Timaya, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is the founder of DM Records Limited.
Full Name: Inetimi Alfred Odon
Also known as: Dem mama soldier, Egberi Papa 1 Of Bayelsa, Don papi chulo
Born: 15 August 1977
Birth place: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
State of origin: Odi, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Genres: Dancehall, Ragga, Hip hop, Afrobeats, Soca
Famous as: Singer, musician
Years active: 2005–present
Labels: DM Records
Awards: City People Music Special Recognition Award
He was born on 15 August 1980 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He grew up as part of a large family; the youngest of fifteen children in Agip Estate, Port Harcourt. His father was a banker and his mother was a trader.
For his early education, Odon attended Assemblies of God Nursery And Primary School. His secondary school education began at Nkpolu Oroworukwo in Port Harcourt.
He would often break house rules to attend late-night music events. Before Timaya could graduate from school, his mother arranged for him to travel with his older brother and older sister to Lagos.
After moving to the city, he gained admission into Lagos’ Ikeja Grammar School, where he eventually obtained a secondary school certificate.
He later returned to Port Harcourt to study Banking and Finance at tertiary-level, however, he performed poorly in examinations and dropped out after first semester.
He then moved back to Lagos to join Eedris Abdulkareem’s hiphop group as a backup vocalist. After three years workingvfor Eedris, Timaya departed from the group to focus on his solo career.
Also Read About: Phyno
Music career and album release
He began to record collaborations with fellow up-and-coming artists and made his first cameo appearance in an unreleased music video by UDX, a Lagos-based rap group.
He subsequently met producer Obaksolo in Mafoluku, Oshodi, who produced his first major hit record “Dem Mama” after hearing him perform the a cappella version.
Describing the song in an interview posted on August 2013, Timaya said: “Dem Mama” was an account of the 1999 destruction of Odi, a river side community in Niger Delta.
Soldiers were hunting down militants they alleged killed eight policemen. The village was burnt down and numerous people killed. I bravely tackled the issue years later and won instant street credibility for my boldness.”
After the success of “Dem Mama”, Timaya decided to continue with producer K-Solo. He recorded seven more songs for his first album True Story, which was eventually released in 2007.
In 2008, the album titled Gift and Grace was released into stores nationwide. Timaya won two awards in 2008: “Album of the Year” at Nigeria Music Awards and “Best Reggae/Dancehall album” at the Headies Awards.
He also received two awards “Best Reggae/Dancehall album” for Gift and Grace and “Best Collaboration” for his feature on J Martins’ “Good or Bad (O Wey)” at the 2009 edition of The Headies.
Two years later, Timaya released his third album, De Rebirth and its success-themed lead single “Plantain Boy”. The album’s production was handled by Akeem D Beat, Phyno, Flux, M-Yire, Jay Sleek, N.D, Jesse Jagz, and Obaksolo.
He collaborated with guest artists, including 2face Idibia, TJ 2Solo, Allenian, Konga, Lanre, M.I, TJ, and Wrecoba.
In 2010, he appeared on the song “Kokoroko” by female gospel artist Kefee, which went on to win in the “Best Collaboration” category at the 2010 Headies Awards, he recently featured by Kcee in a song titled ”Erima”.
In November 2011, Timaya released LLNP (Long Life And Prosperity), a collaborative album with his crew, Dem Mama Soldiers. The album’s second track “Dem No Like Me” featured a guest appearance by legendary reggae singer, Ras Kimono.
On 25 June 2012, Timaya released a 14-track album titled Upgrade, which produced notable hits “Bum-Bum”, “Sexy Ladies”, “Bum Bum” and “Malonogede”. The album features collaborations with Attitude, Terry G and Vector.
Duncan Mighty and Timaya dueted on “I Know I Know Dat”, which was leaked onto the internet a few hours after the former’s album Footprints was released into stores.
Both artists were among the honorees at the 4th annual Odudu Music Awards alongside M-Trill, Sodi Cookey, Becky Enyioma and Timi Dakolo.
In 2014, he released his fifth studio album, titled “EPIPHANY. The album was a 20-tracker, with global hits, such as “Bum Bum Remix” (featuring Dancehall A-Lister, Sean Paul), “Sanko”, and “Ukwu”. It also featured 2baba, Patoranking, Olamide, Sir Shina Peters, Deethi, Phyno and Terry G.
In 2017, Timaya performed in Nassau, Bahamas, where he headlined the first ever Afro-Soca Concert.
After 5 years of releasing singles, and touring, Timaya released an EP titled Chulo Vibes (2019). This project featured collaborations from East African artist Alikiba, Trinidadian Soca Legend Machel Montano and Nigeria’s Burna Boy.
Timaya DM Records
He set up his record label, DM Records Limited. Under which he groomed artistes such as Patoranking and Runtown.
In 2017, he signed young Dancehall/Afro-Fusion artiste, King Perryy to the DM Records imprint.
Awards and recognitions
Afrotainment-Museke Online African Music Awards
2011: Best Afro-Dancehall song, ” Plantain Boy”-Won
Nigeria Music Awards
2008: Album of the Year, True Story-Won
2008: Best Reggae/Dancehall Album, True Story-Won
2009: Best Reggae/Dancehall Album, Gift and Grace-Won
2009: Best Collaboration, “Good or Bad” (with J. Martins and P-Square)-Won
2009: Artiste of the Year-Nominated
2010: Best Collaboration, “Kokoroko” (with Kefee)-Won
Nigeria Entertainment Awards
2014: Indigenous Artist of the Year-Nominated
Afrimma 2015 Best Dancehall Artist-Nominated
Afrimma 2016 Best Dancehall Act of thr Year-Nominated
Afrimma 2017 Dancehall Act of the Year -Won
Afrimma 2018 Best African Reggae/Dancehall Act-Nominated
In 2011, Timaya was appointed a Peace Ambassador by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP).
Tours and live performance
2019 – Timaya Chulo Vibes Europe Tour
2018 – Timaya Live in Canada
2017 – Timaya US Tour.