Essentials: Iyanya’s New Album ‘The 6th Wave’ Reinforces His Star Power
Essentials: Iyanya’s New Album ‘The 6th Wave’ Reinforces His Star Power

Essentials: Iyanya’s New Album ‘The 6th Wave’ Reinforces His Star Power

a collection of romantic and sex-tinged songs

Throughout his career, Iyanya has had a fair share of successes and difficulties. After winning the inaugural season of MTN Project Fame West Africa in 2008 and putting out his R&B-leaning debut album ‘My Story’ the following year, he embraced his Afropop tendencies on his 2013 sophomore album ‘Desire,’ which spawned the hit records “Ur Waist,” “Kukere” and the Wizkid-featuring “Sexy Mama.”  At one point, he was something of a sex symbol with his steamy songs and chiselled physique.

A bitter split with Made Men Music Group’s CEO Ubi Franklin threatened to truncate Iyanya’s career but he held his ground, signing with Mavin Records and releasing ‘Signature’ EP in 2017. Iyanya and Ubi Franklin have resolved their differences and he is back with Made Men Music Group. Before that, he kept on releasing singles after singles and 2020’s ‘For Your Love’ EP.

Iyanya made an inspired comeback early this year with the Ayra Starr-assisted “Call.” Produced by 1da Banton, the mid-tempo number was evidence that Iyanya has one of the best vocals in the country. That evidence began clear months later when he released the Reward Beatz-produced “Like,” which featured Davido and Kizz Daniel. On his sixth body of work aptly titled ‘The 6th Wave,’ both “Call” and “Like” find a home on the eight-track offering with A&R work by Ubi Franklin and executive production by Iyanya.

On “Call,” Iyanya seeks forgiveness from a lover as he sings, “After I chop one, I take off/I don miss a good thing, na make up/That thing wey happen na set up/That thing wey lead to the break up/And if you don’t mind, let’s kiss and make up.” On her part, Ayra Starr takes on the role of the nagging partner who refuses to come to terms with her lover’s non-commitment. On “My Lady,” Iyanya has nothing but praise for his love interest as he expresses his commitment to her, singing, “I dey your bus stop/I no fit japa/You be my last card.”

Nigerian artist and music producer Shugavybz takes the larger portion of the production credit on ‘The 6th Wave.’ Out of the eight tracks, he produced four, leaving the rest for 1da Banton, Niphkeys, Yung Alpha and Reward Beatz. On “Sweet Argentina,” he fuses a Highlife rhythm for Iyanya and Ghanaian artist Kuami Eugene who shower praise on their sweethearts. He provides an infectious bounce on the 5ive Rings-featuring “Zone” as Iyanya goes full-on sensual. In his verse, the UK artist offers succour to a woman wounded in a past relationship. “Your ex nigga nah he ain’t fooling me/I don’t know how you dealt with his foolery/He never held you down and now you deeping it huh/I just brought to life the things he didn’t see in you huh,” he raps.

On the Niphkeys-produced “Scam,” Iyanya promise a lover not to take her affection for granted. In his verses, he employs humour and a reference to Oxlade’s “Ku Lo Sa” to paint his picture of commitment. On “Milla,” he and Yung Alpha, who produced the track, lament about the women in their life wanting only money from them. Yung Alpha’s Dancehall influences are on display from the production to his style of delivery.

The trio of Iyanya, Davido and Kizz Daniel shine on the up-tempo “Like.” Iyanya and Davido’s verses are enjoyable but it is Kizz Daniel’s chorus that burnishes the track. The “Buga” crooner shows his mastery of heartfelt ballads, since the days of “Mama” and most recently “Cough (Odo).” On “One Side,” the last pre-released track on the project, Iyanya brings sensual energy to the love tune. “Your body must to kill a man, I no mind to be one of them/Kolombi your body na im I wan do make my mind de rest (oh no)/E better make I de with you cos these olosho don dey cost/Baby turn around make I come on top,” he sings.

The 6th Wave’ is the beginning of a new phase for Iyanya. There is a freshness to his recent outputs, demonstrating a desire to return to the upper echelon of Nigerian music. With his beef with Ubi Franklin squashed, it is an exciting time for Iyanya’s fans. With this project, the singer proves that he hasn’t lost his magic touch and just needs the right push to return to where he belongs: on the charts and in the hearts of music lovers.

Stream ‘The 6th Wave’ below.

Featured image credits/Spotify

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