Flavour is a Nigerian vocalist, songwriter, performer, and multi-instrumentalist well-known for making good music. The 39 year old started his music career in the church and today has grown to become one of the many Nigerian artists that continues to put the country on the world map with their hit songs. Flavour N’abania mainly sings highlife music and he does so in his native language of Igbo. This has not been a hindrance in any way to his career as he continues to go from height to height with each passing year and each new music he releases.
Flavour Was Born and Raised In Enugu State But Is A Native Of Anambra State
Born as Chinedu Izuchukwu Okoli on the 23rd day of November 1983, Flavour is a native of Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The superstar was however born in the city of Enugu in Enugu State to Mr. Benjamin and Mrs. Stella Okoli. While it is widely reported that he comes from a large family, we only know that the singer has two sisters and a younger brother named Okoli Chidera Emmanuel. Like his older brother, Chidera is in the music business as a DJ and goes by the name DJ Derekz.
According to Flavour, his early years were so much fun and filled with fond memories. He had his early education at Robinson Primary School Uwani, Enugu where he acquired his First School Leaving Certificate. He then proceeded to earn a WAEC certificate at Awkunanaw Boys Secondary School, Achara Layout, Enugu. It was also reported that he attended the College of Immaculate Conception in Enugu (CIC).
The Singer Began His Music Journey In The Church At Age 13
Many people are aware of Flavour’s impressive vocals, his energetic dancing, as well as flawless singing in the Igbo language. This has led to many believing that he actually started off his career as a singer or vocalist. Nevertheless, this is far from the truth. The Nigerian artist was more of an instrumentalist in his early music life. He began by playing the drums before learning how to play the piano in his church choir in Enugu. It was later on that he took up singing.
Unlike many musicians who always aspire to become musicians from a tender age, Flavour’s journey was not well-defined. To him, music was more of a way of life rather than a career. He studied music on scholarship due to an opening rather than as a deliberate intention. This was after his resident pastor at his church introduced him to a friend, Chris I. Odor, the CEO of SoundCity Communications.
Mr. Odor had just founded a musical company that had a scholarship program targeting young singers, training them on the basics of music as well as helping to mold them into professionals. Not minding that his family, particularly his mum, used to discourage him from becoming a musician a lot, Flavour joined the school in 1999 and grew from playing just the drums to playing the keyboards. With his awesome voice, he was also providing backing vocals for other singers at SoundCity.
How He Came Up with His Flavour Stage Name
Flavour started going by the stage name “Flavour” at the age of 15. All the time when he was a member at Soundcity, he didn’t have a stage name and it always felt odd whenever it was time for him to introduce himself at concerts. Meanwhile, there was a man named Flavour Shelters who was among the fans of Soundcity Communications and was always present in almost all their shows. The man was a real estate businessman and Flavour admired him a lot and wanted to be like him. So, from him, he adopted the name and decided to take on it as his stage name.
He Joined The Music Industry at the Age of 19
At the age of 19, Flavour left Soundcity and entered into Nigerian musical scene as a pianist and drummer for a local band based in Enugu. There, he was playing with various bands on his own and though it was a difficult journey, he kept on learning. Not long after, he got a deal to play at City Center in Enugu and the massive crowd that cheered him throughout his performance motivated him into pushing harder in music than he ever did. His outstanding skills and educational background in music made him learn music production from people like Dekumzy, Nnachi, and Charles.
During the time, he met Nigga Raw and Darkman and started doing choruses for them. It was then that he thought to himself, that if he could do good choruses for someone else that comes out so well, he can as well do his own song. At this point, he began creating and recording songs from scratch. Today, Flavour has numerous singles and 7 albums to his name and every single one of his works has recorded great success, making him one of the most accomplished Nigerian stars.
Flavour has performed on the same stage with international artists like Snoop Dogg, Ciara, French Montana, Lauryn Hill, Akon, Rick Ross, and many other acts. He has featured in major newspapers and media outlets around the world and has performed for several sold-out audiences worldwide. One of his biggest tracks, “Kwarikwa” proved to be quite a club banger as it received a lot of airplay on TV and Radio.
Flavour Rose to Fame With His Album N’abania
Flavour first tasted fame following the release of his debut album N’abania. Since then, he has remained on top of his game. He released N’abania in 2005 through Obiano music. The 12-track album, even though it dominated mostly Enugu and other eastern parts of the country, was a huge success and gave him public relevance. The lead single of the album was done in collaboration with Mr. Raw in Kingsley Ogoro’s music studio in Lagos, Nigeria.
