When was the last time Iyanya gave us something so rich in R&B as he has done in ‘Type of Woman’?
You could rewind back to 2008 when the singer beat contestants to lift the crown at the MTN Project Fame West Africa. He was heralded as our next R&B savior, and his song, ‘Love truly’, had a buzz. That success created an R&B genre specific album that tanked commercially. The album failed to make sales on the open market, and the singer had to rethink his style.
Pop influences and the dance culture appeared, and Iyanya opened himself up to it. The resultant work was a great commercial hit album, “Iyanya Vs Desire”, which was released in February 2013. That album took Iyanya to the height of Nigerian music and blew his name around the continent. To date, his best songs reside on that album which had ‘Kukere’, ‘Sexy mama’, and many others. But the singer split ways with his go-to producer, D’Tunes, and went solo. D’Tunes would later find joy in Sean Tizzle.
Two albums have come after that. The 2014 compilation album and the 2015 failed LP, have only produced one hit song, ‘Oreo’, and a sleeper-hit, ‘Applaudise’.
“Applaudise” album failed to generate a hit song and reduced Iyanya’s stock in Nigeria. Industry competition is at an all-time high, and to stand still, is to fall behind.
“The thing is, it’s a general thing in the Nigerian entertainment industry.”Iyanya’s manager, Ubi Franklin said. People respect singles more than the full album. And people only go for songs they have actually seen a video for. “People love the album, but for them to properly sit on the album, we need to give them videos.”
Iyanya recently shot one of the videos for a song on the album. ‘Baby Daddy’, an R&B collaboration with Banky W is also set for release, having received favorable reviews and gained traction on air. Other videos will follow suit as the team have traveled to America to shoot more visuals.
“When you put an album out in Nigeria, and want people to play it back to back. They want to play it, but only when they see visuals to it. That’s what we are trying to push basically.”
All of these in place was not enough. Iyanya clicked a reset on his career. He looked back on his glory days and found the light from the past shining into his future. He made a U-turn, returned to D’Tunes, with the aim of recreating his past successes. His R&B side, which fans have been screaming for a return, is currently being reinvigorated. Iyanya has a joint R&B album with Banky W planned for release this year. And to set things rolling, he has dropped a new single ‘Type of woman’, which was produced by Mystro.