Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike popularly known as Phyno is a Nigerian indigenous rapper. He is a singer, song writer, and a recording producer. Phyno started his musical career in 2003, and has worked with big artists like Timaya, Ruggedman, Flavor, J.Martins, Bracket and Mr Raw.
Phyno came to limelight in 2012, after releasing a single song made with impressive rap, ‘Ghost Mode’ featuring Olamide. In 2013, He was nominated for Man of the Year. Today, Phyno is one of the famous indigenous rappers in Nigeria.
Chibuzor Azubuike was born on Oct. 9, 1986 in Enugu Nigeria as the fourth of five children. Although, his parents hail from Anambra state, Phyno was born and breed in Enugu. He attended the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, Nigeria where he studied Public Administration. After then, he moved to Lagos to further promote his music career.
Phyno Early Career
Phyno developed interest in Music Production in secondary school. Then, he started learning how to play piano, drums and how to create his own rendition of every recording he comes across. He got his stage name through one of his friends in high school, Emeka from the word ‘phenomenal’. Phyno started profiting from music from his second year in the institute. In 2010, after school, he started rapping and then relocated to Lagos to pursue his career.
Ghost Mode And Man Of The Year
Ghost Mode became Phyno’s first single from his debut studio album. It was released on Oct. 25, 2012 featuring Olamide. The Video which was released on Dec. 7, 2012, was directed by Clarence Peters. The video has lots of views on You Tube, and it won the 2012 Headies Awards for Best Collaboration.
Additionally, Ghost Mode was followed by another Hit, Man of the Year (Obago). It was released on March 23, 2013 featuring Illbliss under the Sputnet Records. The video was shot by Clarence Peters in Abakpa, and released to You Tube on Aug 20, 2013. It won the best rap single award at Headies 2012, but was banned from broadcast by Nigerian Broadcasting Commission in September, 2013. These were the songs that brought Phyno into Limelight.
No Guts No Glory (NGNG)
Phyno released his debut studio album under Sputnet Records and Penthauze Music label on March 20. 2014. The album incorporates afrobeat, rap and highlife and it was recorded in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin. Some of the guest featured in the album include P-Square, Olamide, Ice Prince, Omawunmi, Timaya, etc.
It has four singles – Ghost Mode (2012), Man of the Year (2013), Parcel (2013), O’Set (2014). The album was commended for its indigenous and lyrical depth. He produced the song with Major Bangz, Wizzy Pro, Chopsticx and JStunt. It was nominated for the City People Entertainment Awards and the The Headies in 2014.
Phyno collaborated with Olamide and they released a studio album 2Kings on April 1, 2015. It was released on Cloud 9 and ITunes store by Penthauze Music and YBNL Nation.
The Producers and guest Artists featured in the album are Wizkid, Pheelz, B-Banks, Storm Rex, Young John, Major Bangs and Lil Kesh. The album singles are Une (2015) and Confam Ni (2015).
Phyno released his sophomore album, The Play Maker under Penthauze records in 2016. It featured guest appearance from P-Square, MI Abaga, Burna Boy, 2Baba, Flavour, Decarlo, Mr Eazi, Onyeka Onwenu, Olamide, Zoro and Tidinz. The Album Producers were Major Bangz, Tunex, Christ String, Kezyklef, Benjamz, MasterKraft, Del’B, and T-Spize. The Play Maker was described as the best thing recorded in the music industry that year by Tooxclusve, a music site. The album singles include Pino Pino (2016), Fada fada ft Olamide (2016), and E sure for me (2016).
Other Songs By Phyno
2013 and 2014 – Authentic ft Flavour, Oringo, Yayo, Alobam, Good Die Young, Aju ft Olamide, Nme Nme, Paper Chaser ft Illbliss, Shey You Know and Multiply ft Mr Raw, Flavor and Timaya.
In 2015 – Carry me go ft Storm Rex, For my city, real Niga, God Be With Us, Ladi ft Lil Kesh, Nobody’s Fault, Koba Koba, and Cypher.
2016 – Financial woman, Ezege, So Far So Good, I’m a Fan ft Mr Easi & De Carlo, Ochie Dike ft Onyeka, Mkpotu ft Zoro & Tidinz, No be my Style, Abulo, Okpeke, Asai, Connect, Ino Nma and Yes I Pray (Nwa Ogenta).
His tracks in 2017 – Zamo Zamo, If to say, Mmili and Link Up ft M.I & Olamide
Phyno is the founder and CEO of Penthauze Music, a record label based in Nigeria. At first, he started his career with Sputnet records and after some time, he began Penthauze. The label became active in 2008 and has gone on to sign several artists: Run town (left in 2013), Shuga Boi and Flipside (came in 2011), and Storm Rex as the sole female Act’ in 2014.
- As a prolific rapper, Phyno signed some endorsement deal and also became a brand ambassador for companies like Globacom e.t.c.
- In August 2014, he became an Ambassador of Guinness Nigeria Made of Black Campaign along with Olamide and Eva Alordiah. The deal was renewed the following year.
- In 2015, he also signed an endorsement deal with Nairabet and later that year, a 50 million Naira deal with Airtel communications.
- Furthermore, in June 2018, Phyno was unveiled by Nigerian Breweries as an ambassador for Life Continental Lager Beer, the leading south-east premium beer brand.
- That same month, he announced his endorsement deal with a popular energy drink brand, Monster Energy.
- In March 2019, Phyno together with Teniola signed an endorsement deal with Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Producer of a candy brand, Tom Tom
- Later in June 2019, He was also endorsed along with Timaya as the End Polio Celebrity Ambassadors. This was done by the Nigerian polio Plus Committee and the Office of the Rotary International Polio Ambassador in Nigeria.
Phyno’s Net worth
According to infopro.com.ng, the indigenous rapper’s net worth is about $10 million USD in early 2019. This analysis was based on his properties, endorsement deal, sales of album and shows. He is said to own a duplex in Chevy View Estate, Lekki, Lagos worth about 160 million Naira and a Bentley GT Coupe of
Phyno Awards And Recognition
Phyno has been nominated for several awards and he has successfully won five. They are:
- Best Collabo, ‘Ghost Mode’ ft Olamide, The Headies 2013
- Best Rap Single ‘Anam Achi Kwanu’ Illbliss ft. Phyno, The Headies 2013
- Best Collabo ‘Ghost Mode’ ft Olamide. Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2013.
- Rap Artiste of the Year, City people Entertainment Awards, 2014
- Best Rap Single ‘Parcel’ The Headies 2014
Entrepreneurial Lessons From Phyno
- Remain A Goal-getter
Phyno left Enugu to pursue his career in Lagos, and since then he remained true to himself. As entrepreneurs, you must stay true to your dreams. Never allow anything to stop you from achieving your dreams.
- Start, Stop Procrastinating
Phyno started his musical career at a tender age after discovering his talent. Now is the right time to start working on that idea you have. Procrastination is the killer of time.
- Brand Your self
Phyno is a star musician to be reckoned with when it comes to indigenous music. He does his rap in Igbo language and Nigerian Pidgin. Once you decide on what to venture in, carve a niche for yourself and become a strong force in that niche.