Flavour Biography: Early life, music career, discography, marriage and facts
Flavour or Flavour N’abania is a Nigerian singer and songwriter that mainly records songs in Igbo and English languages. He sings Igbo highlife, hip hop and gospel. His ability to record secular music and gospel music has earned him praise and increased fame. Here is a complete and fully updated biography on Flavour.
As mentioned in the paragraph above, Flavour’s songs can be played in local bars, nightclubs and churches. This diversity gives him wider demography of listeners. Besides singing, he is also a gifted multi-instrumentalist that can play the drums and the keyboard. He has been on the Nigeria music scene since 2005. See answers to some of the biggest questions you have about Flavour below.
Top 10 important facts about Flavour
- Flavour’s real name is Chinedu Izuchukwu Okoli and he was born on 23rd November 1983 in Enugu State.
- His family is from Umunze in Orumba South LGA, Anambra State.
- Flavour started as a drummer for his church choir in Enugu State and then joined SoundCity on an educational scholarship to study music. He later learned to play the keyboard and also sang as a backup singer.
- In 2002, Flavour joined a local band in Enugu as a professional drummer and keyboard player or pianist but he started making songs officially in 2005.
- He released his debut album, “N’abania”, under Obaino Music in 2005 and started his own record label, 2nite Music and Enter10ment Limited, in 2010.
- Flavour has released five studio albums as of 2020, namely “N’abania” (2005), “Uplifted” (2010), “Blessed” (2012), “Thankful” (2014), and “Ijele The Traveler” (2017). His sixth studio album is set to drop on 4 December 2020. It will be titled “Flavour of Africa”.
- The singer has one daughter and a son with Sandra Okagbue, and one daughter with Anna Banner. His daughters’ names are Gabrielle and Sophia.
- In 2012, Ghanaian duo Wutah accused Flavour of stealing the chorus, rhythm, rhyme, and even the opening saxophone beat from “Kotosa” on his “Kwarikwa” song.
- Flavour is big on philanthropy. He started The Chinedu Okoli Music Foundation in Lagos State in 2012. He also makes food donations to many African countries and met a blind fan and singer, Semah G. Weifur on one of his trips to Liberia.
- In 2012, Flavour’s “Ada Ada” music video won Video of the Year, Best High Life Video, Best Indigenous Concept and Best Use of Costumes at the 2013 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA). He has won several other awards as well.
Flavour Biography: Early life and education
The singer was born as Chinedu Izuchukwu Okoli on 23rd November 1983. Flavour is just a stage name he adopted later. While he was born in Enugu State, he is not an indigene of the state. Instead, Flavour’s family is from Umunze in Orumba South LGA, Anambra State.
Chinedu Okoli is the first son of his parents and he has three siblings and seven step-siblings. He grew up in Enugu State and spent most of his childhood there. Flavour completed most of his basic education in the state as well. Besides while growing up, he learned to play the drum. It was through his drumming that he made his big break in the music industry.
Although many people could see Flavour’s gift early enough, his parents discouraged the idea of him pursuing music full time. Like many concerned and sometimes ill-informed parents, they believed he was wasting his time.
Flavour Biography: Early music career
In 1996, at the age of 13, Flavour was drumming for his church choir in Enugu State when the resident pastor noticed his gift. The pastor then facilitated a meeting between Flavour and Chris I Ordor, the CEO of SoundCity Communications.
SoundCity Communications offered Flavour a placement in the company under an educational scholarship to study music. He joined the company but continued to play the drums as well. In 1999, at 16 Flavour started playing the keyboard as well. Also, during his time at SoundCity, he served as a backup vocalist for musicians recording at the company.
When he turned 19 in 2002, Flavour joined a local band in Enugu as a professional drummer and keyboard player or pianist. Then, he got the opportunity to perform at the large, City Centre event ground, in Enugu State as a drummer. According to him, seeing the large crowd of people that turned out at the event made him start aspiring to become a major entertainer.
