Born in Port Harcourt on August 15, 1988 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State as Inetimi Odon but better known by his stage name, Timaya. The popular singer and songwriter hails from Odi in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
He grew up as part of a large family; the youngest of fifteen children in the Agip Estate area of Port Harcourt. His father was a banker and his mother, a trader.
Timaya attended Assemblies of God Nursery And Primary School and proceeded to Nkpolu Oroworukwo for his secondary school all in Port Harcourt.
His mother later arranged for him to travel to Lagos with his older brother and older sister. After moving to the city, he gained admission into Ikeja Grammar School, where he eventually obtained a secondary school certificate.
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 later met producer Obaksolo in Mafoluku, Oshodi, who produced his first major hit record “Dem Mama” after hearing him perform the acappella version.
According to him, “‘Dem Mama’ was an account of the 1999 destruction of his village, Odi, a river side community by soldiers who were hunting down militants that allegedly 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 the success of “Dem Mama”, Timaya decided to continue with producer 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, Obaksolo 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 Obaksolo. 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 his crew, 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 notable hits “Bum-Bum”, “Sexy Ladies” and “Malonogede”. The album featured 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 2014, he released his fifth studio album, titled Epiphany. The album was a 20-tracker, with global hits, such as “Bum Bum Remix” (featuring Dancehall A-Lister, Sean Paul), “Sanko”, and “Ukwu”. It also featured 2baba, Patoranking, Olamide, Sir Shina Peters, Deethi, Phyno and Terry G. In 2017, Timaya performed in Nassau, Bahamas, where he headlined the first ever Afro-Soca Concert.
After 5 years of releasing singles, and touring, Timaya released an EP titled Chulo Vibes (2019). This project featured collaborations from East African artist Alikiba, Trinidadian Soca Legend Machel Montano and Nigeria’s Burna Boy.
Timaya set up his own record label, DM Records Limited. Under which he groomed artistes like Patoranking and Runtown.In 2017, he signed young Dancehall/Afro-Fusion artiste, King Perryy to the DM Records imprint.
For Timaya to have remained relevant in the music industry, churning out hits after hits, for close to two decades confirms his supremacy and prowess in the Nigerian music industry. His talents have opened doors for him and he surely still has more to offer in his flourishing career.