget by the appropriations...

The Gulen Movement Is Not A Cult — It’s One Of The Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today – Graham Fuller

Last week witnessed what may be the last act of an unfolding struggle between two major Islamic movements in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen of plotting last week’s failed coup against the government. Immediately thereafter, Erdogan unleashed massive Stalin-style purges and arrests across the country of anyone suspected of any connection with Gulen or indeed of anyone of any ideology who opposes Erdogan. First of all, when we talk about Islamic leaders in...

Indian Military Antonov Plane Goes Missing

An Indian military plane with 29 people on board has gone missing over the Bay of Bengal which is the largest bay in the world and is found at the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean.  According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Antonov-32 transporter aircraft took off from Chennai (Madras) at 08:30 local time (03:00 GMT), bound for Port Blair in the eastern archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar. It was scheduled to...

PDP Must Avoid Going From Frying Pan To Fire – Bode George

A chieftain of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, said in Lagos on Thursday that appointing a credible person as national chairman of the party would determine the performance of the party in the 2019 presidential elections. George, who was a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, said that it was imperative for the national leadership of the party to appoint a credible person as its national chairman. He argued that appointing someone, who had no understanding...

You Shouldn’t Be Engaged For Any Longer Than 6 months, Wendy William Says

Wendy Williams doesn't think that Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney would never make it down the aisle because of their long engagement. The chat show host says reports that Gaga's went into acting had caused deep rifts with fiance Taylor that led to the split. She even went on to win a Golden Globe for her debut role and is set to return for its new season. Speaking on Thursday about the recent Radar report, Wendy said: “I...

New Music: 2Baba X M.I Abaga – “Babylon”

The moment we’ve been waiting for is here as; 2Baba and M.I Abaga unleash celestial chills with the new single dubbed Babylon. The duet, speaks on the current situation of life, the journey, the steps to follow; and also the most pondered about issue i.e; “Politics.” Like always, 2Baba aka 2face Idibia and M.I Abaga,...

Bayern Have Lost An ‘Important Player’ In Gotze – Alaba

The Austrian international insists his close friend, who recently rejoined Borussia Dortmund from the Bavarians, was “unlucky” to see his career stagnate due to injury trouble David Alaba insists Bayern Munich have lost an “important player” following Mario Gotze's decision to leave the Bundesliga champions to rejoin Borussia Dortmund. Gotze, 24, angered Dortmund fans when he left them in 2013 to join their German rivals Bayern but completed a move...

‘Do Not Support Any Moves To Impeach Pres. Buhari’- Bauchi Youths Warn Their Senators

Members of APC Vanguard, a Pro-Buhari group in Bauchi state have sent a warning to the three senators representing the state in the senate not to support any move geared towards impeaching President Buhari. The youths issued the warning in a letter signed by their chairman, Nura Zungur and delivered to the Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar at Government House this morning. The group in their letter warned that any of their senators who partakes in...

Bricklayer Jailed For Stealing Two Packets Of Maggi

A Lugbe Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced a 30-year-old bricklayer Jeopardy John, to three months imprisonment for stealing two packets of Maggi cubes. John, had pleaded guilty to a three-count of criminal trespass, housebreaking and theft. “I am sorry for the act I committed and I am pleading with the court not to send me to jail. “It was hunger that made me to steal. For some time now I don’t...

Court Orders EFCC To Pay N5 Million Damages To Fayose’s Aide

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has granted bail to Abiodun Agbele, an aide to the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose. Mr. Agbele was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on July 1 on allegations of fraud. The EFCC said Mr. Agbele received huge public funds from a former defence minister, Musiliu Obanikoro, and delivered same to Mr. Fayose. The judge, Olukayode Fadeniyi, declared that the failure of the EFCC to...

Japan Warns Over Pokemon Go Pitfalls Ahead Of Launch

Japan isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the safety of impatient fans awaiting the release of Pokemon Go in the country where the cutesy monsters were born. Tokyo has issued a nine-point safety guide warning of dangers gamers could face, including heat stroke, online scams and dubious strangers. Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) has also advised fans to download a weather app so Pokemon hunts don’t land...

Boko Haram Degraded, Victims Returning Home– Interior Minister

The Federal Government has stated that Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East has been degraded and routed out from their major enclaves while victims of their atrocities are returning home. The Interior Minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau made the disclosure at the Regional Seminar on Media Engagement in Crisis Management organised by the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. The Minister said: “The war in the North-East with the Boko Haram has been...

Video: Idris Elba – Panda Re-fix

Jimmy Fallon debuted a spanking new game with a little help from Idris Elba on last night’s episode of The Tonight Show. Dubbed Box of Microphones, this latest musical goof around involved. you guessed it — a box of microphones, with each mic having a different voice-altering effect. After each picking, a mic at random, Idris delivered a chipmunk cover of Desiigner’s “Panda”. while Jimmy...

Plateau Crisis: Soldiers Open Fire, One Killed

Soldiers serving with the Special Task Force on Jos crisis on Thursday opened fire on rampaging youth who blocked a road in Bokkos Local Government Area, in protest of the killing of a monarch and a night attack there Wednesday. At least one person was killed and five others injured, witnesses said. A witness, Mangai Haruna, said the youth refused to allow soldiers into the area, pressing them instead to produce the killers of their...

Sex Scandal: Reps Accuse US Ambassador Of Racial Bias

One of the three members of the House of Representatives accused of alleged sexual misconduct by the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, yesterday accused the envoy of racial bias stating that the allegations are premeditated. Hon. Mark Gbillah who made the declaration yesterday while making his presentation at the investigative hearing on the allegations, insisted that he was wrongly accused and would do everything legally possible to clear his name. He...

Christians Betrayed, Insulted Me As CAN President- Oritsejafor

Past presi­dent of the Christian As­sociation of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yes­terday, opened up on how he weathered the storm as leader of the apex Christian body in the country. He said Christians plot­ted against him and equally insulted him even when he put his life on the line for them. Oritsejafor said he took over the mantle of lead­ership at the most trying times in the country. “We came in a period...

Total Is New Sponsor Of CAF Competitions

Multi-national oil company, Total is the new title sponsor of the Africa’s foremost football event, the Africa Cup of Nations, according the Confederation of African football (CAF) has said. Total replaces telephone company Orange as the AFCON sponsors. The sponsorship agreement lasts eight years, africanFootball.com reports. The sponsorship also covers the women’s Nations Cup, U-17, U-20 and U-23 championships, the African Nations Championship (CHAN), CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup and Super Cup.

Osinbajo, Governors Meet Over Economy

The National Economic Council (NEC) met at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.  The meeting is being presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.  Governors in attendance include those of Ogun, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Abia, Katsina, Kogi, among others.  The meeting is expected to review the state of the economy. Credit: DailyTrust

Leave Oil Fields, Terminals Now, Niger Delta Avengers Warns Oil Workers

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned oil workers and foreigners to vacate oil fields and terminals as it is ready to fight dirty. The militant group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, specifically warned Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) workers as well as foreigners to leave oil fields and terminals because “it will be going to be very...

Saraki Denies Defecting To PDP, Restates Commitment To APC

For the second time in less than a week, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has restated his commitment and loyalty to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Media reports were rife that Saraki had defected to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after he attended the party’s senate caucus meeting on Wednesday. But Saraki’s media aide, Bamikole Omishore, in a statement said the reports were “entirely untrue as the Senate President stands committed...