He also started taking tutorials under local music producers such as Dekumzy, Isi Charles and Nachie.
Flavour Biography: Music career
Chinedu Izuchukwu Okoli professionally began making music as Flavour around 2003/2004. By 2005, Flavour had completed recording and dropped his debut highlife album titled “N’abania” under Obaino Music record label. The album holds twelve songs, three of which were instrumentals of his songs.
Mr Raw, D Mustard and Prophecy featured on the project, and it appears that Flavour did most of the production work by himself. The album was supported by four singles including “N’abania”, “Nwata”, “Nwa Baby”, and “Rigirigi”. The lead single, “N’abania” was recorded at Kingsley Ogoro’s music studio in Lagos State and Nigerian singer J. Martins appeared in its video.
While N’abania was relatively successful in the Igbo dominant area of Nigeria and mostly in Enugu State, it failed to appeal to others outside the region. This was likely because it was mainly recorded in Igbo and at the time, Flavour had not yet acquired the fame to garner more widely distributed listenership.
After learning from his first album release, Flavour applied the lesson in the recording of his second album. This time around, he enlisted the help of many artists such as Jay Dey, Oloye, Stormrex, Waga Gee, Asemstone, M-Jay, V.I.P and Elense.
In July 2010, Flavour released “Uplifted” as his second album under Obaino Music and 2nite Entertainment. He produced three tracks on the album by himself, namely, “Oyi (I Dey Catch Cold)”, “Chinedum” and “Kjumanjo”.
The album contains 17 tracks and the singer included artists from other African countries to reach more listeners. “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)” was released as the album’s lead single in 2011 and it is a remake of Cardinal Rex’s 1960 song titled “Sawale”.
Flavour released “Oyi (I Dey Catch Cold)” as the second single of the “Uplifted” album before dropping “Adamma” as its third single.
“Adamma” has two music videos with the second one shot in South Africa by Godfather Productions. It is also another example of how Flavour tried to break national barriers with his sophomore album. “Odiro Easy” was the fourth single that Flavour released off of the album.
Later in 2011, Flavour featured Nigerian songstress, Tiwa Savage on the remix of “Oyi”. She first recorded her own version of the song prior to recording the official remix with Flavour. Oyi (remix) was nominated for Best R&B Single at The Headies 2011. Meanwhile, its music video released in 2012 won the Best R&B Video at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
Two years after “Uplifted” pushed Flavour into the mainstream, he released his third studio album titled “Blessed” on 18th October 2012. Fally Ipupa, Wizboy, Waga G and Oloye were featured on the 18-track album. With “Blessed”, Flavour cemented his place as Nigeria’s top highlife singer in the early 2010s.
The album produced timeless singles such as “Kwarikwa (Remix)”, “Baby Oku”, “Shake”, “Chinny Baby” and “Ada Ada”. For “Kwarikwa (Remix)”, Flavour teamed up with Fally Ipupa. The video for the song was shot in the United States with producer Masterkraft making a cameo appearance. Meanwhile, the music video for “Baby Oku” was shot in Miami. “Shake” and “Chinny Baby” videos were shot in Cape Town while “Ada Ada” video was shot in Nigeria.
“Ada Ada” video featured Nigerian actor John Okafor and reality TV star Nwachukwu Uti. The song became a wedding jam while its video won Video of the Year, Best High Life Video, Best Indigenous Concept and Best Use of Costumes at the 2013 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA).
Flavour’s “Blessed” album was nominated for Album of the Year and Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2013. It was also nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Asides the hit singles, the album also had notable tracks such as “To Be A Man” and “Sweet Tomatoes”. Masterkraft, Wizzboy, Selebobo, M-Jay, Del B, J Stunt and Dekumzy got production credits.
To celebrate his third studio album, Flavour opened a nightclub in Enugu State named 2nite and Nigerian top singers like Tiwa Savage, Iyanya, Kcee and Bracket attended its opening.
