Obiwon was born Obiora Nwokolobia-Agu and grew up in Enugu (the coal city). His father, Sir Humphrey Nwokolobia-Agu, is a renowned Folk/Classical music composer and arranger from Southeastern Nigeria. At 5, he started singing along to HipHop and RnB recordings from his elder brother's tape deck. He started writing songs and performing at 15. He is also known as the Black Prince.
He calls his music African RnB or, which is also the name of his independent production outfit. His musical influences include Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Boyz II Men, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Nigerian highlife artists such as the late maestros Osita Osadebe and Celestine Ukwu and so many others.
Education and career
Obiwon studied Agric. Extension at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), after which he became an employee of a bank in Lagos. He was a part of Da Thorobreds, a now-defunct hip-hop collective. 'Da Thorobreds' was composed of rappers B-Elect, Illbliss and Elajoe. Obiwon's debut album, Overture, released in 2006 was a commercial success in Nigeria. In 2007, he ditched his job as a banker and continued his career with music. He was nominated for three awards at 2007 Hip Hop World Awards, and won in the category of Best Vocal Male Performance. He was also honored as Nigeria's Voice Of The Decade (21st century) at the Nigeria Music Awards. The following year, Obiwon announced his change of musical focus to gospel music, releasing his second studio album The Rebirth that yielded the R&B hit "Obi Mu O", a song dedicated to his wife.
In July, 2013, Obiwon released a single titled "Testify" from his third album Gold Water. In explaining the reasoning behind the album's title, he said: "Water is symbolic for cleansing and restoration while Gold symbolises glory and elevation. A combination of both is the idea."
Obiora has recorded numerous songs which includes the number one hit "Obi Mu O". Some of his other songs include "Streetz Of Lagos", "Hustlin’ man", "I pray", "U made me", "Love nwantiti", "Refill for my emptiness", "Break it down", "Let's go", "Birthday", "Bless u lady", "My F.A.T.H.E.R", "Victorious" and "Lift your hands", among others.
Obiwon married Nkechi Obioma Ezeife in 2011. The couple gave birth to their first child, a baby girl in September 2012.
- Gold Water (2013)
Awards and nominations
|2007||Hip Hop World Awards||Best Vocal Performance (Male)||Won|
|Best R&B Album||Overture||Nominated|
|Hip Hop World Revelation||Nominated|
|2007||Nigeria Music Awards||Male Voice of the Decade||Won|||
- Obiwon returns with "testify". Premium Times (2013-07-13). Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
- Alhassan, Amina (2009-10-31). My songs based on my experience - Obiwon. Daily Trust. Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
- "Nigeria: Obiwon Quits Bank for Music". AllAfrica.com (AllAfrica Global Media). 2007-01-21. http://allafrica.com/stories/200701220858.html. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Past Winners. Hip Hop World Magazine. Retrieved on March 18, 2014.
- Foreign Musicians Have No Regard For Nigerian Artistes------Obiwon. Modernghana.com. Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
- "Obiwon berths sophomore". Vanguardngr.com (Vanguard Media). 2009-10-03. http://www.vanguardngr.com/2009/10/obiwon-berths-sophomore/. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- I make better music now — Obiwon. The Punch (2013-12-29). Retrieved on March 19, 2014.
- Agunanna, Chilee (2012-09-14). Obiwon welcomes baby girl. DSTV. Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
- Abimboye, Micheal (12 January 2014). INTERVIEW: Why it took me so long to release my third album – Obiwon. Premium Times. Retrieved on March 19, 2014.
- Olapoju, Kolapo (13 February 2014). With ‘Gold Water’, Obiwon has earned the right to be taken seriously. Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved on March 19, 2014.
- Uzondu, James (2 January 2012). A night of worship with Obiwon. Nigerian News World. Retrieved on March 19, 2014.