Flavour’s Tough Journey: Behind The Music

James Wamathai | NEWS | 7 January, 2016


If you are a fan of African music, you must have come across Nigerian singer Flavour. He is the musician behind the hit song Ashawo, a song so hot that pop superstar Rihanna was seen dancing along to it. Flavour has come a long way since his first mega hit. Most times we see musicians in awesome videos and think they have it made but it’s almost always that these guys have to struggle to get to where they are.

I had a chance to meet Flavour N’abania. He shared on how his journey to stardom begun and how it has changed his life. Flavour’s musical journey started in church when he was about 13 years old. Growing up, he used to admire choristers in his church such that he developed a passion for singing and drumming. After a while his pastor noticed his talent and introduced him to the CEO of a music company named Sound City Communications. The company had the aim of training young musicians into professionalism to make a career of music.

Hailing from a polygamous family, Flavour is the first child to his mother. As we all know, African polygamous families are often rife with competition from wives or children. When Flavour’s mother heard he wanted to be a musician she could not stop crying because to her - he was wasting his life. It did not help that he had an uncle who had in the past pretended to be a musician but was mostly engaged in bar fights and could not play an instrument. Because of this, Flavour had to work extra hard to prove to his mother that he could actually make it in music and that he was better than his uncle.

The music company also believed in him, so much that they sponsored him to go to the University of Nigeria to study music. At some point the company had to move him to Port Harcourt and his mother who was already against him being a musician refused to allow him to relocate. As a result he had to drop out of university after his first year. Things got so bad for him at home that he decided to run away. He would stay away from home for eight years. During this time, he started performing at companies’ end of year parties and birthdays. He would later join a band when their lead singer did not show up at an event. During this performance, he would ask the crowd which flavour of music they wanted – that’s how his stage name came about.

Flavour started as a back up singer for Mr. Raw. When he took the decision to take on his solo career, it did not take long for the fame and the money to come his way. He credits this to hard work and commitment. Since his parents were against him being a musician, he had to prove to them that music was indeed his dream and his bread and butter. He used his first fat cheque to buy his parents a house. This changed his mother’s mind - he says his mother is now proud of him. Since then he has become a source of inspiration in his family with some of them now joining music.

My take away from Flavour’s story is that hard work and perseverance pays no matter how tough things might be along the way. So follow your passion to wherever it takes you.


James Wamathai
Follow @CocaColaAfrica