Flavour N’abania, as he was known to some old fans, on 14th November 2014, released “Thankful” as his fourth studio album. The album was released under the 2nite Entertainment and iROKING record label. The title of the album and its first track, “Keneya” are gospel-themed. Flavour attempted to make a project that even the ‘very religious’ music lovers can vibe to and he did just that.
However, the overall message of the album was still the same old Flavour. He featured Chidinma, Wande Coal, Phyno, M.I, Waga G, Onyii, Selebobo, Oloye, Jerry Cee and Whad Up. “Blessed” also dabbles into Afropop and R&B but it is overwhelmingly still an Igbo highlife and dance project.
“Ololufe”, “Dance”, “Golibe”, “Wiser, and “Sexy Rosey” are some of the most popular songs on the 21-track album. While Flavour produced some of the songs, Masterkraft, M.J, Del’B, Selebobo and Fiokee did most of the heavy-lifting, production-wise.
Ijele The Traveler (2017)
On 30th June 2017, Flavour released a strictly Igbo highlife album titled “Ijele The Traveler” under 2nite Entertainment. The theme of the album was drawn from the Igbo masquerade named Ijele, allegedly the biggest masquerade in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, Flavour expertly infuses elements of Afropop, hip hop, R&B and even reggae into the album.
He featured Sarkodie, Zoro, Terry Apala, Phyno, and Chidinma on the album. Also, Flavour picked Semah G. Weifur – a blind Liberian boy who had always wanted to meet him – for his gospel-themed song “Most High”. Ijele The Traveler produced other songs like “Virtuous Woman”, “Baby Na Yoka”, and “Chimamanda”.
Credited producers who worked on the project include Masterkraft, Tekno, Young John, Del’B, Illkeyz and Kezykleff.
In October 2018, Flavour dropped a single titled “Crazy Love” featuring Yemi Alade. Then early in December 2018, he teamed up with Igbo highlife duo Umu Obiligbo and released “Awele”. Besides the stunning visuals that the video produced, the song itself is critically acclaimed and received positive reviews. “Awele” was nominated in the Best Collaboration and Video of the Year categories at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).
Flavour and Umu Obiligbo also worked on three other tracks together and on 12th December 2018, released an EP titled “Awele”. Fiokee was credited for providing the electrifying guitar backups while Selebobo produced the songs. The Awele EP contains four songs including “Awele”, “Odogwu”, “Ugbo Amala” and “Isi Onwe”.
Flavour of Africa (2020)
On his birthday, Flavour announced that he would release his sixth studio album on 4th December 2020 titled “Flavour of Africa”.
2nite Music and Enter10ment Limited
In 2010, Flavour started his own music company that was initially called 2nite Entertainment and most recently known as 2nite Music and Enter10ment Limited. It is also called 2nite Music Group. Flavour N’abania or Chinedu Okoli is the CEO of 2nite Music and Enter10ment Limited. International DJ Derekz Effects is currently signed to the music company.
Flavour Biography: Personal life
When it comes to his personal life, some of the details of Flavour’s are quite out there in the open. While the singer is not married, he has children with two different women. Flavour has two ‘baby mamas’ (as the public call his lovers that bore him children), Sandra Okagbue and Anna Banner. Both are ex-beauty queens.
Sandra Okagbue is a beauty queen that has been in the modelling business for about 15 years. She was the winner of Miss Delta Soap Pageant in 2010 and has appeared on television, newspapers and other platforms. Okagbue had met Flavour in 2014 and they have a beautiful daughter named Gabrielle.
There are rumours that he still has a relationship with Ms Okague and the couple allegedly welcomed a son in 2018, according to a Nairaland user.
