Exclusive: Niyola’s Best Kept Secrets

Eniola Akinbo, popularly known as Niyola has been a player in the Nigeria music industry for many years, and she has no doubt paid her dues as one of the longest standing female singers.

For close to two decades, Niyola has been singing professionally, either as backup to the then famous Trybesmen group or recording one solo demo or the other.

In fact, the ‘Toh Bad’ crooner enrolled to the College of Journalism (COJ), Ogba-Lagos in October 2002 for a National Diploma Certificate, but due to her commitment to music, she dropped out. The decision was inevitable as she has been a truant.

“Most times when she comes to school, she would have extra wears in her bag, and would change after lectures to attend one gig or the other. She has really been deep into music,” one of her ex-course mates told Newscarte.  

Eniola Akinbo was born in Lagos, on December 9, 1985. The youngest of ten children, she sang in church with her siblings and was inspired to pursue a career in music after attending the Funmi Adams concert.

Niyola emerged runner up in the Amen Starlet competition in 2000. She began her professional music career in 2005, and was briefly affiliated with eLDee’s Trybe Records. She was rapper Freestyle’s girlfriend for many years till they parted ways in 2007. The music ‘couple’, who have been an item for years, separated after what Freestyle describes as irreconcilable differences.

Following her stint at Trybe, she signed a production deal with Make Sum Noise Entertainment. Niyola’s first three singles “Me n U (In Da Club)”, “No More” and “Dem Say” were released under the imprint. In 2012, Niyola signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment. On May 22, 2013, she released the single “Toh Bad”, her first release under the label.

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