Anyanya Udongwo, a Nigerian native who has conquered the hearts of Lithuanians with his exceptional talent and has become the winner of the jubilee music project "Lietuvos Balsas", today presents his first single "Free Now". The lyrics of the first single, released with Universal Music Group, were written during the artist's last days in Bucza before his escape to Lithuania and have a symbolic meaning.
"This song is about my faith. I was stuck in a very dark place until I found Jesus. Then everything changed. I was freed from everything that was hurting me. This song is about never losing hope," Anyanya shares openly.
When the war in Ukraine broke out, Anyanya was at the very epicentre of it - in Buche. After losing his home, he fled his war-torn country and came to Lithuania after learning about the help our compatriots were giving to refugees. There, he heard about the Voice of Lithuania project and decided to find his strength in music again. After winning the hearts of the whole country with his voice and his performances, he became the winner of the project and won not only the prize money, but also the opportunity to work with the biggest music publishing company in the world - Universal Music Group.
The Voice of Lithuania project was not the first musical adventure in his life. In his native Ukraine, he had already tried his hand at "X Factor" and "The Voice Of Ukraine", and worked with some of the country's most prominent performers.
"I've been a backing vocalist for more than one star on stage. I've worked with Jamala, Monatik, Okean Elzy, Tayanna, Zlata and many others. In addition, I also sang in a jazz band and had my own choir, Gospel Vibez, which also appears with me in the video for this song," he says about his past in Ukraine.
After arriving in Lithuania, Anyanya did not want to abandon his musical activities. And although music is always playing in his and his wife's home, he missed the stage. After settling in Lithuania, Anyanya not only filled in the application form for the Voice of Lithuania project, but also gave a concert with the famous Ukrainian saxophonist Andre Chmut, and took part in a charity concert together with the Ukrainian artist Monatik.
The song, released today, was written by Anyanya in Ukraine and filmed in one of the most important places in the world for him and his family - a house of prayer.
"I wrote this song in Butcha, three weeks before the war started. Its video was also shot in Ukraine. With this song I want to bring faith and hope. We can all change our lives and find the light at the end of the tunnel", says the singer.
Anyanya is joined in the video not only by the choir he leads and his wife, but also by the famous Ukrainian rapper Timothy, whom Anyanya speaks highly of: 'He's an amazing rapper and songwriter, like me, who is originally from Nigeria. We met quite unexpectedly, I wrote to him online because I was listening to his music all the time. He happened to be studying in Kharkiv at the time and before he came back to Nigeria, we managed to release this song, which is very important to me.
When asked about her dreams and goals for the future, Anyanya shares, "I dream of releasing an album and touching as many people as possible with my songs. Maybe do a concert tour and give some of the money to charity." The first solo concert will take place on 28 July in Kaunas Botanical Garden.