Azubuike Chibuzo Nelson was born and raised in Enugu State. His stage name Phyno, which is derived from the word phenomenal, was the nickname given to him by one of his high school friends named Emeka. Phyno developed an interest for music production during his secondary school days. He initially wanted to become a pilot, but was told that he could be a doctor. Throughout high school, he learned to play the drums and piano. He also learned to create his own rendition of every recording he heard. He studied public administration at the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, and started profiting from music during his second year at IMT. Phyno told Ifeoma Onoye that Mr. Raw is one of the few people he looks up to. Phyno started rapping in 2010 and relocated to Lagos to continue his music career.