EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Enetimi Alfred Odon was born on 29 November 1977 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.
During his primary school days, he attended Assemblies of God Nursery and Primary School and after that he had his secondary education at Nkpolu Oroworukwo in Port Harcourt. It was while he was in secondary school that he participated in various interschool competitions and got recognition for his efforts. His was known for never standing for bullying and was always vocal about his ideals. At the tender age of 14, he stepped out on his own and decided to pursue his ambitions independently. His mother arranged for him to travel down with his elder sister and brother to Lagos where he completed his secondary schooling. He attended Ikeja Grammar School and that was where he finally got his Secondary School Certificate. For his tertiary education, Timaya returned to Port Harcourt to study Banking and Finance at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science but failed to graduate as he dropped out after performing poorly in his first semester exams.
He would often break house rules to attend late-night music events.
Timaya 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 working for Eedris, Timaya departed from the group to focus on his solo career. 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 K-Solo 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.”
CAREER AND LIFE
Timaya popularly referred to as Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa began his solo career in 2006 with the release of “Dem Mama”. The song was met with rave reviews and also appeared on his debut album, True Story which was released the following year. His second album Gift and Grace was released in 2008. The album was also a big hit.
Timaya later shot into superstardom through his third studio album De Rebirth, with its lead single “Plantain Boy”. The song which had catchy lyrics was a big hit along with the album and it stemmed from a period in his life when things were hard for him and he hawked plantain to survive. He collaborated with his Dem Mama Soldiers, a South South Music group he formed, on the album LLNP (Long Life N Prosperity).
Timaya initially started out his music career when he joined Eedris Abdul Kareem band as a backup vocalist. He strived hard to be his number one back-up singer. Working with Eedris was quite the eye opener for Timaya. He had this to say about his experience:
“Eedris was a good person. One thing I like about him is that he is fearless, and believes in himself so much. He knows how to perform on stage. He knows how to carry the crowd, and that is one thing I have learnt from him. He could carry the street along, he could relate to the people, I learnt all that from him. What I did not like about him is the fact that he only tolerated his boys. Till date he never paid me a dime.The only money he gave to me was one thousand Naira after a show we did at Kuramo beach. That I did not copy from him. I treat my boys fine. I don’t owe them. They all have cars. I know that they all have their own family and their own dream, so I don’t mess with that. Eedris had time only for himself.”
After a while, Timaya set out on his own path and teamed up with K-Solo. Before meeting K-Solo, he had begun to record collaborations with fellow up-and-coming artists and had made his first cameo appearance in an unreleased music video by UDX, a Lagos-based rap group. He came in contact with producer K-Solo in Mafoluku, Oshodi. His meeting K-Solo was not by chance. Basorge Tariah Junior had seen him sing at a talent show and was impressed so he took the talented Timaya to Daniel Wilson’s studio where Timaya met K-Solo for the first time. ho help him produce his first hit track,”Dem Mama” after hearing him perform the song a cappella. Timaya once explained the origins of his debut hit track in an interview. He 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 seeing how successful Dem Mama was, Timaya felt it was better he stuck to K-Solo as they seemed to have a synergy in terms of creating hits. He recorded seven more songs for his first album True Story, which was eventually released in 2007. Timaya then went on to start recording songs for his second album that same year with producers Phyno, Jeggs, Spankie, Akeem D Beat, K-Solo and Terry G. In 2008, the album titled Gift and Grace was made available. Two years after his 2nd album dropped, Timaya released his third album. De Rebirth and its success-themed lead single “Plantain Boy”, were hugely successful commercially, and brought him widespread recognition across Africa. The album’s production was fine-tuned by Akeem D Beat, Phyno, Flux, M-Yire, Jay Sleek, N.D, Jesse Jagz, and K-Solo. Timaya collaborated with guest artists, including 2face Idibia, TJ 2Solo, Allenian, Konga, Lanre, M.I, TJ, and Wrecoba. In 2010, he featured alongside late gospel artiste, Kefee on the song “Kokoroko” which was a huge hit in Nigeria. In 2014, he dropped his fourth solo album titled Epiphany which has been generating a lot of buzz.
After the success of “Dem Mama”, Timaya decided to continue with K-Solo. He recorded seven more songs for his first album True Story, which was eventually released in 2007. Later that year, Timaya began work on his second album with producers Phyno, Jeggs, Spankie, Akeem D Beat, K-Solo and Terry G. 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 K-Solo. Timaya 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.
In November 2011, Timaya released LLNP (Long Life And Prosperity), a collaborative album with 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 hits “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 2011, Timaya was appointed a Peace Ambassador by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP). Dr. Hak Ja Haan Moon, co-founder of the IIFWP, stated that he is “one of those individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who dedicate themselves to practices which promote the founding ideals of the IIFWP.” 7
One of Timaya’s oldest controversies is his relationship with film star, Empress Njamah which ended on a sour note. He once revealed that he was a s*x slave to an older woman a long time ago. He said, “When I had nowhere to stay, I had to go and live with a woman friend who turned me into a prisoner. I had to live by her rules. I could not go anywhere until she allows me to. I could never stay out until 7pm, or else I am in trouble. She was older than me by four years and I did not have a choice.
AWARDS AND ENDORSEMENTS
He was said to have signed a multimillion naira endorsement deal with glo in 2010
And also MTN in 2014.
RUMORS AND SCANDALS.
He was rumored to have been involved in a sex chat scandal in 2014.