Lanky rapper Azubuike Chibuzo Nelson (born 9 October 1986) better known as Phyno, who is renowned for rapping in his mother tongue-Igbo, began his musical career in 2003 as a producer.
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 started thinking seriously about his career in 2010 and that made him relocate from Enugu to Lagos to continue his music career.
He began recording his debut studio album, No Guts No Glory, in 2012. The album featured 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. The song featured Olamide and was released to critical acclaim. 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.
Sputnet Records released the album's second single, "Man of the Year (Obago)", on 23 March 2013.The song, which was produced by Phyno, managed to win the Best Rap Single category at the 2012 The Headies Awards. The music video for "Man of the Year (Obago)" was however banned from being aired in September 2013 by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation.
On 31 August 2014, Phyno became an ambassador of Guinness Nigeria's Made of Black campaign alongside Olamide and Eva Alordiah. Phyno performed at the campaign's launch and was featured in the campaign's television commercial.
Widely known as the ambassador of rap music in the Igbo Language; Phyno says the reason he raps in Igbo because he respects his culture and loves being himself.
Although he primarily raps in Igbo, he also combines a bit of Nigerian Pidgin and English- a fusion which he believes makes his music borderless.
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