Meanwhile, Anna Banner is another beauty queen that had a romantic relationship with Flavour. She represented Nigeria at Miss World pageant in 2013 and she made her debut as an actress in 2014 on the television drama “Super Story”. Anna Banner gave birth to Sophia, Flavour’s second child in 2015. Anna Banner and Flavour ended things in 2016.
Is Flavour dating Chidinma?
In 2016, there were rumours that Flavour and singer Chidinma Ekile were in a romantic relationship. The rumours stemmed from the two superstars sharing a kiss in a music video as well as at a live performance. However, Flavour denied having a romantic or sexual relationship with her.
In an interview with Soundcity, the highlife singer said: “Chidinma is just my friend. Our strong vibe comes from how deeply we feel about music, sometimes, when you want to do a music video, you want to make it look real.”
He mentioned music videos featuring Nicki Minaj and Drake. In conclusion on the rumour about him and Chidinma, Flavour said: “For real, there is nothing going on. We are just very good friends and I respect her for that.”
Thus, neither Chidinma, Anna Banner nor Sandra Okagbue is married to Flavour. He is still single and unmarried as of December 2020.
Flavour Biography: Charity and advocacy
In 2012, Flavour established The Chinedu Okoli Music Foundation in Lagos State. The foundation aims to provide young people with the chance to experience the impact of music through education and empowerment.
On 18th November 2016, Flavour donated gift items to some widows in Enugu State. The gifts include bags of rice, Indomie noodles, oil and so on. Earlier in the same year, the singer had made food donations to a Malaria Charity organisation in Mali while he was there for a concert in the country. He did the same thing when he went to Ivory Coast for another event.
Flavour took a trip to his home town in Enugu State to meet with the community’s veterans of the Biafra civil war in 2017. The same year, during a trip to Liberia, he held a music concert and engaged in philanthropic activities.
Flavour also became friends with a blind Liberian fan named Semah G. Weifur and the two of them have made several songs together. One of the most known of their songs is a gospel tune titled “Most High”.
He returned to Liberia in 2018 and donated to the country’s National Resource Centre for the Blind.
During the 2020 EndSARS protest, Flavour joined Phyno, Zoro and KCee to lead a massive protest of about 5,000 people.
Flavour Biography: Controversy
Besides women-related controversies that have plagued Flavour through most of his music career, the singer was also involved in a messy legal battle in 2012. It happened in August 2012 when Ghanaian duo Wutah accused him of stealing their 2008 song “Kotosa”.
According to Wutah, Flavour’s “Kwarikwa” was a remake of their own song and he had not given them due credit. They said that Flavour used chorus, rhythm, rhyme, and even the opening saxophone beat from “Kotosa” on his “Kwarikwa” song.
Eventually, the issue seemed to have died a natural death as we could not find any follow up on the matter.
Flavour Biography: Concerts and performances
The highlife singer is popular for his electrifying performances. In 2012, Flavour held a concert in Botswana and thrilled fans with hit songs such as “Baby Oku” and so on. He also held a widely attended show in Dallas in 2018 as part of his US tour.
At HiLifeFest in 2019, Flavour also thrilled the large crowd gathered in Port Harcourt. He was also at the Nigeria Petroleum Summit in Abuja in 2020 and many other notable events.
Flavour Biography: Net worth
Chinedu Okoli, popularly known as Flavour N’abania or Flavour, is one of the biggest African acts of his generation. His highlife brand of music has made him a well-loved singer and one of the most marketable superstars. According to one local source (Wealth The Result), Flavour is worth about $28 million in 2019. It was not certain how they arrived at the estimate.
There is also no verifiable information yet on what Flavour’s net worth is in 2020. However, we discovered that the singer charges about NGN4 million to NGN5 million for shows and even as high as NGN8 million for international shows.
Besides this, Flavour has endorsement deals with many notable brands in Nigeria and beyond. In 2016, he was the official brand ambassador for Bullet Energy Drink. Flavour also had a deal with Nigerian Breweries beverage, Life Beer. He had a deal with MTN and Flat Tummy Tea as well. He also had endorsement deals with Globacom, Harp Beer and Onga Seasoning.
