Phyno, A Biography, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Phyno performing at Guaranty Trust Bank‘s Annual Year End Concert in December 2014
Background information
Birth name Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike
Born 9 October 1986 (age 31)
Enugu State, Nigeria[1]
Genres Igbo raphip hop
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active 2003–present
Labels Sputnet Records, Penthauze Music
Associated acts

Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike (born 9 October 1986), better known by his stage name Phyno, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.[2] He started his musical career as a producer in 2003. He is renowned for rapping in the Igbo language. His debut studio album, No Guts No Glory, was released in 2014. It produced the singles “Ghost Mode”, “Man of the Year”, “Parcel” and “O Set”.[3] As a producer, he has worked with artists such as TimayaFlavourRuggedmanBracketJ. Martins and Mr Raw.[4]

Life and music career

Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike was born and raised in Enugu State, though he is a native of Anambra State. His stage name Phyno, which is derived from the word ‘phenomenal’, was the nickname given to him by one of his high school friends named Emeka. Phyno developed an interest for music production during his secondary school days. He initially wanted to become a pilot, but was told that he could be a doctor. Throughout high school, he learned to play the drums and piano. He also learned to create his own rendition of every recording he heard. He studied Public Administration at the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, and started profiting from music during his second year at IMT. Phyno told Ifeoma Onoye that Mr. Raw is one of the few people he looks up to.[5][6] Phyno started rapping in 2010 and relocated to Lagos to continue his music career.[4]

2012–present:No Guts No Glory, Guinness campaign and 2 Kings

Phyno started recording his debut studio album, No Guts No Glory, in 2012.[1] The album features guest appearances from Stormrex, OmawumiOlamide, Efa, P-SquareTimayaFlavour N’abania, Mr. Raw, M.IIce Prince and Runtown. It was primarily recorded in Igbo and Nigerian Pidgin. Phyno told Joan Omionawle and Netwon-Ray Ukwuoma of the Nigerian Tribunethat rapping in his native language is his strong suit.[1] On 25 September 2012, he released “Ghost Mode” as the album’s lead single.[7] The song features Olamide and was released to critical acclaim. It won Best Collabo at both the 2012 The Headies Awards and 2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The music video for “Ghost Mode” was released on 7 December 2012. It was shot and directed in Lagos by Clarence Peters.[8] Sputnet Records released the album’s second single, “Man of the Year (Obago)”, on 23 March 2013.[9] The song, which was produced by Phyno, won the Best Rap Single category at the 2012 The Headies Awards. The music video for “Man of the Year (Obago)” was uploaded onto YouTube on 20 August 2013. It was also shot and directed by Clarence Peters in Abakpa Nike, and features a cameo appearance from Illbliss. In September 2013, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation banned the music video from being broadcast.[10]

“Parcel”, the third single off the album, was released on 11 October 2013. The song was originally titled “Parcel (a BIG Nwa)”. The music video for “Parcel” was shot by Clarence Peters and released on 19 February 2014. On 4 March 2014, “O Set” was announced as the album’s fourth single. The song was produced by WizzyPro and features P-Square.[11] The music video for the song was directed by Jude Engees Okoye and uploaded onto YouTube at approximately 4 minutes.[12] On 22 May 2014, Phyno released the music video for “Alobam”, which was directed by Clarence Peters. The song, which is an Igbo slang for “My Guy”, was produced by Major Bangz. In the video, Phyno paid tribute to some of his peers including Ice Prince, Flavour, P-Square, Olamide and J Martins.[13] On 31 August 2014, Thisday reported that Phyno became an ambassador of Guinness Nigeria’s Made of Black campaign alongside Olamide and Eva Alordiah. Phyno performed at the campaign’s launch and was featured in the campaign’s television commercial.[14] On 2 September 2014, Phyno released the Clarence Peters-directed visuals to his “Authe (Authentic)” song with Flavour N’abania.[15] On 7 October 2014, Phyno released the Major Bangz-produced “Yayo”.[16] The song debuted at number 8 on the Pulse Music Video Charts.[17] The music video for the song, directed by Clarence Peters, premiered on 5 January 2015.[18] Opeoluwani Akintayo of The Daily Times of Nigeria gave the video an overall rating of 8 out of 10 stars, while commending the use of props like burning tyres, shirtless guys, a throne made of cutlass, the video vixen‘s butt, isolated location, papered and painted walls, smoky floor, and multi-coloured painted cars.[19]

