Born Obiora Nwokolobia-Agu on 9th June 1977, Recording Artiste and Music Minister Obiora Obiwon displayed a high musical affinity right from early childhood. At age 15 he had started songwriting and performing on the streets and corners of the “Coal City” Enugu Nigeria. In 2001 he graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (U.N.N) where he studied Agricultural Extension even while building recording and live performance skills in eastern Nigeria’s music circuit.
After migrating to Lagos in 2002 for National Youth Service, initial attempts at a professional recording career merged him and friends in a HipHop group called Thorobreds. The group made impact winning Best Rap Group at the 2005 maiden edition of Nigeria’s prestigious music award show, The HipHop World Awards (now known as The Headies).
Obiwon as he is fondly called made his solo debut in July 2006 with “Overture”. The pressures of a budding music career soon led him to resign a banking job shortly afterwards. Overture won awards for Best Male Vocal Performance at The HipHop World Awards 2007 and “Voice of the Decade” at the Nigerian Music Awards 2007. By July 2008 Obiwon revealed that he had undergone a spiritual experience and announced a transition into the Christian/Gospel music genre. His artiste name ‘Obiwon’ was also rebranded to ‘Obiora Obiwon’ to enable him create a stronger and more distinct identity for his brand.
September 2009 birthed his sophomore “The Rebirth” noted for songs such as “F.a.t.h.e.r”, “Victorious” and “The Rebirth (Kene Gi)”. The now classic Nigerian ballad and wedding anthem “Obi Mu O”, inspired by his own plans for marriage then, became the album’s highlight and a smash hit. He went on to marry Nkechi who inspired the song in 2011 and they had their daughter, Nmesioma in 2012. After the release of the “F.a.t.h.e.r 2.0” single in 2011/2012, Obiora Obiwon received his first award in the gospel genre as Best Crossover Act at the National Gospel Awards February 2013.
In November 2013, Obiwon returned with a long awaited third album entitled “Gold Water”. Gold Water fuelled by the singles “Testify”, “Pour Your Love” and “Hail My King” has received rave reviews and continues to make impact. The album was honoured at the Crystal Awards 2014, where Hail My King received the Best Collaboration award. In the same year, Gold Water also earned four awards out of five nominations at the 4th Annual Nigerian Gospel Music Awards (NGMA). The NGMA winnings were in the following categories and for the following works: Best Collaboration Song for “Hail My King”, Best Soul/R&B Song for “Good To Me”, Worship Song of the Year for “Pour Your Love” and Album of the Year.
Obiwon has featured in major national and continental events such as the Celebrity Takes Two Dance Reality Television Show, The Kora Awards Launch Concert and The Stella Obasanjo Foundation Benefit Concert among others. His music has featured on two international compilations – The Best of African Music One World One Love Edition and Seat 1-A: An International Music Experience. He also has a couple of EP’s and other collaborative works to his name.
After an extraordinary transition, Obiora Obiwon continues to focus on inspiring, changing and impacting the lives of his audience worldwide, while being a relevant voice in the Nigerian music industry.
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