Flavour is rightly regarded as a veteran in the Nigerian music industry as he has a rich catalogue of songs that set trends and drove conversations in several circles. While he is far from being a pioneer in the highlife industry, he sure deserves a shout when modern promoters of the genre are mentioned.
Many of his documented and undocumented charity works also show that Flavour is more than just a musician. On several occasions, he has served as a beacon of hope to the helpless. While some may describe his private life as ‘messy’ it only shows his imperfection. The widely awarded singer is a force to reckon with in the music industry and he achieved this by consistency, creativity and hard work.
Additional information about Flavour
List of albums
1. N’abania (2005)
- N’abania (Intro)
- Nwata (Skit)
- N’abania (ft. Mr Raw)
- Nwa Baby
- D One (ft. Prophecy)
- Ogbuolam (ft. D Mustard)
- I Don Smoke Igbo (ft. D Mustard)
- Nwata (Instrumental)
- Rigirigi (Instrumental)
- D One (Instrumental)
2. Uplifted (2010)
- Oyi (I Dey Catch Cold)
- Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix)
- Pant No N’iro
- Skit 2
- Alcohol (ft. Oloye)
- My Woman Is Gone (ft. Jay Dey)
- Ukwu (ft. Stormrex)
- Kwarikwa (ft. M-Jay, Wage G., Jay Dey and Elense)
- Odiro Easy
- Asanwa (ft. Waga Gee)
- Turn Me On
- My Baby (ft. V.I.P)
- Ahawo Ghana (Remix) (ft. Asemstone)
3. Blessed (2012)
- Baby Oku
- Chinny Baby
- Skit by Waga G
- To Be A Man
- Ada Ada
- Black Is Beautiful
- Skit (ft. Waga G, Oloye & Flavour)
- Ifem N’eli
- Sweet Tomatoes
- I Don’t Care (ft. Wizboy)
- Chewe Kwem
- Baby Oku (Dance)
- Kwarikwa (ft. Fally Ipupa)
4. Thankful (2014)
- Ololufe (ft. Chidinma)
- Wake Up (ft. Wande Coal)
- Wiser (ft. Phyno & M.I)
- Nwayo Nwayo
- Skit (ft. Waga G & Onyii)
- Sexy Rosey
- Nwanyi Mbaise
- Special One
- Ife Adigomma
- Mmege (ft. Selebobo)
- Skit (ft. Oloye, Jerry Cee, and Wade Up)
- Uru Dia (Shake 2)
- Igbo Amaka
- Pick Up Your Phone
5. Ijele The Traveler (2017)
- Virtuous Woman
- Sake Of Love
- Catch You
- Baby Na Yoka
- Skit (ft. Waga, Oloye, Rabbai, and Zuada)
- Body Calling
- Loose Guard (ft. Flavour)
- Ukwu Nwata
- Most High
List of EP (extended play)
- Igbo Amala
- Isi Onwe
List of Flavour awards
- Best Collabo (with M.I) at Hip Hop World Awards (The Headies) (2011)
- Best Indigenous Artist/Group at Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2012)
- Best Collabo (with Sound Sultan and Excel) at The Headies (2012)
- Best R&B Video (with Tiwa Savage) at Channel O Music Video Awards (2012)
- Best Collabo of the Year (with KCee) at City People Entertainment Awards (2013)
- Best use of Costumes at Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) (2013)
- Best Indigenous Concept at Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) (2013)
- Best High Life Video at Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) (2013)
- Video of the Year at Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) (2013)
- Best Live Act at Ghana Music Awards (2014)
- Best Live Act at MTV Africa Music Awards (2014)
- Video of the Year at City People Entertainment Awards (2014)
- Best Video of the Year at African Muzik Magazine Awards (2014)
- Best Traditional Artist at African Muzik Magazine Awards (2014)