Phyno’s collobrative album with Olamide, titled 2 Kings, was released on 1 April 2015. Plans for the album were first announced in January 2014 by both rappers via social media.[20]

Notable performances

In June 2013, Phyno performed for 25 minutes in Owerri as part of the Star Music Trek tour.[21] Phyno toured with D’banjBurna BoyChidinmaVector, Pucado, Seyi Shay, Show Dem Camp, Kay Switch and Sean Tizzle as a supporting act on the Hennessy Artistry 2013 Club Tour.[22] In April 2014, he performed at the 2014 edition of the Star Music Trek tour in Nsukka, Enugu State.[23][24]

Artistry and sound

Phyno is widely known as the ambassador of rap music in the Igbo Language. He told the Nigerian Tribune that he raps in Igbo because he respects his culture and loves being himself. Although he primarily raps in Igbo, he combines a bit of Nigerian Pidgin and English in his music. Phyno believes that the elements of music makes it borderless.[25]

Personal life

In a 2014 interview with The Punch newspaper, Phyno denied reports about impregnating a woman named Rita Edmond.[4]



Selected singles

  • “Oringo”
  • “Yayo”
  • “Connect “
  • “Asai”
  • “Got it in my Vein” (featuring De Boss and RunTown)
  • “Nnunu” (featuring Stormrex)
  • “Ezege”[26]
  • “Man of the Year”
  • “Alobam”
  • “Street (Kush) Muzik”
  • “Connect”
  • “Fada Fada (Ghetto Gospel)”
  • “E Sure For Me”
  • “So Far So Good”
  • “Link Up” (featuring M.I. and Burna Boy)
  • “Augment”(featuring olamide)
  • “Mkpotu” (featuring Zoro and Tidinz)
  • “No Be My Style” (featuring Burna Boy)

Awards and nominations

Phyno awards and nominations
[hide]Awards and nominations
Award Wins Nominations
The Headies
3 15
Nigeria Entertainment Awards
1 3
Channel O Music Video Awards
0 1
City People Entertainment Awards
1 4
Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
0 1
African Muzik Magazine Awards
0 2
MTV Africa Music Awards
0 1
Channel O Music Video Awards
0 1
Awards won 5
Nominations 28

MTV Africa Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2015 Himself Best Hip-hop Nominated [27]

Channel O Music Video Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 “Alobam” Most Gifted Hip-hop Nominated [28]

City People Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 Himself Rap Artiste of the Year Won [29]
No Guts No Glory Rap Album of the Year Nominated
2013 “Ghost Mode”
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo of the Year Nominated [30]
Himself Best Rap Artiste of the Year Nominated

Nigeria Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 Himself Best Rap Act of the Year Nominated [31]
2013 Best Rap Act of the Year Nominated [32]
“Ghost Mode”
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo Won [33]

African Muzik Magazine Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2013 Himself Best Newcomer Nominated [34]
Best Rap Act Nominated

Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2013 “Man of the Year” Best Afro Hip Hop Video Nominated [35]

The Headies

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 Himself Artiste of the Year Nominated [36]
Phyno for “Alobam” Best Street-Hop Artiste Nominated
No Guts No Glory Best Rap Album Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
“Parcel” Best Rap Single Won
“Dope Money”
(Olamide featuring Phyno)
2013 Himself Next Rated Nominated [37]
Lyricist on the Roll Nominated
“Ghost Mode”
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo Won [38]
(Lynxxx featuring Ikechukwu, Illbliss, and Phyno)
Nominated [37]
“Man of the Year” Best Rap Single Won [38]
“Anam Achi Kwanu”
(Illbliss featuring Phyno)
Nominated [37]
“Ghost Mode”
(featuring Olamide)
2012 “Shutdown” Best Rap Single Nominated [39]
Phyno (for “Shutdown”) Lyricist on the Roll Nominated

