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Phyno performing at Guaranty Trust Bank's Annual Year End Concert in December 2014
Background information
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike[1]
Born (1986-10-09) 9 October 1986 (age 32)
Enugu State, Nigeria[2]
GenresIgbo rap, hip hop
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
LabelsSputnet Records, Penthauze Music

Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike (born 9 October 1986), better known by his stage name Phyno, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor.[3][4] 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".[5] As a producer, he has worked with artists such as Timaya, Flavour, Ruggedman, Bracket, J. Martins and Mr Raw.[6]

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.[7][8] Phyno started rapping in 2010 and relocated to Lagos to continue his music career.[6]

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

Phyno started recording his debut studio album, No Guts No Glory, in 2012.[2] The album features guest appearances from Stormrex, Omawumi, Olamide, Efa, P-Square, Timaya, Flavour N'abania, Mr. Raw, M.I, Ice Prince and Runtown. It was primarily recorded in Igbo and Nigerian Pidgin. On 25 September 2012, he released "Ghost Mode" as the album's lead single.[9] The song features Olamide. 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.[10] Sputnet Records released the album's second single, "Man of the Year (Obago)", on 23 March 2013.[11] 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 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.[12]

"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 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.[13] The music video for the song was directed by Jude Engees Okoye.[14] On 22 May 2014, Phyno released the music video for "Alobam", which was directed by Peters. The song, which is an Igbo slang for "My Guy", was produced by Major Bangz.[15] On 2 September 2014, Phyno released the Peters-directed visuals to his "Authe (Authentic)" song with Flavour N'abania.[16] On 7 October 2014, Phyno released the Major Bangz-produced "Yayo".[17] The song debuted at number 8 on the Pulse Music Video Charts.[18] The music video for the song, directed by Peters, premiered on 5 January 2015.[19] Opeoluwani Akintayo of The Daily Times of Nigeria gave the video an overall rating of 8 out of 10 stars, while commending its use of props.[20]

Phyno's collaborative 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.[21]

Notable performances

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

Artistry and sound

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.[26]

Personal life

In a 2014 interview with The Punch newspaper, Phyno denied reports about impregnating a woman named Rita Edmond.[6]



Selected singles

  • "Oringo"
  • "Yayo"
  • "Connect "
  • "Asai"
  • "Got it in my Vein" (featuring De Boss and RunTown)
  • "Nnunu" (featuring Stormrex)
  • "Ezege"[27]
  • "Man of the Year"
  • "Alobam"
  • "Street (Kush) Muzik"
  • "Connect"
  • "Fada Fada (Ghetto Gospel)"
  • "E Sure For Me"
  • "So Far So Good"
  • "Isi Ego"
  • "Link Up" (featuring M.I. and Burna Boy)
  • "Augment"(featuring olamide)
  • "Mkpotu" (featuring Zoro and Tidinz)
  • "No Be My Style" (featuring Burna Boy)
  • "Okpeke" (featuring 2Baba and Flavour)
  • "Onyeoma" (featuring Olamide)
  • "NWA" (featuring Wale)
  • "IWA" (featuring Tekno)
  • "Fuwa Sewa" (2018)


Year Film Role Notes
2018 Lionheart as Obiora Movie

Awards and nominations

Phyno awards and nominations
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 won5

MTV Africa Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2015 Himself Best Hip-hop Nominated [28]

Channel O Music Video Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 "Alobam" Most Gifted Hip-hop Nominated [29]

City People Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 Himself Rap Artiste of the Year Won [30]
No Guts No Glory Rap Album of the Year Nominated
2013 "Ghost Mode"
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo of the Year Nominated [31]
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 [32]
2013 Best Rap Act of the Year Nominated [33]
"Ghost Mode"
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo Won [34]

African Muzik Magazine Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2013 Himself Best Newcomer Nominated [35]
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 [36]

