Azeez Fashola popularly known by his stage name as Naira Marley is a fast rising Nigerian musician, singer, songwriter, street music sensation, stage performer and a recording artist. He was born on 9th May 1994 in Agege, Lagos State in the south western part of Nigeria. He is currently 25 years old. He is very gifted, skillful, creative and talented. He is known as the president of his controversial fan base “Marlians”.
Naira Marley was born in Agege, Lagos State, Nigeria. At the age of 11 years old, he moved to Peckham, South London in England. He studied at Porlock Hall before attending Walworth School, where he obtained his General Certificate of Secondary Education. Naira Marley later graduated with a distinction in business from Peckham Academy.
Naira Marley also studied business law at Crossways College now known as Christ the King Sixth Form College in London. While growing up, Naira Marley had plans of becoming an MC and voice-over artist. He began singing in 2014 after discovering his passion for music and was encouraged by close-knit friends to pursue music as a career. He released the Max Twigz-assisted track “Marry Juana” before releasing his debut EP “Gotta Dance” in 2015.
In December 2017, he released the Olamide and Lil Kesh assisted single “Issa Goal” which became the theme song for the Super eagles of Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The official remix of “Issa Goal” was released on 16th June 2018; it features vocals by Olamide, Lil Kesh, Falz, Simi and Slimcase.
Naira Marley sings mostly in English, Pidgin and Yoruba his native dialect. His music is a blend of Afrobeats and hip-hop. He derived his stage name from Jamaican singer Bob Marley, whom he admires so much. His dreadlocks is also a tribute to the legendary reggae singer.
In 2019, Naira Marley rose to fame after the release of his 2019 hit single “Am I A Yahoo Boy” and “Soapy” featuring Zlatan Ibile. On 3rd May 2019, Naira Marley released the Zlatan-assisted track “Am I A Yahoo Boy” and was arrested by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that same day of the release of the music. He was arrested for internet fraud and charge to court on 11 count charges.
On 27th June 2019, he released his hit single “Soapy” a few days after he was released from prison. On 11th January 2020, Naira Marley won the Viewer’s Choice Award for his hit single “Soapy” at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards. On 18th December 2019, Naira Marley released his second EP “Lord of Lamba” it is a mixture of Afrobeats and hip-hop. The EP comprises 6 tracks and features guest artists such as Cbluck, Young John and Mayorkun. Its production was handled by Killertunes, Rexxie and Studio Magic.
On 30th December 2019, Naira Marley hosted the Marlian Fest which was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites with top musical legend like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Phyno, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan Ibile and other top musical stars in attendant. During the Marlian Fest, Naira Marley announced the launch of his record label Marlian Records and unveiled Cbluck, Zinoleesky, MohBad and Fabian Blu as his new signed acts.
On 10th May 2019, Naira Marley was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) alongside with his best friend Zlatan Ibile and three other friends. The arrest was made a day after he released the video for the controversial hit single “Am I A Yahoo Boy”. Five days later, the EFCC released Zlatan Ibile and the three others; however, Naira Marley remained in their custody due to overwhelming evidence against him.
On 16th May 2019, the EFCC filed 11 count charges against Naira Marley before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, bordering on internet fraud and cyber crime; the 11 counts charges carry a potential sentence of seven years in prison if he is found guilty. On 19th May 2019, Naira Marley released the hit single “4 Nights In Ekohtiebo” while still in prison. In the lyrics of the song, he talks about his industry friends, foes and other people who have admired him. In May 2019, he was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and pleaded “not guilty”; a bail hearing was set for him on 30th May 2019. On that same day of the bail hearing, Naira Marley released another hit single “Why” a song that was accompanied by an image of him in handcuffs; in it, he addresses themes of trust, deceit and pretence. Later that day, he was granted bail in the sum of ₦2,000,000 and the case was adjourned till 22nd October 2019 for commencement of trial.
On 14th June 2019, Naira Marley was released from EFCC custody after perfecting his bail conditions, barely 14 days after being granted bail. On 22nd and 23rd October 2019, Naira Marley returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to face his charges. On 12th December 2019, his case was again heard and was subsequently adjourned to 27th February 2020, after an EFCC witness testified against him.
Naira Marley is currently married to two women and has four children. Naira Marley has two albums. In 2015, he released his first debut studio album “Gotta dance” with hit singles like Issa Goal and Japa. In 2019, he released his second debut studio album “Lord of Lamba” with hit singles like Am I A Yahoo Boy, Marlians, Soapy, Puta and Mafo. In 2019, Naira Marley was nominated for Best Pop, Street Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year (Male) at the City People Music Awards. In 2020, Naira Marley won the Viewers’ Choice at the Soundcity MVP Awards.
Naira Marley is currently one of the richest and most influential artist in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1.2 million.