See also


  1. Jump up to:a b c “My wild hairdo? My fans love it, and that’s what matters —Phyno”. The Nigerian Tribune. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  2. Jump up^ “Happy birthday cheers for Phyno from Olamide, Illbliss, Lil Kesh, others”. Nigerian Entertainment Today. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  3. Jump up^ “Music has no language – Phyno”. Vanguard. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Augoye, Jayne (17 January 2014). “I did not impregnate any artiste –Phyno”. The Punch. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. Jump up^ Ononye, Ifeoma. “I have a mad style but I am not crazy –Phyno”. Daily Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  6. Jump up^ Akande, Victor (7 July 2013). “PHYNO:M.I, Mr Raw made me”. The Nation. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  7. Jump up^ O, Ovie (25 September 2012). “PREMIERE: Phyno ft Olamide – GhostMode”. NotjustOk. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  8. Jump up^ “New Video: Phyno Feat. Olamide – Ghost Mode”. Bellanaija. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  9. Jump up^ “PREMIERE: Phyno – Man of The Year (Obago)”. NotjustOk. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  10. Jump up^ “NBC bans Wizkid & Phyno’s song: “Olamide & Wande Coal should be banned too” Charles Novia reacts”. Royal Times. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “Phyno ft. P-Square – O Set (Pro. WizzyPro)”. NotjustOk. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  12. Jump up^ “Watch Phyno x P-Square’s ‘O Set’ Video”. Okay Africa. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  13. Jump up^ Okoth-Obbo, Vanessa (28 March 2014). “Phyno Hits The Streets In ‘Alobam'”. Okay Africa. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  14. Jump up^ “Phyno, Olamide, Eva are Made of Black”. This Day. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  15. Jump up^ “VIDEO: Phyno Feat. Flavour – Authe”. Naij News. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  16. Jump up^ “Yayo – Single by Phyno”. iTunes. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  17. Jump up^ Tayo, Ayomide (30 January 2015). “Phyno, Olamide, Waje, storm the charts”. Pulse. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Oyewusi, Siji (5 January 2015). “Phyno releases video for his 2014 hit, ‘Yayo'”. Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  19. Jump up^ Akintayo, Opeoluwani (2 April 2015). “Yayo By Phyno: A Battle Of Talents”. Daily Times of Nigeria. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  20. Jump up^ “Olamide, Phyno to collaborate on album, 2 Kings”. Premium Times. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  21. Jump up^ “Phyno Turns Phenomenal in Owerri”. This Day. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 5 September2014.
  22. Jump up^ “Olamide, Phyno, Chidinma to join D’banj for Hennessy artistry 2013”. Premium Times. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  23. Jump up^ “Olamide, Phyno in sensational collabo”. The Nation. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 5 September2014.
  24. Jump up^ “Star Trek: 2face, Olamide, Naeto C, Phyno, others thrill Nsukka fans”. The Nation. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  25. Jump up^ Filani, Omotola (8 May 2014). “”I am taking Igbo rap to the next level” – Phyno”. Daily Post. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  26. Jump up^ “New Music Phyno – ‘Ezege'” Joey Akan. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  27. Jump up^ “Full List Of MTV MAMA 2015 Award Nominees”. Daily Independent. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  28. Jump up^ “Cassper Nyovest rules the Channel O Music Video Awards nominees”. Sunday World. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  29. Jump up^ Jasanya, Olamide (24 June 2014). “Who won what at City People Entertainment Awards 2014” Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  30. Jump up^ “Ice Prince, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Sarkodie, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Yvonne Okoro, Tonto Dikeh & BellaNaija Nominated for the 2013 City People Entertainment Awards – See the Full List”. Bellanaija. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  31. Jump up^ Abimboye, Micheal (31 May 2014). “Pop duo, Skuki, reject Nigerian Entertainment Awards nomination”. Premium Times. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  32. Jump up^ “Nigerian Entertainment Award announces 2013 nominees”. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  33. Jump up^ “Nigerian Entertainment Awards: Nadia, Dumelo and Sarkodie win”. Ghanaweb. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  34. Jump up^ “See Nominees for the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) 2014”. Bellanaija. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  35. Jump up^ “NIGERIA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS (NMVA 2013) WINNERS LIST”. Tooxclusive. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  36. Jump up^ Ochugba, Mary (10 October 2014). “The Headies unveils 2014 nominees”. Business Day. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  37. Jump up to:a b c “Olamide wins big @ Headies 2013 + full list of winners”. Vanguard. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  38. Jump up to:a b “Olamide, Phyno, Davido, others win big at the Headies 2013”Premium Times. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  39. Jump up^ Mgbolu, Charles (28 August 2012). “Psquare, Bez lead Headies 2012 nominees list”Vanguard. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
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