The Headies

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2014 Himself Artiste of the Year Nominated [37]
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 [38]
Lyricist on the Roll Nominated
"Ghost Mode"
(featuring Olamide)
Best Collabo Won [39]
(Lynxxx featuring Ikechukwu, Illbliss, and Phyno)
Nominated [38]
"Man of the Year" Best Rap Single Won [39]
"Anam Achi Kwanu"
(Illbliss featuring Phyno)
Nominated [38]
"Ghost Mode"
(featuring Olamide)
2012 "Shutdown" Best Rap Single Nominated [40]
Phyno (for "Shutdown") Lyricist on the Roll Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "Phyno Biography". Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b "My wild hairdo? My fans love it, and that's what matters --Phyno". The Nigerian Tribune. 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Happy birthday cheers for Phyno from Olamide, Illbliss, Lil Kesh, others". Nigerian Entertainment Today. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "Lionheart cast". 8 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Music has no language - Phyno". Vanguard. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Augoye, Jayne (17 January 2014). "I did not impregnate any artiste -Phyno". The Punch. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ Ononye, Ifeoma. "I have a mad style but I am not crazy -Phyno". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ Akande, Victor (7 July 2013). "PHYNO:M.I, Mr Raw made me". The Nation. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ O, Ovie (25 September 2012). "PREMIERE: Phyno ft Olamide - GhostMode". NotjustOk. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ "New Video: Phyno Feat. Olamide - Ghost Mode". Bellanaija. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ "PREMIERE: Phyno - Man of The Year (Obago)". NotjustOk. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "NBC bans Wizkid & Phyno's song: "Olamide & Wande Coal should be banned too" Charles Novia reacts". Royal Times. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ "Phyno ft. P-Square - O Set (Pro. WizzyPro)". NotjustOk. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Watch Phyno x P-Square's 'O Set' Video". Okay Africa. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ Okoth-Obbo, Vanessa (28 March 2014). "Phyno Hits The Streets In 'Alobam'". Okay Africa. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "VIDEO: Phyno Feat. Flavour - Authe". Naij News. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Yayo - Single by Phyno". iTunes. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Tayo, Ayomide (30 January 2015). "Phyno, Olamide, Waje, storm the charts". Pulse. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ Oyewusi, Siji (5 January 2015). "Phyno releases video for his 2014 hit, 'Yayo'". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ Akintayo, Opeoluwani (2 April 2015). "Yayo By Phyno: A Battle Of Talents". Daily Times of Nigeria. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ "Olamide, Phyno to collaborate on album, 2 Kings". Premium Times. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ "Phyno Turns Phenomenal in Owerri". This Day. 30 June 2013. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "Olamide, Phyno, Chidinma to join D'banj for Hennessy artistry 2013". Premium Times. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ "Olamide, Phyno in sensational collabo". The Nation. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ "Star Trek: 2face, Olamide, Naeto C, Phyno, others thrill Nsukka fans". The Nation. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ Filani, Omotola (8 May 2014). ""I am taking Igbo rap to the next level" - Phyno". Daily Post. Retrieved 2014.
  27. ^ "New Music Phyno - 'Ezege'". Joey Akan. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ "Full List Of MTV MAMA 2015 Award Nominees". Daily Independent. 17 September 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  29. ^ "Cassper Nyovest rules the Channel O Music Video Awards nominees". Sunday World. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ Jasanya, Olamide (24 June 2014). "Who won what at City People Entertainment Awards 2014". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ "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 2013.
  32. ^ Abimboye, Micheal (31 May 2014). "Pop duo, Skuki, reject Nigerian Entertainment Awards nomination". Premium Times. Retrieved 2014.
  33. ^ "Nigerian Entertainment Award announces 2013 nominees". 31 August 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  34. ^ "Nigerian Entertainment Awards: Nadia, Dumelo and Sarkodie win". Ghanaweb. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  35. ^ "See Nominees for the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) 2014". Bellanaija. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  36. ^ "NIGERIA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS (NMVA 2013) WINNERS LIST". Tooxclusive. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  37. ^ Ochugba, Mary (10 October 2014). "The Headies unveils 2014 nominees". Business Day. Retrieved 2014.
  38. ^ a b c "Olamide wins big @ Headies 2013 + full list of winners". Vanguard. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  39. ^ a b "Olamide, Phyno, Davido, others win big at the Headies 2013". Premium Times. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  40. ^ Mgbolu, Charles (28 August 2012). "Psquare, Bez lead Headies 2012 nominees list". Vanguard. Retrieved 2014.

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