I Was A Bar Man – Iyanya

Iyanya Mbuk is the winner of the first ever Project Fame music reality show. After winning the show, he released an album which did not do too well but went underground to come back with the monster hit, “Kukere.” The energetic singer has been making huge progress in his career ever since then. He is a multiple brand ambassador and a co-founder of music label, Made Men Music Group. The Calabar born singer in this interview opens up about the challenges of being in the limelight and other issues concerning his person.

Iyanya

Iyanya

Tell me about your latest song Yudala?

Yudala is a goodwill song. The video is also out now and it features all the Made Men Music Group acts. Yudala is a song we released immediately after the successful conclusion of the 2015 elections in Nigeria. The song is a message for all Nigerians and the world over. It is a message of hope and prosperity. Yudala stands for respect, best wishes, peace of mind, prosperity.

How would you rate the performance of your last collaboration album with all the members of the MMMG?

Yeah! We titled it “The Evolution.” It was a successful album, I’d say, because it did better than the last one. A lot of the fans enjoyed my debut album, so naturally they went out to get the “The Evolution” as well and they were not disappointed.

So what’s next now?

I’ll continue to drop more and more singles. Another album will come out soon, but endless singles for my fans are on the way. I’m also going to be showing more versatility and a different side of me.

Don’t you think releasing too many singles at close interval is a bad idea?

As entertainers, we need to be consistent. It’s our job to entertain people. We don’t have to wait till they start asking us for more hits. It’s never a good idea to wait till people start asking, this guy hasn’t released a new song yet? So there has to be regular follow ups. An entertainer must be found to be entertaining at all times, especially in this era when the competition is high.

Iyanya

Iyanya

A lot of your fans have critcised you for your usual habit of flaunting your muscles on social media, why must you always go shirtless?

I will tell you this, those complaining actually complain because they like it. They wish they could come closer, but they chose to criticise because of their inability to come close. Have you ever wondered why ladies go wild when I take off my clothes on stage? So everyone loves it. I try to entertain my fans with my looks too, not only my music. I like to entertain my fans with everything. So to those hating, it’s all bad belle, but I have love for all my fans. I’ve got love for everyone, whether they love or hate me. I keep doing my thing and working hard to entertain everyone. People come to watch me take off my shirt, man! That’s part of the reasons they pay for tickets to watch me. The ladies love it. I just try to keep it and I find out it’s helping my career. I didn’t use to go shirtless on stage even despite my chiseled body, but the first time I did it, I saw the wild reactions from my fans. Since then, ladies ask me to do it. So for those complaining, they can continue while I get paid. You can’t please everyone.

What do you also have to say about lewd lyrics in your songs, a lot of your fans are complaining about that too?

Like I said, that people are complaining doesn’t necessarily mean that they hate what you are doing. They like to hear all these things and mind you, I don’t just say these things for nothing sake, I use them to pass messages across in my songs. I’m the kind of guy that calls a spade a spade. There is no point trying to pretend. Life is too short to start pretending.

Iyanya

Iyanya

You seem not to enjoy a lot of acceptance on social media based on constant criticisms you face, why is that so?

I won’t say I don’t enjoy a lot of acceptance. Rather, I’d say that people just enjoy hating. A lot of people on social media are angry and looking for someone to vent their anger on. If you check the number of my followers on Twitter and Instagram for instance, you’d agree with me that I’ve got serious acceptance, but some fans just love to criticise everything, they’ll criticise you no matter what you do. But I’ll continue to say that such is life, people have a right to say what they want to say. Like I told you, you need to understand that many people wish they could be me or, at least, get close to me. However, because it’s not possible for them, they resort to social media attack. But my true fans admire me on social media.

You used to work in a bar in Calabar, looking at where you are right now, what’s your take?

I’m grateful to God. I was a bartender in Calabar before Project Fame. My salary wasn’t even up to 30 thousand Naira at the time. Everything changed when I participated in Project Fame. God has been faithful to me I must confess.

Tell me about your record label, Made Men Music Group?

Made Men Music Group is a family. It consists of a group of other young talented acts. Like I said, we are like a family and we plan to make great impacts and leave indelible footprints not only on the Nigerian entertainment soil but internationally too. I believe that we can achieve a lot with the current team we have. We are different artistes under one umbrella. We’ll contribute our quota as individual artistes to bring glory to the label.

What do you think about the fact that a lot of your female fans see you as a sex symbol?

It’s okay if ladies see me as a sex symbol. It’s an honour. As entertainers, majority of our fans are women. That means, to a large extent our career success depends on them. Most of them will tell their husbands or boyfriends to take them to our shows and the guys will oblige them. So if these same people think I’m sexy, then who am I to argue it? It’s a great honour. All I do is to work out hard in the gym, live a healthy lifestyle and look good overall. That’s my own duty; the rest is left to them to decide.