We didn’t feel the usual Iyanya in that single. We heard the voice of a drowning man, a broken voice, nagging, complaining.

Nigeria is the only country where you can blow, unblow and turn to an upcoming artiste

The above savage comment was thrown at Mr Eazi by an angry Twitter user fan who was reacting to one of Mr Eazi’s sudden fame-induced claims of creating a new kind of music in Nigeria.

 The angry twitter fan enjoined Mr Eazi to verify the reality of his assertion from Ice Prince, whose fame appears to be afraid of moving further lately. But then, neither Mr Eazi nor Ice Prince occupied my thoughts that moment, Iyanya did.

After winning the very first edition of Project Fame West Africa, Iyanya arrested our attention with “Kukere” which catapulted him to instant stardom. Though before then, he had failed to impress with his first album, My Story. From his second album, Desire, we were thrilled with hits upon hits like “Ur Waist”, “Flavour”, ‘Sexy Mama”, “Jombolo”, etc, which escorted him to Headies to coast home with the 2013 Artist of the Year.

From his third studio album to the Made Men Music Group mixtape with Tekno, Selebobo, Emma Nyra and Baci, a keen listener would have observed that something was wrong somewhere and Iyanya could be heading to the Sky-B galaxy. Despite the poor sounds that heralded most of the songs in the album, despite his almost emblematic empty lyrics, the poor promotion and circulation of that unfortunate album gave it the uncontested position of Iyanya’s best failure. It wasn’t long before the Triple MG ship exploded after a muted implosion facilitated by irreconcilable issues.

With mixed reactions, Nigerians received the news of his exodus from Triple MG and his subsequent tent pitching with Mavin records. Many argued that he should have launched his personal label rather than joining another. But some of us had the reasons to believe that he made the right choice because of the prowess of the Big Man behind Mavin. “Up to Something”, his first official Mavin single even made pessimists conclude that, indeed, his move was a masterstroke.

Donjazzy and Iyanya
Don Jazzy and Iyanya

Someone had come to fill the gap Dbanj and Wande Coal left? So we thought. But the follow ups became unsure singles, dotted by lengthy silences. Nigeria began to forget Iyanya.

It is true that he released “Iyanu (Holy Water)” to critical acclaim in late 2017, but the genre he opted for (Afrobeat), after quitting RnB, requires steady follow ups. Sadly, Iyanya leaves too much gap after each single.

Moreover, we didn’t feel the usual Iyanya in that single. We heard the voice of a drowning man, a broken voice, nagging, complaining. But mbok, you have passed that stage na.

It is no longer news that Iyanya has left Mavin, unceremoniously. We are worried about this restlessness, this seeming retrogression of fame and fortune. Whereas many are seeing it as fading, in my optimism, I prefer to see it as a tactical withdrawal, a necessary retreat for a massive attack-It had better be. And let it not stay too long like that of Faze Alone who is currently struggling to pull a successful comeback. Until then, dear Iyanya, please, have you faded? 


ifesinachi johnpaul nwadike
IFESINACHI, Johnpaul Nwadike

IFESINACHI, Johnpaul Nwadike is a poet, writer, comedian and rapper. He obtained a B.A in Literature from Imo State University, Owerri and an M.A in Literature from University of Ibadan. When he’s not listening to 2face, Asa or Brymo, he’s reading an African author. He relaxes by looking for trouble.