Ian Oure, popularly known as Iyanii, gained notoriety following the release of his hit song Pombe.
The singer believes that he is going to be one of the most prolific singers in Kenya. He wants to take the Kenyan music industry where it has never been before.
“I am the messiah of the music industry, because we’ve had so many different people, I feel like I’m stepping in a different way.
I’m here to do things that have never been done in the entire world and the horn of Africa, I’m here to bring something different,” he said in a past interview.
Background and Escaping Death Twice
Speaking to King Kaka, he said he was raised in a place riddled with crime. One had to chose between music or crime.
“You were either a musician or in crime. I had to find a balance,” he said.
He came from a humble background raised in Mathare slums, Area Two. Growing up was not easy and he later dropped out of campus due to school fees.
Some of his friends were hardened criminals. They had a habit of walking in groups in case they encountered trouble.
He recalls on one occasion when leaving the a nightclub, a friend snatched a handbag and ran away. The lady screamed and alerted passers-by and police who were nearby.
This resulted in a chase and shots were fired. He escaped by boarding a matatu headed for Dandora and realized a bullet had grazed his hand.
Iyanii removed the blood stained hoodie just before the police stopped the bus looking for the gangsters.
One spotted him and asked if he had been among them and he denied. A woman seated next to him defended him. Once the police were gone, she advised him to avoid crime and bad company.
From the incident, he avoided his friends but soon found himself talking to them again. In another instance, they invited him on a Sunday outing but he declined. That day, they stole again and were unfortunately killed.
Although he was catapulted to fame by the song Pombe, he is not new to the industry.
He started music in 2009. He used to perform in small clubs and hotels doing acoustics and at times with a live band playing a guitar.
The singer said had done a lot of love songs and the song Pombe was a departure from his style.
He went on to do other songs like Furaha, which glorified alcohol although he said he was not a drunk.
“Yes, I drink a bit, but I am not a drunkard. When I released my first hit, Leta Pombe, I had done a lot of love songs and wanted a change. It was for the festive season and I wanted something that the masses could relate to and that’s how I became famous,” he said.
Other songs done by the Iyanii include:
- Good Vibes & Inshallah
- Cheat on me
- Saluti kwa Mama