Here is the list of the hit songs contained on the album:
- N’abania (intro) Flavour N’abania
- N’abania (ft Mr. Raw)
- Nwata (skit)
- Nwa Baby
- D One (ft Prophesy)
- Ogbuolam (ft D Mustard)
- I Don Smoke Igbo (ft D Mustard)
- Nwata (Instrumental)
- Rigirigi (Instrumental)
- D One (Instrumental)
A Look at His Best Music That Established Him in the Music Scene
It is no longer news that Flavour has made an unending list of good music with pleasant tunes that will remain evergreen in the heart of his fans both within Nigeria and beyond. However, these ones discussed below are deemed his best as they turned out very successful with much popularity.
Blessed is Flavour’s third studio album which he dropped on the 18th of October 2012 under 2nite Entertainment and iROCKING LTD. The album seemed to be the biggest album release the recording artist has so far done due to the number of producers that worked on it. The 18-track album includes but is not limited to Baby Oku, Ikwokirikwo, Chinny Baby, Shake, Ada Ada, Ifem N’eli, Carolina, Chewe Kwem, Beverly, and others.
During an interview he granted with iROKOTV, Flavour explained how he had several producers working on Blessed and did not regret it because it obviously turned out a big success. Going further, he narrated how far he has come since the release of the album. He concluded by saying that he is on giving the world the music and becoming more mature and intentional about his lyrics and instrumentation.
In 2005, Flavour with his talent and high creativity remade Cardinal Rex’s 1960 hit Sawale, and titled it Nwa Baby. The song first featured in the singer’s debut album N’abania and was well received by fans. Then, five years later, the vocalist went on to drop its remix in his 2010 album Uplifted as Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix). The song featured as the lead single of the album and wasted no time in becoming a hit. It also became a major anthem for entertainment houses and Flavour on the street.
You can agree with me that this Flavour’s song made waves not only in the country but beyond, and remains evergreen on the lips of everyone. Flavour derived the title of the song from the Igbo setting where every first daughter in a family is called an “Ada”. At the peak of its release, Ada Ada became an anthem for wedding ceremonies and other celebrations of love in all parts of the country. The song was part of Flavour’s third studio album Blessed which also remains his best album so far.
In the video which depicts the Igbo traditional marriage, the guest appearance of the veteran actor Mr. Ibu and his exceptional dance moves gave it another level of fame. Ada Ada has since garnered over 47 million views on YouTube.
Oyi ft Tiwa Savage
Another track of the highly talented recording artist which is considered to be one of his best works is “Oyi” remix featuring the popular singer Tiwa Savage. The R&B track was featured in his second album Uplifted and it is a duet love story. The song was nominated in the category of Best R&B single for the Headies award in 2011, and in 2012, it won the Best R&B Video at the Channel O Music Video Awards.
Flavour’s Awards and Recognitions
- 2012 – Nigeria Entertainment Awards honored him as the Best Indigenous Artist/Group
- 2013 – Best High Life Video at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
- 2013 – Video of the Year at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
- 2013 – Best Indigenous Concept at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
- 2013 – Ada Ada won the category for the Best use of costumes at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA)
- 2013 – Best Collabo of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards
- 2014 – Best Traditional Artist at the African Muzik Magazine Awards
- 2014 – Ada Ada won the Best Video of the Year at the African Muzik Magazine Awards
- 2014 – Ada Ada won the Video of the Year Award at City People Entertainment Awards
- 2014 – MTV Africa Music Awards honored him with the Best Live Act in 2014.
Flavour Has Remained Relevant in the Music Industry Given His Physic and Unique Music Skills
Flavour’s family never thought he was ever going to make it in the music industry. As a matter of fact, they believed he was suffering from delusions. Albeit, Flavour has continued to show his skills and talent has without question managed to establish him as one of Nigeria’s greatest musicians. He normally does Highlife and Afrobeat genres and his music has a strong cultural influence. Many people regard him as the current king of highlife music as clearly seen from his massive hits as well as sold-out crowds.
Furthermore, Flavour is a good dancer and is particularly fond of moving his torso to the dance tune. He won the hearts of his fans, especially the female ones with his good looks. His physic, especially his flat tummy with his endearing six-packs, have earned him generous compliments and distinguished him from other artists. Other than being a prolific figure in the music industry, Flavour also has talents in some unlikely fields. For instance, he is known to have tried his hands in acting and has actually done some productions. He has played simple or supporting roles in a number of Nollywood films but is yet to play a leading role in any major film.
Another trait that distinguished Flavour is his ability to sing in his native language. A majority of Nigerian artists sing in Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. This is based on the cultural influence that Yoruba is considered as one of the most influential ethnic groups in the country. In contrast, Flavour sings in the Igbo language, which is not as diverse and influential as Yoruba is but still manages to attract a large following from people who understand as well as those who do not quite understand the language.