Born on October 24, 1965 in Lagos to Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Neji, Sunny, the youngest of five kids (three boys, two girls) had his primary education between 1972 and 1978 in Ogoja, Cross River State, his home town.
Sunny Neji is an Artist and CEO of Impakt Records
He completed his secondary education at Government, College, Ikorodu, Lagos in 1984 and proceeded to Yaba college of Technology where he obtained a Diploma in fashion design.
Sunny Neji’s active involvement with music began at an early stage. His parents’ love for music and his ol’ man’s collection of classic records provided the initial tonic.
As a boy, he participated in cultural performances and steadily developed the talent through the course of his formal education. By 1987, he took his game one step further and ventured into recording earning a reputation in the jungle production scene in no time. 1991 brought the release of his debut album, Captain on EMI.
The debut was slept on but the artiste was undaunted. He joined Colours Band with which he performed as lead singer for five years and inched his way further into the mainstream.
He made a grand return to the recording circuit in ’97 with the release of his sophomore set, Mr. Fantastik on GM Intercontinental Records and firmly established himself a bona fide star whose fame stretched from Maiduguri to Bakassi. The album sold hugely and won numerous awards for the artiste who came to be recognized as one of Nigeria’s top all-round artistes.
His third offering, Roforofo dropped in October 2000 on the same label, GM Intercontinental and easily picked up from where Mr. Fantastik left off. It consolidated Sunny’s position as contemporary highlife’s premiere protagonist and further showcased an already glaring steak of versatility.
In 2002, Sunny Neji lent a hand and voice to Now Muzik’s Touch of Genius:
Tribute Album to the Legendary Sir, Victor Uwaifo project and scored again with his re-interpretation of the classic Joromi.
After narrowly escaping the January 27, 2002 Ikeja bomb blast disaster, Sunny Neji raised his golden voice in a piercing call for support for victims with the single, Victim of Circumstance and the massive benefit concert at the Lagos Television grounds to mark the first anniversary of the event. The project opened a new chapter in the artiste’s career. It marked his involvement with O’Jez Music, the company that came all out to support the Victim of Circumstance Project. The socially sensitive artiste also recorded the single, Wake Up! in 2003 to challenge Nigerians to vote right in the general elections.
These special projects set the tune for his forth full length album, Unchained, recorded in Ghana, released on O’Jez Music, Oruka and Face Me, the pre-release singles needed only a few days to completely dominate the airwaves and assure everyone that another monster hit has dropped.
Sunny Neji tied the nuptial knot with Peace, his hearthrob, on November 1, 2001 and the union is blessed with a baby girl, Ntishokarome- the one to whom the Unchained track of the same title is dedicated.
An amiable and clean-living gentlemen, Sunny Neji spends a great deal of his time writing, playing, performing and recording music.
His scandal-free image is not contrived. His major pre-occupation is making music and attending his regular Christian fellowship services. He watches talk shows, documentaries and movies when he can squeeze out time and his favourite charity is The Little Saints Orphanage. Sunny is however, quite opinionated, passionate and vocal about the problems of the local music industry and doesn’t hesitate to join issues with whoever represents a part of the problem and this has naturally, rubbed a few people the wrong way.
One thing is certain though. Sunny Neji is totally committed to his art and intends to keep upping the ante in every regards until he completely runs out of gas.
-Efe “Freak” Omorogbe
An interview with Sunny Nneji: A straight to point A & B with the man who is making us all anticipate a wedding day.
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