Itosh Mayana, an Afrofusion-Afrodancehall & Afrobeats artist from Lagos, Nigeria, has been shaping the music scene since 2008 with his unique blend of African Dancehall. With hits like “FLEEK” and “BEAT THEM ALL,” Itosh’s journey has been marked by passion, innovation, and resilience. His love for music began at age 5, influenced by a guitar from India and later inspired by international Nigerian artists. Despite facing challenges, such as having his instrumental sold to another artist and witnessing a similar sound gain popularity through Burna Boy, Itosh remains steadfast in his claim to the Afrofusion genre. His song “WORK IT 4D GRAM” holds a special place in his heart, reflecting his roots, style, and spirituality. As he looks to the future, Itosh envisions collaborations with music legends and a successful tour.

Interview with ITOSH MAYANA

Tell us about yourself, who are you and where do you come from?

Itosh Mayana is an Afrofusion-Afrodancehall & Afrobeats artist from Lagos-Nigeria. I recently released a new single titled; FLEEK. I have also received international awards for songs like: “BEAT THEM ALL” , “WHAT YOU DO 2ME” ; from his recent album. I’ve got a unique vocal dexterity & since 2008 I’ve been doing a futuristic type of African Dancehall; a style similar to what BURNABOY does today. The idea is always to create the next thing people need to hear.

How was your passion for music born? Who are your idols?

Music to me is a natural born talent. Since I was 5 years old I fell in love with a guitar my dad brought from India and started freestyling & mumbling to it, then my late dad advised me to pursue it professionally cos he saw the passion I had & my vocals easily blended with the guitar. However, impact of successful Nigerian international artists like; Lighthouse family, Seal, Nas, SADE, 2baba & Dr Alban inspired me to pursue music as a career. My greatest musical influences are SEAN PAUL, KANYE, MAJOR LAZER, BUSY SIGNAL, AKON, DBANJ, MOVADO, VYBZ CARTEL.

What kind of music do you do?

Liked I mentioned I’m an Afrofusion artist a genre which I coined in 2008 January while rehearsing with a gospel Jazz band in my moms school, I got the inspiration to write a song that has some key elements of popular African sound/black music; including: Femi kuti’s type of Afrobeats chorus, Pidgin lyrics delivered with patois style, Yoruba punchlines, makkosa hooks, reggaton kicks & most especially Caribbean rhythm. It sounded technical but achievable and I created the song “Int’l Water Master”.. This let me to the lowest point of my career 2008-2011, the beginning of my music career, when instrumental of the song was sold to a more popular artist #TerryG by Dollarsyno the producer I was recording with. He disappeared & 2 weeks later I heard my instrumental on radio & the Deejay announced it’s titled FREEMADNESS by TerryG. I was broken & didn’t get to record again until 2011 when I reproduced the song & went to do a 40 club tour with HEINEKEN in porthacort with radio campaign. That year Mr 2kay & Duncan Mighty were the hottest act in the city. But to my amazement later in 2012 February friends & fans started calling me from Porthacort that my song have blown up, only for me to hear it’s a song titled “LIKE TO PARTY” from a new artist named BURNABOY who sounded so much like me & coincidentally was in same city Porthacort when I went to promote my song the previous year. I was totally amazed when Burna started claiming to be the only artist doing the genre, not after recovering from the shock that TerryG stole my sound. So I created Afrofusion not BURNABOY; he only made it popular & I believe it’s time to take it to the next level.

What is the most important song for you? What message do you want to convey to the listener?

“WORK IT 4D GRAM” is a song that’s so special to me and talks about my root “ONDO STATE” , my style of music “Afrofusion”, my love for fashion cos I’m also a designer & most especially my spirituality cos the chorus is a self affirmation words & a conscious prayer. Blended in a smooth Afrobeats Dancehall vibe. It’s a song you’ll definitely put on repeat.

Why should a listener who doesn’t know you listen to your music?

I don’t do boring music and like my fans say my song always gets them in the mood. Reason I dropped my new song #Fleek ; it will definitely put you in the mood when you listen..as the lyrics say; “YUH BODY ON THE BOOTHLIGHT, YU PUT ME IN THE MOOD NOW”. I just can’t do boring songs.

What are your future projects? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

In 5years I see myself working with all my icons & legends like WYCLEF, AKON, KANYE & collaborating with the younger generation. I also look forward to my first tour.

Tell our readers a funny episode that happened in your career as an artist.

Sometimes in 2021 my Facebook page got hacked & some female followers I’ve never met donated above 100K within 1 day to the hacker after posting that I needed funds for medical treatment. I later commented via my manager’s page to claim it’s false. However, I was shocked to know I had fans that went that far for me without ever meeting or knowing them. It also showed me a perspective of what it means to be loved a a musician and celebrity.