Iyanya and The Struggle for Relevance

Nigerian singer, Iyanya, who won the MTN Project Fame West Africa in 2008 officially ventured into music in 2011 with the release of his hit single, Kukere.

Man of the Moment

When D’banj’s career was going down, he had to jump on the monster hit, Kukere for a bounce-back in 2012. The remix was also widely accepted. Iyanya followed up with Your Waist. In 2013, he released Lekwa Ukwu. They were back-to-back hitsBy this time he had become a household name and a force in the Nigerian R&B and Pop world. He landed endorsement deals worth $350,000 with Zinox computers, a #40,000,000 deal with MTN and #35,000,000  with Solo Mobile.

At the end of that year, Iyanya, though won only the ‘Artiste of the Year’, was nominated in four other different categories at the 2013 Headies Awards: ‘Best R&B/ Pop Album’, ‘Best Pop Single’,  ‘Album of the Year’, and ‘Song of the Year’. He was ‘the most beautiful bride’.

Endorsement Deals: Saving Grace

Though he was not nominated for a single award in 2014, Zinox Computers renewed his endorsement deal till 2015 and still had MTN and Solo Phone deals also running till 2015. He also toured United States and Canada with his label mates thrilling his fans with exciting and energetic performances.

He released Applaudise in the last quarter of 2015. The album houses tracks as Applaudise, Okamfo and Baby Daddy. While Baby Daddy which is actually a great R&B song, was nominated for Best R&B single at the 2015 Headies Awards, Okamfo ft Lil Kesh sounds like a desperation to connect back to the street. The young talented rapper battled with the tempo of the beat. The song would have been a nice pop tune but for the loss of Iyanya’s self-sufficiency. Though Iyanya’s Zinox deal- which was the biggest of his endorsement deals- wasn’t renewed in 2015, his MTN and Solo Phone deals were. The few nice tunes and endorsement deals were his saving grace in 2015.

While Iyanya is being floated by the renewal of his two endorsement deals in 2015, I can’t say if his music career is growing. Has he reached his peak so soon he can’t go any further? He released another single yesterday titled Type of Woman. It’s a very nice R&B tune. Will this do the magic? Maybe the addition of a couple of songs would do.

Both endorsement deals will expire in 2017. He has to keep improving on his career otherwise he will lose relevance in the music scene and may lose one or the two endorsement deals he is currently enjoying.

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