It’s Iyanya, giving us a new run of the familiar “It’s Iyaaaaanya” signature tag, and reminding us that he has more than enough juice in the tank to still keep his head above the doom merchants and pessimists.
Producers: Don Jazzy, Altims, Babyfresh
Record Label: Mavin Records (2017)
Duration: 26 minutes
‘Signature’ sounds like a pretty accurate way to describe a collection of Iyanya music; immersive, pop-R&B sounds that slid their way into your system, with that versatile voice that has been utilized in numerous ways to create music for everyone.
Many times we have documented numerous reactions to Iyanya music. We have watched him move from being just the guy with a cool voice on reality TV, to a suave, buff, pop star. We have seen his music flip people inside out, its magical power conquering even the most stubborn of souls. We have also seen him snag some of the best deals in the land, and heard his name ring all about us.
But that was a couple of years ago, and stuff’s changed. Iyanya has changed. He is no longer the number one singer in the country, and he has also changed his business model; dumping Made Men Music Group for the comforts of Mavin Records, where Don Jazzy, Altims and Babyfresh are the producers.
As the wall of muscular beats that open ‘Odo ye wu’, ring out like a call to dance floor action, it’s obvious that the “Signature” EP will stick to the familiar script of pop music. You get to experience similar vibe on the successful ‘Up 2 sumting’ single, and the Highlife drums on ‘Bow for you’.
This is familiar Iyanya; a pop machine who has traversed the country professing love and throwing sex at every female who could connect with his music. Don Jazzy and his only found a way to tweak it, click the refresh button, and present a new man.
But pop isn’t all that’s on display. Iyanya keeps his emotions on his sleeve, and makes vulnerable music on ‘Not forgotten’. It’s a heart-tugging ode to his late mother – Mrs Abia O. Mbuk – who passed in 2010. The tears well up, clouding the mind, and inviting you to share in the sorrow that inspires his music. For all his immaculately-hewn image of bravado, this rips through that and presents a hurting star, who is human after all, just like you and me.
But he quickly smoothens himself, grooms his mind and body, before launching at a lady, and propositioning sex at her on ‘Nobody has to know’.
‘I’ve been wanting to fuck you a long time now, I love that we fucking on all side now,’ croons Iyanya, oozing male sensuality, dark strength and immersive temptation over a slow R&B beat, the type that reminds you of Bryson Tiller’s work.
“Signature” EP isn’t the life changing power packed project that we all expected. But perhaps, we expected too much. It’s Iyanya, giving us a new run of the familiar “It’s Iyaaaaanya” signature tag, and reminding us that he has more than enough juice in the tank to still keep his head above the doom merchants and pessimists.